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The Black Death
Transcript of The Black Death
The Living Conditions
Living in the Medieval time was hard. It was difficult to get access to fresh water and sanitary needs. Peasants were drinking contaminated water on a daily basis. This meant that a common flu could kill them. They didn't wash regularly and the population was growing fast, making suitable houses hard to find. The quality of the air was poor, some house holds used essential oils to purify the air. The houses of the poor had no chimneys so the smoke would spread through the house, making it hard to breath and easier to get sick. They had no running water or bathrooms inside and their clothes were visibly dirty. The rats and fleas had close relationships with humans.
The Pneumonic Plague
The Pneumonic Plague attacked the respiratory system. The person would have excessive coughing and their lungs would bleed. This form of the plague was airborne as people were sneezing and coughing spreading the disease.
It killed 95% of the people that got sick.
The Black Death
The Black Death is a disease that killed 20 million people in the Medieval time. There were three types: The Bubonic, Pneumonic and the Septicaemic Plague. It would cause the victim of the plague to get boils and internal bleeding. The symptoms of the Black Death were boils, high temperatures, intense pain and bloody coughs. It is the worst illness in human history.
The Black Death first appeared in Europe in October 1347. Whole families and villages were wiped out in a matter of days. In five years it killed about 20 million people. It came by boat and trading routes. It killed 1/3 of the population in Europe.
The Bubonic Plague was most common, It killed 2/3 of the people that got ill from it. The victim had egg size swellings on their skin. They continued to get bigger until they popped. The symptoms were black spots, fever, headache and vomiting. The person would most likely die within 5-7 days.
The Bubonic Plague
This form of the plague was the most rare, almost everyone that got it died from it. It poisoned the blood. It was rarely spread from person to person. People developed it from the Bubonic and Pneumonic plague if these types of plague were untreated.
All forms of the plague lead to internal bleeding.
The Spread of the Plague
It is well known that the Black Death spread from Central Asia to Europe through the trading routes. Trading routes like the Silk Road and boats traveling through the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea region. Rivers were the ideal ways for shipments to get inland villages, this spread the disease a lot faster.
What caused the disease?
Rats were the carriers of the bacteria,
, that caused the Black Death. The common flea would land on the rat and bite it. This gave the flea the bacteria. The fleas would travel on shipments,tradesmen and livestock. When they came into contact with humans they bit them. This is how humans got the Plague. The Plague became airborne as people were coughing and sneezing. The Plague spread quickly from place to place, destroying lives and villages in the meantime. The expansion of the Mongolian Empire helped the Plague spread as quickly as it did. As the Mongolian tribes moved around between villages they infected innocent villagers.
Many of the shipments passed through the Black Sea. When the ships docked, most of the crew were dead and the ones still alive were very sick. The ship was ordered out of the bay but the plague had spread into the villages as the infected rats had already left the ship. By 1348, the disease was in Italy, England, Spain and France.
The dead were buried in mass graves. This helped the plague spread, but there were too many people dying so people started to burn the dead. As the cities got bigger the illnesses spread more quickly. People emptied their rubbish and waste into the street. The peasants houses had no glass windows and clay floors with hay on top.
How did people respond to the Black Death?
In the medieval time the church had a HUGE amount of power. They controlled how people lived and influenced their beliefs. The church played a massive role in the development of medicine. They believed that the Plague was a punishments sent from God to punish those who had sinned, and any attempt to help the sick was interfering with Gods will. They believed that if the people prayed enough God would cure them. Over time the churches views changed and the human body was seen as a creation of God so they need to help look after it and the making of medicine and doctors became accepted by the church. Most people were very religious and attended church every Sunday to hear the mass said in Latin. Every village had its own church and priest. The church provided charitable works, education and helped the sick, and each peasant family was required to give the church an annual tithe of their years earnings.
The Church was often relied on for explanations in time of need ( the Black Death). Jews were being murdered as they were blamed for the plague. The church were powerless because of the plague making people rethink their loyalty.
Many christians believed that by donating all their worldly goods to the church they would be saved from the Black Death.
The Black Death caused panic and pain. People tried many strange treatments to try cure themselves. At certain times of the day church bells were rung to drive the Plague out of the village. The uninfected would try to keep inside as much as possible, and when going outside they held a cloth that had been soaked in essential oils to their face to stop them getting the plague. If word got out that you had the Plague you would be walled into your house in hopes for the Plague to die with you.
Some of the cures they used were: religion, aromatherapy, wash the body with urine, smear the body with human waste, eat rotten treacle, rubbing wounds with a live chicken, let leeches suck on your skin, kill Jewish people and eating a spoon of crushed emerald. The healers of the Plague had no effective remedies or medicines. A small portion of those using these remedies recovered. If you had the money you would move to the country and areas that weren't infected with the Plague, but most people couldn't afford this. The demand for alcohol went up dramatically as people used it as a way to get away from their grief, it was also a remedy. Jews, gypsies, witches and foreigners were blamed for the plague even though they were getting sick just as much as the rest of the community. Most of the doctors had little to no training. Animals could also get sick from the plague.
Giovanni Boccaccio, a writer in the black death time said that the victims of the plague “ ate lunch with their friends and dinner with their ancestors in paradise.”
Long term consequences of the
It took a total of 200 years for the population to reach that of which it was before the Plague. The feudal system disappeared because much of the population were dead. There were a lot less peasants to do the day to day jobs. The power of the church was weakened as people lost their faith and couldn't understand why God let this epidemic happen. The Jewish had to leave as it was not safe for them.
There is now a vaccine against the plague.
Short term consequences of the Black Death
The trading routes shut down as no one was buying and able to produce the goods. Farming changed as there were less peasants. There was not enough people to do the jobs needed in everyday life. There were no doctors left to treat the uninfected community as doctors were victims of the plague.There were not enough priests to hear confessions and cemeteries were over crowded. The lack of food caused malnutrition. People graffitied their feelings ( grief, hopelessness, despair ect) on public property in Latin during 1349. There were armed gangs going from village to village, terrorizing the villagers as the was no law enforcing officers to stop them.
Rich homes vs poor homes
The doctors wore this uniform. It was believed to keep evil spirits away.
People dying from the Plague
People receiving medical help from a doctor
Jews being burned alive