The Black Death Changing History Essay

1465 words - 6 pages

The Black Death Changing History
Throughout the course of history, historians have separated the years from around 800-1500, and tagged those seven centuries as The Medieval Era. During this time period, a plethora of events occurred with a fair share of highs and lows. One of the famous events of the Medieval Era was the Black Death which killed many of Europe’s civilization. However, shortly following this era, with the passing of the Black Death, was a time of change and reconstruction, known as The Age Reformation which ultimately changed ‘modern’ western civilization.
The Medieval Ages began with an era of crusades in which western Latin Christians attempted to retake ...view middle of the document...

The plague originated within the flea, rat, and mosquito population in China and Mongolia before spreading to the rest of Europe throughout the trading routes. Once diagnosed with this epidemic, one typically would only have three days to live. Lymph nodes and glands would begin to swell and turn black in color, which gave the plague its name, before eventually bursting, causing death soon thereafter. By 1440, within a matter of two years, over one-third of Europe’s population had been killed due to The Black Death.
The impact The Black Death had on western civilization was tremendous. In the midst of this tragedy and the death of millions, not only were there evident disadvantages, but many surprising advantages were present, as well. Some of the evident disadvantages with this huge mortality rate were an increase in labor shortages. Due to these shortages, those who survived demanded higher wages for their work, nobles asked for high prices of their goods, and the clergy excessively fined the people for their services. These disadvantages took a huge toll on England; the king, in his letters to the people, realized he had no other choice than to demand for reasonable wages and prices and punish those who did not follow his orders. Despite the recession, there also came a great deal of advantages medically, technologically, artistically, and in literature. Medically, people were curious about The Black Death and they began to ask questions. To solve their curiosity, people performed autopsies and recorded their data, which contributed to more accurate research and description of human anatomy. Along with this, technology was increasing at a rapid pace, as well. In Toledo, irrigation systems were being developed and installed, and plumbing was invented, which signified their understanding of the importance of hygiene. Also, the printing press was being introduced to the world, which led to higher education and higher literacy rates. Along with the medical and technological advancements, arts and literature were influenced as well. Artists began to draw and paint terrifying images of the horrors of the Black Death. In their images, they would portray the grief, distress, and pain the victims were facing. Not only was the art of this period influenced, but literature was influenced, too. Authors, such as, Boccaccio, author of Decameron, based their books on accounts and stories of the Black Death. Another one of the most famous books throughout all of history is Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, which was written about a pilgrimage taken to escape the Black Death. Although there were many evident disadvantages, many advantages medically, technologically, artistically, and in literature came about due to the Black Death. During the Medieval Era, the Black Death had tremendous impacts, negatively and positively, on western civilization.
With the termination of the Black Death came the end of the Medieval Era....

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