Plague Dbq

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The Black Death

In the 14th century a new disease knows as the plaque or “Black Death” swept through Europe in many reoccurring waves. It is speculated that the first wave killed 25 million people—or one third of the population, and yet the following waves were not as brutal, there was no mistake that damage was done. During this time “the dark era” chaos and terror struck the European nations sending people into various directions. Fear, religion/beliefs, and greed overtook these European nations and various responses emerged from the outbreaks. Once the plaque’s true deadliness was evident people reacted to the plague with mass fear. Due to the chaos, in most towns and village’s anarchy broke loose and leadership was spread thin. As French author Nicolas Versoris explains “the rich fled” (Doc 3) while those in poverty were left to die, a rift was created between the rich and poor creating fear within class divisions. Nicolas Versoris, being a respected author may have easily been on of the wealthy nobles, which fled from the early signs of the plague. Those who were poor and infected had no choice but to stay put and wait on their death, the option to escape this horrid disease was only given to those privileged and wealthy. “Whatever house the pestilence visited was immediately nailed up, and if a person died within, he had to be buried there. Many died of hunger in their own houses. Throughout the country, all the roads and highways were guarded so that a person could not pass from one place to another.” (Doc 5) This observation was made by Heinrich von Staden who was probably a wealthy traveler whom encountered several of these isolated homes in which the infected were quarantined. Not only did the plague effect those directly infected by the disease, the plague also halted trade for the United Kingdom as a whole. “The trading nations of Europe were all afraid of us; no port of France, or Holland, or Spain, or Italy would admit our ships. Foreign...
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