The Black Plague, one of the most devastating out breaks in history, is an historical event brought about with a great depression throughout Europe. This plague brought out the worst in mankind during the time the plague ran its course. How do people behave, when there environment becomes life threatening? (Herlihy, 18). The Black Death accounted for nearly one third of the deaths in Europe. Due to the death of many people there were severe shortages in labors, during these dreadful times. There were riots throughout Europe, and the great mortality brought on by the plague ripped society apart. Individuals were fearful searching for explanation, but in the end the plague gave rise to the survivors such as high wages and available land that resulted from decreased population. There was now advancement opportunities that weakened social distinction. This disaster was a new beginning for some and the end for many. The effects of the Black Plague had long-term effects because it gave birth to the Renaissance and destroyed the Middle Ages.
The disease was so contagious and fatal that sick people allegedly passed on the infection by their glance alone (Herlihy, 27), people that were not sick started to seclude themselves. The Washington Post states, it was a terrible way to die. The article then states:
“The people of Europe physiques were distorted and pain that was unbearable raced through their body, screams sounded out in the streets of Europe as they cried while they died. Through previous and subsequent epidemics moved relatively slowly, this one marched from place to place with such speed that several medieval medical authorities were convinced the disease was spread via glance. As one wrote: Instantaneous death occurs when the aerial spirit escaping from the eyes of the sick man strikes the healthy person standing near and looking at the sick,” (http://www.washingtonpost.com). According to Boccaccio, fathers and
Cited: Boccaccio, Giovanni. "Medieval Sourcebook: Boccaccio: The Decameron - Introduction." Internet History Sourcebooks Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2013. Herlihy, David. "The Black Death and the Transformation of the West." The Black Death and the Transformation of the West. John Rocco Roberto, 2005. Web. 01 Feb. 2013. Late Middle Ages. Ed. Unknown. 2005. Boise University. 02 Feb. 2013 <www.boisestate.edu/courses/latemiddleages>. Lerner, Robert E. "The Black Death and Western Europe Eschatological Mentalities." JSTOR. American Historical Association, n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2013. Yardley, Jonathan. "The Great Mortality." Washington Post 2005. Academic Search Prremier. EBSCO. Chicago Public Library. 01 Feb. 2013 <http://www.washingtonpost.com>.