Black Death Sociology

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The Black Plague was a detrimental epidemic that affected every social class and still wreaks havoc to this day. The Black Death was a deadly disease that spread through Europe from 1346-1353 (Benedictow 1). This gruesome infection was caused by bacteria Yersinia pestis (Benedictow 1). Yersinia pestis is a bacteria transmitted to people bitten by fleas from infected rodents (“Plague” 1). It then takes over the whole human body (Aberth 19). Black Death did not discriminate based on social class. Both the wealthy and the poor were affected (McGill 1). From this disease alone, one-third of the population were killed by the disease (McGill 1). Approximately fifty million people died from the Black Death (Benedictow 5). Lack of medicine, poor…show more content…
Christians believed the Jews caused the spread of the plague to stop Christianity (Cunningham 67). Flagellants put on shows of self-torture so sins would be forgiven by God (Cunningham 69). There is no link between the Flagellant movement and Christians blaming Jew (Aberth 53). German physician, John of Saxony stated that treating plague victims was difficult because they resigned themselves to death (Aberth 51). Some people experienced a swelling of the brain (McGill 1). Symptoms of bubonic plague include fever, chills, delirium, capillary hemorrhaging under the skin, and enlarged lymph nodes (“Plague” 1). People with the pneumonic strain can get the disease by coming in contact with animals or other people who are already infected (“Plague” 1). Pneumonic plague can develop as a complication of the bubonic strain (“Plague” 1). Hemorrhages turn black, hence the name Black Death (“Plague” 1). Pneumonic plague can cause death within twenty-four hours, if not treated (“Plague” 1). People wanted to make sure others knew who they were in the event of death, so they wore tags around their arms and neck (Aberth 26). Returning Crusaders were a contributor to the spread (“Plague” 1). It only took six months for the black death to cross France (Cunningham 49). People of the Middle Ages had no idea that their neighbors sneeze could contaminate them (Cunningham 53). Black flags were flown over churches to warn that the plague was in the city (Cunningham 52). As the wealthy and priests tried to flee the disease, they ended up carrying it to new areas (Cunningham 52). The Black Death struck Paris in 1349, and quickly spread to England, Scotland, and beyond (Galli 1). Most of Europe had been struck by the mid-1350’s (Galli 1). Some areas saw a mortality rate of ninety percent, while others were “lucky” with just twenty percent (Galli 1). Mass burial pits were dug for bodies (Galli 1). High death rates meant mass burials (Aberth
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