The Black Death

CENTRAL IDEA: The Plague Treatments and Preventions


The Black Death was a pandemic that afflicted Asia and Europe in the Middle Ages. From 1347 to 1352, numerous communities and towns were marauded due to this terrifying pestilence. This pandemic was the outcome of the plague caused by a bacterium named Yersinia pestis. It originated in China, spreading west rapidly, striking Sicily, North Africa, Italy, Spain, France, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland and Germany all within a few years. In 1348, the Black Death spread to an area in England called Melcombe Regis, which begun the Black Death spreading in southern England. By 1351, the Black Death spread further to the northern parts of England, Scotland, Scandinavia and Baltic Countries. (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2020) Some symptoms of the Black Death included swellings in mainly the armpits, groin and neck (known as plague-boils), coughing up blood, fever, chills, headaches, tissue death in the fingers and toes and buboes - lymph nodes that are tender, sore and swollen due to bacteria. (BBC History Magazine & BBC History Revealed, 2021) (Stöppler & Doerr, 2019) (History.com Editors, 2020) There were many effects that the Black Death caused, both immediate and long-term, and negative and positive. Some of the immediate effects were a trough in trade, production and population across Europe and Asia. Towns were so crowded that they were more soiled than ever before. More than a million people died, London's population dropping from 70,000 to 40,000. Everyone feared dying to the bubonic plague, some even breaking their moral codes in response to the stress. Long term effects included: hundreds of villages left destroyed and abandoned for numerous years, losing land and workers for farming and agriculture, monasteries suffered and churches were abandoned. It took longer than 180 years for specific areas in the world to recover from the Black Death. Despite that, there were some positive outcomes of the Black Death, such as the Feudal System being abolished. (Spratton Hall, N.D.)

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