During the mid-fourteenth century, a plague hit Europe. Initially spreading through rats and subsequently fleas, it killed at least one-third of the population of Europe and continued intermittently until the 18th century. There was no known cure at the time, and the bacteria spread very quickly and would kill an infected person within two days, which led to structural public policies, religious, and medical changes in Europe. The plague had an enormous social effect, killing much of the population and encouraging new health reforms, it also had religious effects by attracting the attention of the Catholic Church, and lastly, it affected the trade around Europe, limiting the transportation of goods. As a response to the plague that took place
The primary source I chose for my analysis is “A Most Terrible Plague: Giovanni Boccaccio”. This document focuses on the account of how individuals acted when a plague broke out and hundreds of people were dying every day. This source is written by Giovanni Boccaccio as it is a story told by him and friends as they passed the time. Boccaccio discusses how “the plague had broken out some years before in the Levant, and after passing from place to place, and making incredible havoc along the way, had now reached the west.” Readers of this source can assume there wasn’t much cures and medicinal technology weren’t used much during this time as even their physicians stayed away from the sick because once they got close they would also get sick. The purpose of Boccaccio preparing the document
The Black Plague During the Renaissance period a disease was brought to Europe that is known as the “Black Plague”. A ship came from China that brought rats infested with fleas, carrying the plague to Sicily. Many people aboard the ship were already dead from the disease and the ship was ordered to leave the harbor, but it was too late. Sicily was then overcome by the disease and it spread through the trade routes all over Europe.
The Bubonic Plague: The Black Death During the late 1330’s in Europe the population was growing dramatically. This caused food shortages, which began to worry the people. The summers and winters were harsh not helping with the crop harvesting. A famine broke out, and it is now known as the famine before the plague.
In the thirteenth century in Europe, the population had a relatively good life. Filled with fair weather and an expanding count of humans, progression seemed to be running smoothly along. However, something terrible was brewing on the horizon: toward the end of the century, a natural disaster hit in a magnitude that had never been seen before by anyone.
The Black Plague, a disease many would agree was both one of the most devastating and poignant events to occur in European History. A time of persecution and suffering, many had to endure the effects that the Black Plague brought with it. Amidst the consequences suffered by those carrying the disease, came the ramifications that those who were not directly affected experienced. A few ramifications were self-evident, such as trade, others were concealed within the fear that the population had lost so much already, they could no longer afford to lose anything else, whether that be dignity or pride. The plague caused many to question their religious outlook, the lack of knowledge caused false cures to develop and affected the interactions throughout Europe.
During the Middle Ages, the prevailing system of government was feudalism. Under feudalism, there was the use of a definite social structure. People were born into a social class and usually stayed in that class for the rest of their life. The three social classes were the nobility, clergy, and peasantry and each of these classes had different roles to perform in the society.
Churches at this time had a large amount of power over people’s villages and God was considered the center of everything. Churches decided what books were ok for its people to read and what services didn’t pollute the community. () The church would sometimes have the final say over kings as well. Churches were the on the highest part of the social scale.
The 14th century was a time when the threat of disease controlled European society, putting fear into every person’s mind. The Bubonic Plague was the disease that led not only to death, but to the abandonment of chivalry and sympathy. The disease first appeared in Europe in 1347, and by the end of 1348, it had traveled across most of Europe, leaving a trail of death (doc 1). With about one third of the population dead, Europe’s society was destroyed, but it was devastated further by the pessimistic and anti semitic attitudes many of the people had.
By the end of the fourteenth century, the Black Death killed nearly 60% of Europe’s population. First arriving in Europe through sick merchants on Genoese trading ships that docked in Sicily, the plague caused boils, fever, diarrhea, horrible pain, and shortly, death. No one was sure how the Death spread, and this combined with the fast course the disease took and the primitive medical practices of the time allowed for the disease to spread through the continent in devastating time. It only took about twenty-three days from the point of infection for the plague to be fatal (Benedictow). The Black Death spread extensively through Europe, affecting both nobility and peasants.
In mid-fourteenth century Europe a plague (also known as the Black Death) appeared in which the first wave killed millions of people. But the plague didn’t stop there, it persisted, spreading around the whole known world and exerting its power on people up until the eighteenth century. In Europe there were many responses to the plague which included helping to stop and cure the plague, profiting off it, and trying to protect and care for their loved ones.
The Bubonic Plague (Black Death) came to the eastern Mediterranean along the shipping routs. It reached Italy in spring of 1348. By the time the disease spread between 25% and 50% of Europes population had died (document 1, (Source: EyeWitnesstoHistory.com) the Bubonic Plague was spread because in this time there was not any place to put garbage and wast products like we have today, so they would just leave the trash/wast anywhere and everywhere and the result of this would bring rats and many other animals, and with these animals they had fleas and eventually the fleas would get to the people and the humans would get sick and spread it to everyone. Some symptoms of the Bubonic Plague were large swelling lumps which they called "buboes" sizing
Since Europe was in a such a bad state and there was no social order leading to the creation of feudalism. Feudalism was a social, political, and economical system in which nobles were granted the use of land that legally belonged to the kings in return for giving loyalty and military service for the king, which is evidenced in document #1. The Age of Feudalism helped to bring the society together after its fall. With feudalism, the people of the Medieval Europe would be provided with protection and security in return for the use of the granted land. This shows how feudalism allowed for people to rely on each other.
During the thirteenth century, a disease known as the Black Death spread from Asia to Europe at an alarming speed. It travelled through the trade routes, in the form of infected fleas carried from town to town on rats causing catastrophic loses of population . The Black Death consisted of two forms of the disease; the pneumonic plague, and the bubonic plague . Since it was unknown as to what caused the disease at the time, their responses to the plague’s outbreak were almost entirely futile. Since religion was a big factor in nearly everybody’s lives, the records of the Black Death that we do have are heavily influenced by religion, and as such, their views strongly swayed things like treatments and medicine that were used against the plague. As
In those 7 years it is estimated that 60% of Europe’s entire population perished (Benedictow). The Black Death is an example of how the increasing trade among European and Middle Eastern countries helped spread a contagious disease that otherwise may have stayed localized and affected a much smaller population base. Disease transmission was not understood very well at this time which only helped the spread of the plague. Efforts to stop the disease had little to no effect due to this lack of knowledge of controlling