The Black Death Consider a disease that kills 50-90% of its infected victims. The bubonic plague, also known as “The Black Death,” has existed for many years. It is an extremely lethal disease that has horrendous symptoms. The first recorded case was in China in 224 B.C.E. There was a horrific outbreak in Europe during the mid-fourteenth century killing about one third of the population.
If untreated, people still can die from the plague, which in the United States occurs in the wild(“Plague Occurs”). The last urban outbreak of the plague in the United States occurred in Los Angeles in 1924 to 1925(“Plague Occurs”). Europe’s population went down quick because of the plague and it impacted tons of people(Dobson 11). 60 percent of Europe’s entire population , 50 million were killed(Benedictow). The plague impacted parts of Asia today and people are being killed by the disease.
The disease decimated the local population and was one of the main reasons for the fall of the Aztec and Inca empires. Likewise, on the eastern coast of North America, the disease was introduced by the early settlers and led to the death of millions of natives. The damaging effects of smallpox is often considered an example of biological warfare. Another aspect contributing to smallpox in the Americas was the slave trade because many slaves came from regions in Africa where smallpox was endemic. Smallpox affected all levels of society.
The Black Death spread so quickly overpopulation of cities. The Black Death impacted the economic and social balance of several monarchies. First, the people of Europe flogged themselves to renounce their sins and to achieve holiness. Secondly, the people disregarded the social balance, spiritual and secular laws. The Black Death not only broke up families, as the Romans
With the rise of monopolies, small companies and farmers suffered immensely likewise wages were cutback which led to many strikes and boycotts throughout the nation. However, Monopolies also lowered prices for various goods. Wealth increased due to the rich investing it and expanding new markets, which opened new job opportunities for non-skilled and skilled workers alike. Many companies also made it their duty to improve the community by funding myriad
This became significant because as the bourgeois started improving their machinery and producing more, they did not need skilled labor, and they could hire women and children for a lot less money. With this happening unemployment rose and wages fell, thus putting more people into poverty and starvation. This is similar to what happened in the French Revolution because the oppressed were extremely poor and did not have enough to eat. This caused a want for reform, and therefore, the same could happen between the bourgeois and the proletariats. In other words, the oppressed can only be oppressed for so long before a life or death challenge steps in, and they have to step up to the challenge.
Serfs were no longer tied to their previous plot of land. Due to a severe labor shortage, serf survivors were able to demand higher wages and better working conditions from their new landlords. This may have contributed to the rise of capitalism. Many serfs moved to cities and contributed to the rise in urbanization and industrialization. (Cultural) Medieval society did not know what caused the plague or how it spread.
With a minimum of 50,000 deaths between 1550 and 1770, the Holy Roman Empire had the highest death toll in Europe. With the rising social tensions associated with the constant military conflicts and religious tensions, the number of urban poor dramatically increased. Prior to the Reformation, monasteries and convents provided poor relief; however, Protestant countries removed these institutions and the urban poor no longer had the benefit of a social safety net. In response to the increased crime and social tensions that accompany an increase in the poor, people sought scapegoats. The Reformation’s concerns about morality, resulted in a newfound obsession with people’s behaviors which, consequently, made it easier to find witches.
The final major outbreak of the Plague was known as The Great Plague of London which occurred in the 1600’s. The first outbreak called the Justinian Plague ripped through the Middle East and Asia killing tens of millions of people. This outbreak changed society at the time and the rebuilding
Some have suggested that the Black Death killed up to 60% of the European population (Byrne, Joseph P. "economic effects of the Black Death.”) but what is generally agreed upon is that a major percentage of the common laborers in many fields in which left Europe distraught and in dire need of a healthy, high percentage peasant population in order for the agricultural and societal labor demands of the years prior to 1346 to be met again without revision. In many parts of Europe what began to occur was that the laborers in which were in good health refused to work aside from when being compensated sometimes five fold more than the original pre-plague price value of the labor. During this period of time what began to occur was a redistribution of wealth and a ultimate beneficial period for those of the peasantry in which survived in that by comparison to their former lives they had gained land, higher wages and in many cases rights not previously held in relations to their lords as serfdom was beginning to become a relic of the former (Friedrich 136). This dilemma became increasingly unsettling for the lords in which provided compensation for the inflated work and led ultimately to legislation being passed in several countries and city states to return pricing order