The Black Plague

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Amy McAuliffe
Ms. Goyette
English IV
5 October 2012
Period 3
The Black Plague
The Black Plague is infamous in European history for being one of the most deadly diseases of all time. It was an epidemic that impacted millions of people in the mid 1300s, a time when the medical world was based more on religion than science. The Black Plague opened a new chapter in human life from its start to the effects it had on communities across the continent. Historians are still puzzled today about the exact origin of this killer infection. Believed to have developed in Asia, the bacteria that caused The Black Plague spread swiftly throughout all of Europe (Byrne). It traveled through trade routes by sea and land as goods were exchanged and people came into contact with surrounding groups. It passed through western Asia, North Africa, southern Europe, and even Russia. Physicians at the time could not come up with any sort of treatment or cure (Byrne). They blamed it on all sorts of things, from breathing foul air to God punishing them for their sins. The doctors did not have any means to research and had never experienced any similar illnesses. The Black Plague was even scarier as people realized how little was known about it.

Even though populations didn’t know much about the origin or the cure of the disease, they knew the symptoms were painful and always fatal. Citizens suffered from huge buboes all over the body, as well has fevers, headaches, and chills (Drotman). Once someone experienced the first couple of symptoms, death quickly followed. The Black Plague wiped out 20 to 30 percent of Europe’s population within the 14th century. “The huge number of deaths caused panic, and many people tried desperate measures to save themselves” (Bryne). Villages would blame their enemies on starting it or poisoning them, which just led to more conflict. Additionally, people would incorporate God and tortured victims on his behalf because they thought God wanted the people...