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Social And Economic Effects Of The Black Plague

1724 words - 7 pages

The Black Plague or the Black Death was the name associated to the three-type disease that nearly wiped out an entire civilization. The roots of the Black plague have been traced back to a bacterium called Yersina pestis. named by a French biologist Alexandre Yersin. The disease travels from person to person through the lungs, through the air, or through the bite of infected fleas and rats. There were three different versions of the plague, which included the Bubonic plague, pneumonic plague, and the septicemic plague. Each of these infected the host and weakened the entire body eventually leading to death.
The Plague was thought to have originated from various areas including Central Asia, Kurdistan, Western Asia, Northern India and Uganda. The infection had thought to have been brought over through black rats and traveled along numerous trade routes leading to Europe. These trade routes included Asia, Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon and London in the middle of 1348. It infected every trade route in a course of 8 years eventually reaching Crimea.
Europe in 1348 was already overpopulated and filled with economic problems, they were weakened by wars, harvest failures, famine, and other epidemics. Global temperatures dropped slightly, decreasing agricultural production and causing food shortages, hunger, malnutrition, and weakened immune systems. Humans were more susceptible to disease due to their weakened environment. It was only a matter of time for an epidemic like the plague to surface.
Today doctors can treat this disease with minimal efforts, however, during the 14th century very few weren’t sure on how this disease actually spread and therefore didn’t know how to treat it. Physicians used to practice crude and unorthodox techniques such as bloodletting and boil lancing. While boil lancing simply involved the draining of a boil, Bloddletting was an olden method involved in the withdrawal of small quantities of blood from the body. This was an attempt to cure the body of illness.
These practices were not only unsanitary but they were also dangerous. Since they barely understood the biology of the disease, many people believed that the Black Death was a kind of divine punishment from God himself. Many believed that it was the last triumph of evil before the last judgment from Christ. People would try to beg for Gods forgiveness by killing fellow man that have sinned. This was due to churches having unquestionable authority over the population. This even cased Devout Catholics to whip them while crying out for God’s mercy.
Symtpoms of the plague depend on the type of infection, for instance the bubonic plague was the most common form and included symptoms such as fever, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Physical traits would also appear like Swelling, dark rashes near the groin, legs, armpits, and neck. The pneumonic plague, which affected the lungs, spread through the air by coughs and sneezes. The most severe form of the plague was the...

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