This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Changing Women's Roles As A Result Of The Black Plague

1196 words - 5 pages

When Eve took that bite of the Forbidden Fruit, she had no idea what she had gotten women-kind into. Whether or not you believe in the story of creation, the perception of women as corrupting and sinful had shaped women's social roles in Western Society for thousands of years. Augustine was one of the first to write about the wickedness of women, and the acceptance of this doctrine is evident in the Letters of Abelard and Heloise through their disdain toward marriage. Along with mass death of the Black Plague, came an opportunity for women to change the ways in which society viewed them. The great number of deaths in Europe often resulted in the situation where no male heirs remained which led to the legal ability of women to inherit land and property. This new idea teamed with the increase of women's wages due to worker shortages, led to women being able to marry younger men who hadn't yet accumulated the necessities for supporting a family. The idea of true love and companionship in marriage also grew with this trend and is expressed in both The Canterbury Tales and Leon Battista Alberti's On the Family. Women were slowly becoming the equals to males in a relationship which paved the way for gender equality outside of marriage.

The views of women in the Pre-Black Death era were less than flattering. The writings of Augustine were greatly influential in shaping church doctrine and the perception of women during the middle ages. According to Augustine, women were the source of great misery and that lust for women led to the enslavement of men. The acceptance of this perception is expressed in The Letters of Abelard and Heloise by Heloise's initial rejection of their marriage on the grounds that it would damage Abelard's reputation. These views are reflected by the roles that women had in the Pre-Black Death era. Households were strictly patriarchal in which the man of the house made all the important decisions. Women's jobs at the time were mostly relegated to domestic service and occasional work at harvest time. The jobs were always of low pay, low status, and required little training. In addition to this females were not legally permitted to inherit land or property. This was the bleak life of a woman, with little hope or power, and always the subordinate of men.

Along with the sweeping death that came with the Black Plague came subtle changes in the lives of women in Western Europe. With so many left dead, the demand for workers skyrocketed after the plague. This caused the wages of workers to increase drastically and drew many women into the labor force. Another side effect of the plague was that there were less people to purchase goods and services which, according to the law of supply and demand, led to cheaper prices. For instance a tenement in Sussex, England previously rented for 12 pence was rented out for 6 pence. When you combine the wealth gained by higher wages and cheaper goods with the new...

Find Another Essay On Changing Women's Roles as a Result of the Black Plague

Views of Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemmingway on the Changing Women's Roles

783 words - 4 pages How Far From The Kitchen Can A Woman Go? “My dear boy, no woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly. Women represent the triumph of matter over mind, just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals” – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray. What is about women that deem them unequal to males? Is it a woman’s ability to reproduce or because women are casted as more emotional

Women's Changing Roles from 1865 - 1920

2430 words - 10 pages The role women play in our society is an ever-changing one, from mother to lawyer and doctor and everywhere in between. With increasing demands on them to be the one to keep families grounded and together in a turbulent society that thinks none to highly of them or their rights as citizens. I chose to focus on womens changing roles during the time period from 1865 through 1920. The reason I chose this period in history was because this was a

Phillip Morris: Changing Marketing Strategies As a Result of New Governmental Laws and Regulation Regarding Smoking

3050 words - 12 pages non-smoking areas and since then, the other states had taken similar measures. As a result of those new policies, the smoking rate in adults aged 18 years and above had decreased from 42% in 1965 to 20,5% in 2008. These results showed that the new policies did actually have an impact on people, but they also meant that the tobacco companies, such as Philip Morris needed to find the ways to adapt to these changes and the new environment. The

The Black Death: A Plague in Europe

3075 words - 13 pages believed that the Black Death was a kind of divine punishment. They believed it to be retribution for sins against God such as greed, blasphemy, heresy, fornication, and worldliness. Because of this, the people believed that the only way to overcome the plague was to win God's forgiveness. Some people believed that the way to do this was to purge their communities of heretics and other troublemakers. .10 Today, scientists understand that the Black

The Suffering of China as a Result of Economic Growth

1250 words - 5 pages The Suffering of China as a Result of Economic Growth China, as a crucial country in the world, is suffering from a variety of costs of economic growth while the economic growth is incredibly fast in recent years. A division between rich and poor, unemployment, and various external costs, unbalance of payments, unstable exchange rate consumption of non-renewable resources and the risk of inflation and banking collapse have been the

Did the Mayan Civilization Collapse as a Result of Drought?

