- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

The Black Death

Essay by   •  May 13, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,182 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,404 Views

Essay Preview: The Black Death

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5

The Black Death also known as the Bubonic Plague was a pandemic that affected the Asia, Western Europe, and Middle East. Over thousands of people endured this painful death causing a decrease in many regions including Europe. This Plague was known as one of the most critical events to happen in Europe's history during the Middle Ages. Social life, politics, and the economy in each region suffered just as much as the people who contracted the disease.

Bubonic Plague was spread by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. It was transmitted by infected rats and fleas. Infected rats and fleas we common in European cities during the Middle Ages. Being that everyone lived closely, the disease spread rapidly. Fleas acted as a parasite rats as well as humans, spreading the disease by trade routes. At that time no one knew the cause of the disease or ways of prevention. Many thought that their superstitious acts such as not sleeping, bathing in human urine, and drinking molten gold or powdered emeralds would help to rid themselves of infection. These, of course, did no good, and no actual cures were known.

The Black Plague had three different forms. The Septicemia affected the blood, the bubonic form affected the lymph nodes, and pneumonic took a toll on the lungs. These forms came with symptoms like bleeding in the lungs, mental disorientation, high fever, delirium, and vomiting. Swelling appeared in the groin, legs, neck as well as armpits and lymph nodes. These swellings change from a reddish color to a very dark purple or black color. Being that the skin would become black during swelling, this gave the disease its name. Once one contracted this disease they usually have a short life span between two and four days.

Being that there were no right way of preventing the contact of the disease, officials had a usually way of handling the infected bodies. Being that these officials as well as other wore no

protection, it made them more vulnerable to contracting the disease. In this time contagiousness was not known and no one knew that germs could be spread by a sneeze or cough of the infected. Many precautions were taken to ensure the disease would not spread anymore. The disease was spread easily by germs and bacteria and people whom were sick were barred from the city. Victims rapidly died and the bodies (at times still alive), were shut up in houses and burned to the ground. Some bodies we thrown in burial pits in large numbers and left there and forgotten. Not to mention some of them was left in the streets to die. The ones not infected took these usually measurements because there was no cure known and no one wanted to be infected by staying in the presence of the ill.

The Black Death caused a drastic decreased in Europe's and China's population. Europe endured a massive decrease of 25 percent of its population while China loss 10 million people between the years of 1300 and 1400. The Plague impacted society and the population in all regions. Fields, harvests, and herds went without being cared for due to the lack of men being able to work due to becoming victims of the disease.

Villages face starvation due to herds not being cared for and food shortages as surrounding villages could no longer provide them with enough food. Men of high power or Lord, who lost their manpower to the disease, turned to sheep farming as this required less people to work on the land. Cities also had shortage of basics such as bread being that grain farming became less popular. The Black Death came with many consequences one being inflation (the price of food went up creating more hardship for the poor).




Download as:   txt (6.9 Kb)   pdf (97.3 Kb)   docx (11.7 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2012, 05). The Black Death. Retrieved 05, 2012, from

"The Black Death" 05 2012. 2012. 05 2012 <>.

"The Black Death.", 05 2012. Web. 05 2012. <>.

"The Black Death." 05, 2012. Accessed 05, 2012.