Winners and Losers of the Plague Years: Theme Paper

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Theme Paper
Who were the “winners” and “losers” in the plague years (other than the immediate survivors and victims’)?

The Black Plague is a massive epidemic that grew to become so large, so fast that it disrupted society across the globe. It was a horrific experience for most of humanity at the time. In certain cities in the Middle East the plague averaged 2,400 deaths a day (Armesto, Pg.351). The plague affected mostly everyone either if it was indirectly or directly. The “losers” of the plague consisted of the countries of the Middle East, Europe, China, and the countries surrounding the Mediterranean. The plague spread so rapidly between all the countries that there was basically no escape. The climate did not help those countries either because it limited trade for them but it also meant they were trapped. The countries that could not trade with them benefitted because the plague did not reach them. One big deal that was involved with the plague was the Church. In the 14th century the Church had the highest authority and people looked to their faith to find answers for the causes of this tragedy. They would attend church and prayed in hopes of ridding themselves from sin, which most believed to be the cause of the plague. The church had been incapable in stopping the death count and because of the close encounters with people that had been infecting others during processions; the death count would amplify rather than halt. The people’s faith and the authority of the church would diminish through the rest of the century. The so called “winners” of the Plague was Japan, India, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these regions were isolated and out of reach from the other regions that had the plague so they never came in contact with it. Some of the reasons to why they survived the plague are unknown but it was mostly because the trade routes did not intersect with those countries that carried the Plague (Armesto, Pg. 369)....
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