Political, Psychological, Economic And Social Aftermath Of The Black Death

2542 words - 11 pages

An epidemic stroked the medieval world in 1347 which depopulated it and brought a great number of consequences. These consequences, however, were not entirely bad consequences in the long run. In the long term, the Black Death created a more diversified economy based on more intensive use of capital, more powerful technology and created a higher standard of living. In short term, however, new laws emerged which restrained trade and also allowed medieval authorities to write down sumptuary laws that distanced the nobles from the working class. Socially the epidemic produced a questioning of the Church and unskilled clerics which would weak the schools and universities but later al ...view middle of the document...

In addition: "All over kingdom, conditions were made worse by the Hundred Years' War with England, fought largely in French territory." Essentially, the most important thing to keep in mind is that Europe was weakened by famine even before being ravaged by the Black Death, introduced by rats in Europe by the elaborate East-West trading system established in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Little evidence establishes that the route most likely to have emanated the disease was the route sea from south Asia:Goods were carried across the Indian Ocean, around the southern Arabian Peninsula, past Yemen, and into the Red Sea. There, they were taken overland to Gaza or the ports of the Nile Delta. At the end of this route were Italian merchants who carried the goods by ships to Italy, southern France, and Catalonia where they were taken overland into Northern Europe.Asian Black rats were plague's most prolific carriers. The first symptoms appeared on December 1347 and the "buboes" started to be visible in the groin or the armpit, some of which were egg-shaped while others were roughly the size of the common apple. Other symptoms were visible such as dark blotches and bruises on the victims' arms, thighs, and other parts of their body. As specified by Robert S. Gottfried , Professor of History and Director of Medieval Studies at Rutgers University, : "[...] the most current estimates of morbidity in Europe range between 25% and 45% percent." All in all, a third of the world died.In essence the Black Death was more than a mere epidemic which caused thousand and thousand of casualties but it: "[...] gnawed the moral stamina and frequently destroyed it entirely [...]" From 1347 people fought against death's dominion, thus for those who survived the bubonic plague was seen as a temporary victory over death. The plague's mortalities reminded survivors of their own fragile grasp of life consequently a new thinking emerged shortly after the Black Death broke over Europe. People were shocked and frightened of death. No one could live through a catastrophe so devastating and so inexplicable without retaining forever the scars of his experience: "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die; but tomorrow seemed very close and the food and drink could never subdue for long the fear of death." This is exactly how the majority of people thought. Other, however, fled or isolated in houses with other paranoiacs. Philip Ziegler (1929- ), a prominent British biographer and historian, has clearly featured people's mind after the plague as a: "[...] neurotic and all pervading gloom." From now on people were anticipating new disaster and a new tide of epidemic, but they were not aware of the working of this world though. Ziegler also mentioned that the decline in morality should not be ignored but nor should it be imagined that the Europeans who survived the Black Death had any very special attributes in the way of wickedness. For the majority of people, even the m...

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