The Black Death

The Black Death was the most deadly disease in recorded history, but along with it came various other phenomena that heavily impacted 14th century Europe.

Most cases show that the black death killed over 300 million – 475 million people, and 60% of European population. The origin of the disease was from Fleas and rats that transmitted the disease to humans by physical contact or biting. 

There were also massive economic effects on Europe. What was left of workers inflated their wages to excessively high amounts. Lower classic peasants had an opportunity to demand higher payment due to their being less workers. This meant that any business or local organizations which required workers to operate were forced to pay their employees very high amounts. This is because when there’s a shortage of workers, what remains of them become very valuable, hence their wages go up. So each employee that worked during the Black Death certainly cashed in. This wage inflation would not last long however, soon the government enforced restrictions and laws on wages and prices. This forced wages to return to how it was in 1346, before the black death happened. The people became angry at not only the price manipulation by the government, but also the heavy taxes put in place that were going toward wars that couldn’t be won. This resentment eventually boiled into the “Great Revolt”.

The Great Revolt was an uproar among the people against the government. In response, King Richard the Second of England, executed 110 protestors and arrested many more using military force.

There was also a large mental impact. Many people had the impression they would die the next day. This caused an excessive amount of people committed to seeking whatever bodily pleasures they could find. Chaos effected even the parts of Europe where the plague didn’t exist. Many however went the opposite way, and sought penance. There were individuals who even beat themselves up in public as penance.

Personally, the black plague is a reminder that during a pandemic, governments will take the opportunity to enforce tyranny. And that large parts of the population will resort to crime due to the fact that many people are not disciplined or morally calibrated in the word of God.

 

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