The effects that the Black Death had on Europe, and quite possibly the world at this time were devastating and multiple. There were many different impacts in each aspect of life for these Europeans. The impact that the Black Death had on the European economy was severely significant. The price of agricultural produce dropped dramatically, which caused danger in the world of aristocracy because the sign of a man’s wealth was how much land he owned. Also, wages were increased because of the loss of population and the chance of death so high. The European population took a huge toll because of the Black Death. The Black Death took out more than one quarter of Europe’s population and this caused a huge decline in society. The Black Death is known by and called one of the most major diseases in history and most of the reason why is because between 1348 and 1351 more than one million men, women and children died in England. The Black Death inspired a greater piety and religion in Europe gained a lot of attention in this time period. This is because of all the deaths and the rising rate of mortality in Europe. Because the Black Death had no mercy and death comes for everyone, there was a shortage of priests in Europe but since the ordinary men viewed the priests as more holy because of their relationship with God, their faith in the church started to fade. So instead, they began to long for a more personal relationship with God. In conclusion, the Black Death had a radical impact on Europe in many different ways.
What impact did the Black Death have on Europe?
The bubonic plague had a severe impact on Europe, killing over a third of the population in an area that was already weakened by war, famine, a struggling church structure. The plague decimated the workforce. In most places, it took over 100 years for the population to bounce back.
As the plague tore through Europe, entire cities were wiped out. Several groups were blamed for the spread of the plague, most notably the Jews. They had a low mortality rate which was probably due to the better sanitary conditions instructed by their religious laws. This would seem to have had a positive effect, but would later come back to strike them as this seemed to implicate them as having something to do with the plague. Many believed that they had poisoned the water and many Jews were killed for this untruth.
After four years of almost constant death, the plague subsided, but a ravaged population was left behind and the shortage of workers would forever change the way people look at business. The lowest class, the serfs, was most affected by the plague due to unsanitary conditions and close contact with those who were infected. The resulting low population of serfs caused their overseers to change their policy and pay their workers and give them better living conditions. The shortage of workers had given the serfs the upper hand. After several years the lords tried to revert back to their old policies which caused a surf revolt, resulting in the permanent improvement of life for the general population. Sometimes the lords would even rent out their lands to who, in return, would either pay for the land or give the owners part of the crop. This change marked the weakening and eventual demise of feudalism in Europe.
Manufacturing also increased. Turning away from the more risky pursuit of farming to the creation of new products, people created a whole new industry. Metalworking was advanced, and architecture and engineering reached new levels of intricacy.
The Black plague was obviously a disaster, but it would later indirectly cause many social improvements and laid the foundation for modern government.
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, really making an impact in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Figures for the death toll vary widely by area and from source to source as new research and discoveries come to light. It killed an estimated 75 million–200 million people in the 14th century. Because 14th century doctors were at a loss to explain the cause, Europeans turned to astrological forces, earthquakes, and the poisoning of wells by Jews as possible reasons for the plague’s appearance.
The governments of Europe had no obvious response to the crisis because no one knew its cause or how it spread. The ways of infection and transmission of diseases was little understood in the 14th century; many people believed only God’s anger could produce such horrific displays. And that’s why many people turned against the church because they couldn’t understand why God would do that to them. There were many attacks against Jewish communities. In August 1349, the Jewish communities of Mainz and Cologne were exterminated. In February of that same year, the citizens of Strasbourg murdered 2,000 Jews.
While there were families in England that rose in status following the Black Death, there
were undoubtedly those who fell. During the plague, a wealthy family with a large land holding
could be wiped out with a couple of unlucky deaths. With the death of some heirs of a family, a
large portion of the wealth could fall into the hands of the widows. Each heir’s wife would be
entitled to one-third of her husband’s income until she died. Due to the plague, this was
not uncommon, and within a few generations a family would not only lose their fortune, but also be
at risk of the family line disappearing.
The Bubonic Plague, commonly known as Black Death, negatively affected Europe in a number of different ways. The outbreak of Black Death was transmitted to humans from fleas, and considering the poor state that many Europeans were living, bathing, diet, clothing and shelter were not of the highest quality. Black Death was extremely contagious, and that is a leading contribution to why this epidemic resulted in the substantial number of fatalities that it did. Unfortunately, one-third of Europe’s population was swept away due to the Bubonic Plague. Conflict arose amongst Europeans, particularly peoples’ view and support lost towards the Church, leading them to develop their own sense of religion, or new pietism. Although there were negative effects of the Black Death, such as the dramatic fall in population and uprising conflicts between those who survived, there were positive outcomes as well. Following the demise of Black Death, the medical education and knowledge improved. New ideas, the introduction of new methods of medicine and treatment began to be taught in medical schools. The Latin population began to replace some of the European populace, therefore expanding exposure to medical information and thus treating a greater expansion of patients. Aside from a scientific point of view, the economy was significantly affected as well. As the number of people was far less than prior to Black Death, there was a deficit in workers, wages, and productivity. Contrarily, land was more readily available now for those struggling from agricultural farming, so they could take advantage of the land no longer authorized by those who died from the Bubonic Plague. Conclusively, Black Death greatly impacted the status of Europe economically, socially and culturally through both progressive and destructive means.
The Black Death, a cloud of death that loomed over Europe for years, what was the impact of this plague? According to our text book on page 258, cities were overpopulated. This allowed a breeding ground for any illness that hit. With the Black Death being an air borne bacteria and the population leaving so close to each other, the plague was able to spread quickly thinning the population by killing many. This population decrease even affected the rural areas. Farmers and their laborers were decreased by the Plague. This caused the farms to fail and crops died making it harder for farmers to provide for themselves. In response some peasants and land owners tried to take an easy way out by just abandoning their farms instead of fighting to keep them alive. When some of the peasants left without their master wanting them to, the landowners fought for legislation to pass that required the peasants to stay and work for lower wages. Parliament passed a law like this in England. In France, the government passed a law increasing the direct taxes on the peasants. This caused the peasants to revolt against the government causing an uprising. After the plague; however, the demand for different skilled industries increased greatly due to the plague taking out over half the skilled artisans in the cities. This opened up work for skilled artisans encouraging rural farmers to move to the cities to learn the skilled trade allowing them to build their families back up from what they were when the plague hit.
Between the years of 1000 and 1300 Europes population doubled, which meant there was more people than there was food or jobs. The average life span of a European at this time was 35 years and during this time people would starve before the end of their 35 years. In 1348 European people were suffering due to overpopulation, economic depression, famine, bad health, and unsanitary living environments which lead to the bubonic plague. The plague attacked it’s victims by reaching the lungs which immediately made it extremely contagious because people would cough, sneeze and wheezing on others. There have been many blames to the cause of the plague but it was rats that bore on ships that traveled from Asia into Europe. Consequences of the plague were great, whole villages were lost, families were falling apart and people were just dropping dead. Due to the rapid depopulation, labor supply shrunk and value of land and property declined drastically. Peasants were ordered to stay on their masters land and wages and cost were dropped to pre plague levels. This is something that help the cities rebound. After the plague, the laws broke through beyond the cities which made the landlords and nobles integrate into urban life.