1073 words - 4 pages millennia. These authors were trying to record climate for a short time period which until recently has been assumed to be unchanging for the last 6000 years. The authors used sediment sequences from two holes drilled in the Cariaco Basin. These sediments were rapidly deposited and were estimated at 30cm per thousand years. They used bulk titanium (Ti) content as a recorder to get an index of the regional hydrologic conditions. High Ti

Medical aspects of the black plague

1039 words - 4 pages gravely ill. They were covered in black boils that oozed blood and pus. They were all accosted by fever, chills, diarrhea and significant pain about their bodies. Before what they called the "death ships" arrived there were rumors about a terrible disease that was making its way through the near and far east. The people were significantly unprepared to what was to come.The Black Plague is defined as "the epidemic form of bubonic plague

14th Century Outbreak of the Black Plague

1293 words - 5 pages n.pag.). Death has always been frightening, but when a country plagues with disease, death becomes a terrible fear, the Plague scared the people of 541, and 542, when their outbreak of the Plague spread. Therefore, while other outbreaks of the Black Plague took place, the fourteenth century outbreak in Europe was certainly the worst. Before the Black Plague, living in Britain was interesting and positive but, was not always pleasant. It was

The Black Plague of Early 1300s Europe

1156 words - 5 pages According to my research, the Black plague, also known as the “black death” was a huge disaster that spread from a town called Caffa into Europe in a small amount of time in the early 1300’s. The plague traveled on trade routes. The disease also passed to Italy, France, England, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and, Poland as well. According to the book; Plague and Fire: Battling Black Death and the 1900 Burning of Honolulu's Chinatown , it also

The Changing Roles of Women

2037 words - 8 pages . The major roles for women included that of "wife" and "mother." Wifehood and motherhood were regarded as women's most significant professions during this period. Maternity and childrearing, the natural biological role of women, was traditionally regarded as their major social role. (Booth 157) For the majority of women during this period their time and efforts centered on the home. Men were the heads of the household and women acted in a

The Black Plague

1449 words - 6 pages Around 1347-1348 the most well-known epidemic struck the European world. The bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death or the Black Plague, rained sickness over millions; for most people, death was the only end to the sickness. The Black Death is known as one of the most depressing occurrences in history. It attacked the three most important aspects of a person’s well-being, their mental, emotional and physical health. While the plague

Similar Essays

Southern Women's Roles And How They Change As A Result Of The Civil War

5793 words - 23 pages Southern Women's Roles and how they Change with the WarBefore the war, many slaveholding women in the South tried to become the women their society had designed for them, which meant to become a lady. Southern ideology emphasized the ideal of the southern lady as gracious, fragile, and respectful to the men she depended on to take care and protect her. She was expected to be literate. Through reading they extended the implications of their

It's About The Increase Of Female Criminals As A Result Of Changing Gender Roles In Society Today

1413 words - 6 pages passive and feminine. From day one, women are taught to conform to such feminine expectations. Although men provide more of a menace to society, women are instructed how to behave. A good woman is to be a wife and a mother. The majority of women accept theses prescribed roles in life, however, there are some that refuse to conform. As women become more liberated in the modern day world, and more involved in full time jobs, the chances of them getting

Changing Women's Roles Essay

1568 words - 6 pages the early 1830s, women, both white and black, started to become more outspoken about the rights they feel are being denied to women and African Americans. Their role in the temperance and abolition movements gave them the needed tools to change women's roles. An African American woman by the name of Maria Stewart, the first African American woman to speak in public, iniated a lecture to her people to convince them to take pride in their race and

Women's Changing Roles: 1950 1960 Essay

3001 words - 12 pages was a significant achiever which showed that women were tired of the sexual roles. Betty Friedan and the members of NOW went to lobby Congress for pro-equality law and assist women seeking legal aid as they debated on the sex discrimination in courts. With the efforts of NOW, women’s participation in public and political was also opened up, even though the intention of the movement was to dismantle the role stereotypes. Nevertheless, Betty