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The Effects of the Black Death
Transcript of The Effects of the Black Death
The Effects of
Scientists today still cannot find an accurate number for the deaths caused by the plague.
Still, in just five years (1349-1352), about 20 million people perished due to the plague (Richard). That's equal to one third of Europe's population at the time!
Alone in the 14th century, at least 75 million people perished due to the Black Death.
One of the most prominent effects on economy was the increase of wages for workers, who toiled for their lords.
• As the population of workers decreased due to the plague, work became more challenging for the remainder of the population. Therefore, higher wages were demanded.
• Laws started being passed in an effort to neutralize the complaints of the workers. These laws, however, were limitations and rules that did not benefit the workers in any way.
• Soon enough, the lords began to agree to raise the wages of workers. The jobs for the peasants also changed from farming to raising animals such as sheep. The demand for meat and hides grew, and so the income of workers grew.
• As workers earned more money, they eventually became able to move away from their lords and buy land.
• As mentioned before, the gap between the lords and peasants began to close due to the Black Plague. The system they used was called feudalism. The plague ended this system once and for all in Europe.
People looked to the church during the plague, but there were no answers. Therefore, they began to think that God had turned his back on them and drifted away from the Church.
Some remained faithful; they thought the plague was punishment from God for their sins. People began to perform "extreme acts of penance" (Pena), such as whipping themselves in public.
An artist's portrayal of "flagellants" - people who whipped themselves to prove their faithfulness.
The plague also inspired authors to write and publish their own depictions of the world around them. These literary works have greatly contributed to the knowledge we know today of the Black Death.
Prior to and during the plague, people relied on astronomy and superstition for cures for sicknesses.
After the plague, doctors and people of other medical fields grew in importance. Also, education in medicine and medical procedures became more emphasized.
by Jason Wan
In this drawing, a lord watches helplessly as the peasants die at his feet.
The nobles weren't as lucky - the price of food and other necessities rose, while the price of land fell. Combined with the extra money being given to peasants, lords began to struggle with their money and power.
Jones, Jim. "Henry Knighton, The Impact of the Black Death." Henry Knighton, The Impact of the Black Death. N.p., n.d. Web. Spring 2014.
Richard, Katherine S. "The Horrifying Global Impact of the Black Death." About.com Geography. About.com, n.d. Web. Spring 2014.
Pena, Shanna. "The Profound Effects of the Black Death on European Society." Yahoo Contributor Network. N.p., 15 Apr. 2010. Web. Spring 2014.
The Economic Impact of the Black Death of 1347-1352. New York: Council for Economic Education, n.d. PDF.
Flagellants. Digital image. SuperStock. SuperStock Sales and Research, n.d. Web.
Peasants die of the plague in front of their lord. Digital image. End of Feudalism. N.p., n.d. Web.
The Black Death had a devastating effect on the population of Europe, killing off numbers that still cannot be calculated today. The lives of the remaining people were changed forever, and so was the whole of Europe itself. Still, in its long destructive path, the plague set the stage for new innovation in society and economy that would create lasting changes in Europe.