The Black Plague
The widespread pandemic known as The Black Plague was one of the worst economic and social devastations in history. In 1346, more than 15 million people fell victim to the disease. The plague started in China and spread throughout Asia, Persia, Syria, Egypt, India and reached Europe; ships holding the disease carried it in furs, textiles, and rats. All of India was rumored to have been depopulated. This is one of the most impressionable of hardships because it affected religion, economics, and later, art. To begin with, religion was drastically altered during the time of The Black Death. When loved ones started dropping like flies, people turned to the Holy Mother of God and the church for help, only to be denied assistance. They believed that all curses and diseases were sent from God; they thought that they were being punished for the heinous sins they committed, such as gambling, prostitution, and theft. This is where the Flagellants come into play. The Flagellants were a group of mostly men who tried to reenact Christ’s Passion to avoid God’s wrath. Although they wanted to save humanity from its sins, and make the plague sent by Christ in punishment for its impiety go away, by their acts of contrition, the flagellants were often the involuntary propagators of it. Next, The Plague affected the economy as well. After so many people had perished, there seemed to be plentiful amounts of everything. The serfs and peasants could now own land and luxury crops, which means instead of farming only wheat and grain, they could grow fresh fruits and vegetables, and even meat. It can be seen that after the death of so many people a vacuum was created enabling laborers to negotiate better terms for prices, rents and wages. The upper class would fight back and make laws to restrict the power of the working class and limit their ability for negotiation and price gouging, but it was never completely effective. Furthermore, after The...
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