What was the Black Death and what made it the worse pandemic in human history?
- ?Lv 56 months ago
The Black Death was a strain of Bubonic Plague that came from the East and made it's way to Europe in 1347 it arrived in England in 1349 it came here carried on a boat probably by Black rats, or more precisely fleas that lived on the Rats and would bite humans. It spread with alarming speed. The armpits and groin would produce large agonising swellings or buboes and the victim would start coughing blood, before dying a horrible death.
In fact 'Yersinia pestis' was probably 3 different types of 'Pestilence' as it was known at the time. Bubonic plague, Pneumonic plague and septicaemic Plague.
In 1302/5 there were a number of years known as the years without a summer. The crops failed and people nearly starved. The population in England (Perhaps 4million there are no accurate figures) from that point onwards were living near to starvation, although things improved slightly and progressively got better you had a population that at the time the Black Death struck was malnourished in the extreme.
This only made the death rate worse.
It has been estimated that between a third and a half of the population died. There were in many cases, not enough living to bury the dead. In a burial ground purchased through the piety of Sir Walter Manny for the citizens of London. More than 50,000 bodies were said to be interred. That was one site there were many in London. An estimated 60,000 died in Norwich (then a major centre for wool). More than one half of the priests in Yorkshire are known to have died.
The 'Pestilence' had a devastating effect on society. The country was torn with riot and disorder. The first Plague was followed by others milder each time 1361, 1369/71 and more until 1`7th Century, but no less disjointing to society.
Landowners and wealthy craftsmen were threatened with ruin by what seemed the extravagant demands of the labouring poor for higher wages. Wandering 'landless men' were for the first time masters of the labour market.The old feudalism and with it Serfdom had nearly died out before the black death struck.
The Black death killed it off completely.
More and more men (and it was mainly men) had started to become copyholders. This meant they had a lease to work farm land and make a profit from it. Freeholders owned the land they worked, copyholders borrowed it for a set period from a landlord. The whole of this system suddenly galloped forward.
Because there was a shortage of Labourers they could demand higher wages earn enough to live and to save. Marginal farm land was left for grazing only, the best land was used for crops.
Because there were less mouths to feed the health of the nation improved. But the amount of wealth in the land stayed nearly the same, it was divided amongst less people. Many widows of farmers, hence landowners, found they were suddenly courted by minor nobles or better class traders.
Strict divisions that had existed between the classes were suddenly blurred, they didn't disappear but they were less formal. As time progressed Labourers who had their wits about them became copyholders and freeholders, copyholders became freeholders, and generally people were better off and better fed in the late 14th Century than they would be again until the 18th Century.
The Background to all this was the Hundred Years war which had started in 1337 and would last until 1444. Chaucer was to write the Canterbury tales sometime after the peasants revolt, and Wycliffe did the first translation of the Bible into English.
One result of the Black death was the Peasants revolt in June 1381. When Wat Tyler and John Ball led a revolt against a new tax, but this was put down.
People were already financially better off, and the most savvy, were able to better themselves because they could save something over and above their earnings.
In the end due to the Black Death and the following plagues of 1361, 1369/71, the English people were financially better off. But at a terrible cost in life.
- Elaine MLv 76 months ago
I bet wikipedia still works. You ARE on the internet and can do your own research for school.
- Anonymous6 months ago
Use your computer and web browser to find out the full answer...instead of an opinion or quick blurb or wrong information.
- ?Lv 76 months ago
The Black Death also known as the Plague is a disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, Iinfection most commonly results in bubonic plague (the most common type) but can cause septicaemic (the deadlyist) or pneumonic plagues (the most contagious). Untreated the death rate is between 30% and 90%. And at the time of the Black Death there was no treatment.
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- MarliLv 76 months ago
Why not use a web browser like Google to find out?