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The causes and results of the black plague in europe

The number of deaths was enormous, reaching two-thirds or three-fourths of the population in various parts of Europe.

It has been calculated that one-fourth to one-third of the total population of Europe, or 25 million persons, died… Origin and incidence Having originated in China and Inner Asia, the Black Death decimated the army of the Kipchak khan Janibeg while he was besieging the Genoese trading port of Kaffa now Feodosiya in Crimea 1347.

With his forces disintegrating, Janibeg catapulted plague-infested corpses into the town in an effort to infect his enemies. It reached Bristol almost immediately and spread rapidly throughout the southwestern counties of England.

London suffered most violently between February and May 1349, East Anglia and Yorkshire during that summer. There were recurrences of the plague in 1361—63, 1369—71, 1374—75, 1390, and 1400. Modern research has suggested that, over that period of time, plague was introduced into Europe multiple times, coming along trade routes in waves from Central Asia as a result of climate fluctuations that affected populations of rodents infested with plague-carrying fleas.

Oriental rat fleaOriental rat flea Xenopsylla cheopisprimary vector for the transmission of the bacterium Yersinia pestis between rats and humans. Towns, where the danger of contagion was greater, were more affected than the countryside, and within the towns the monastic communities provided the highest incidence of victims. Even the great and powerful, who were more capable of flight, were struck down: Canterbury lost two successive archbishops, John de Stratford and Thomas Bradwardine; Petrarch lost not only Laura, who inspired so many of his poems, but also his patron, Giovanni Cardinal Colonna.

Black Death

The papal court at Avignon was reduced by one-fourth. Whole communities and families were sometimes annihilated. A cessation of wars and a sudden slump in trade immediately followed but were only of short duration. A more lasting and serious consequence was the drastic reduction of the amount of land under cultivation, due to the deaths of so many labourers.

This proved to be the ruin of many landowners.

The Social Impact

The shortage of labour compelled them to substitute wages or money rents in place of labour services in an effort to keep their tenants. There was also a general rise in wages for artisans and peasants.

  1. For example, tenant farmers pursued better and better paid work in urban centres, and abandoned their smallholdings.
  2. A wave of violent pogroms ensued, and entire Jewish communities were killed by mobs or burned at the stake en masse.
  3. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine The psychological effects of the Black Death were reflected north of the Alps not in Italy by a preoccupation with death and the afterlife evinced in poetry, sculpture, and painting; the Roman Catholic Church lost some of its monopoly over the salvation of souls as people turned to mysticism and sometimes to excesses.
  4. It has been calculated that one-fourth to one-third of the total population of Europe, or 25 million persons, died… Origin and incidence Having originated in China and Inner Asia, the Black Death decimated the army of the Kipchak khan Janibeg while he was besieging the Genoese trading port of Kaffa now Feodosiya in Crimea 1347. Apprenticeships were shortened, and apprentices themselves recruited from outside the extended family.
  5. Canterbury lost two successive archbishops, John de Stratford and Thomas Bradwardine; Petrarch lost not only Laura, who inspired so many of his poems, but also his patron, Giovanni Cardinal Colonna. Apprenticeships were shortened, and apprentices themselves recruited from outside the extended family.

These changes brought a new fluidity to the hitherto rigid stratification of society. Black DeathPlague victims during the Black Death, 14th century. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine The psychological effects of the Black Death were reflected north of the Alps not in Italy by a preoccupation with death and the afterlife evinced in poetry, sculpture, and painting; the Roman Catholic Church lost some of its monopoly over the salvation of souls as people turned to mysticism and sometimes to excesses.

Consequences Of The Black Death

Anti-Semitism greatly intensified throughout Europe as Jews were blamed for the spread of the Black Death. A wave of violent pogroms ensued, and entire Jewish communities were killed by mobs or burned at the stake en masse.

  1. Members of religious orders and parish clergy and others died suddenly. Apprenticeships were shortened, and apprentices themselves recruited from outside the extended family.
  2. His head was later placed on display upon a pole on London Bridge.
  3. A wave of violent pogroms ensued, and entire Jewish communities were killed by mobs or burned at the stake en masse.
  4. Whole communities and families were sometimes annihilated.
  5. A rough estimate is that 25 million people in Europe died from plague during the Black Death. They were led into the sins of greed and gambling.

The economy of Siena received a decisive check. The population in England in 1400 was perhaps half what it had been 100 years earlier; in that country alone, the Black Death certainly caused the depopulation or total disappearance of about 1,000 villages.

A rough estimate is that 25 million people in Europe died from plague during the Black Death.

The population of western Europe did not again reach its pre-1348 level until the beginning of the 16th century. Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.