top-rated free essay

Dbq- the Bubonic Plague

By YellowFuzzyBunny Oct 20, 2012 987 Words
14Th Century Europe was a period of chaos and turmoil. The Great Famine of 1315-1317 produced the worst famine in the Middle Ages that killed millions of people all over Europe. The onset of the Bubonic Plague (“Black Death”) only made things worse. The Black Death swept throughout Europe and killed as much as two fifths of the already diminished European population. The Black Death effected Europe politically, socially, and economically. Europeans responded to the Black Death differently. We got to see what Europeans did, thought, and how the Black Death affected Europe socially through physicians, firsthand accounts, and written reports. Physicians throughout Europe wrote what they thought and what other people did during the Black Death. Johann Weyer, a German physician, wrote, in his book The Deception of Demons, that children would pay people to give their parents the Plague “in order to obtain their inheritances more quickly.” People at the time didn’t know the Black Death was being spread by the fleas on the rats, so they believed in false cures and false causes. For example, some people thought God was punishing them for being sinful. Giovanni Filippo, a Sicilian physician, thought pest houses were needed to quarantine the infected, people who violate health regulations should be executed in order to frighten others, and that bonfires were needed to eliminate the infected. In his The Reform of Medicine, H. de Rochas, a French physician, saw many plague-stricken patients hang toads around their necks because they thought the Plague and its “venom” would be drawn out of them and into the toad. M. Bertrand, a physician from Marseilles, France, thought that the plague was caused by an angry God over a sinful and offending people. However, one must take into account the biases, or point of views, of: Weyer, Bertrand, Rochas, and even M. Bertrand because, physicians at the time of the Plague had no idea what was causing the Plague, or how it could be cured.

Through letters, books, and diaries we can gather insight on peoples’ thoughts, and beliefs during the Bubonic Plague. Desiderius Erasmus, who is also known as The Prince of Humanism, wrote a letter which explained the cause of the Plague in England. He wrote that “The plague and sickness in England is due to the filth in the streets, the sputum, and the dogs’ urine clogging the rushes on the floors of the houses.” The Black Death also created social and economical problems in Europe. In Nicolas Versoris’ Book of Reason, he wrote that the rich fled, which created a smaller workforce in Paris. People in Europe lost their faith, and hope throughout Europe. In her diary, Nehemiah Wallington, an English Puritan, expressed her fear, and her loss of hope and her faith. She thought of what would happen if the plague were to enter her house, which one of her family members would become infected with the plague, and then she thought about when she, herself, would become infected with the plague. Not only were children greedy but so were nurses. Miguel Parets, a Barcelona tanner, wrote in his diary, “Many times all they did was to make the patients die more quickly, because the sooner they died the sooner the nurses collected the fees the fees they had agreed on.” Samuel Pepys, and English naval bureaucrat, wrote in his Diary that people wouldn’t buy wigs anymore because they thought the hair had been cut off the heads of people that had died of the plague. People wore wigs to show off their wealth and power during this era. The Black Death discouraged many people from traveling, but it didn’t discourage everybody. Although the plague was violent in Rome, John Reresby, an English traveler, “resolved to trust to Providence rather than not to see so fine a place.”

In written reports from people of different social classes throughout Europe, people wrote about how the Black Death affected Europe socially. Isolation was a common practice during the spread of the Bubonic Plague. People isolated themselves so that they don’t become infected or so that they won’t infect anybody else. A schoolmaster from the Netherlands wrote in a letter that the plague “killed twenty of the boys, drove many others away and doubtless kept some others from coming to us at all.” Count of the Palatinate and a traveler to Russia, Heinrich von Staden wrote that houses were immediately nailed up if the person from within became infected with the plague. Many died of either hunger, or of the plague within their own houses. Roads and highways became guarded so that a person couldn’t pass from one place to another. Daniel Defoe, an English writer, wrote in his Journal of the Plague Year that foreign exportation stopped and so did the trade in manufactured goods because the trading nations were afraid of getting the Black Death. In a legal deposition, an Italian housewife name Isabetta Centenni stated that when Sister Angelica del Macchia gave her husband Ottavio, who had a malignant fever, a piece of bread, which touched the body of St. Domenica, his fever suddenly broke. In a letter from Father Dragoni to the Health Magistracy of Florence, Father Dragoni, who is a priest, wrote,” I have accompanied severity with compassion and charity. I have managed and fed the convalescents and servants of two pest houses I have paid guards and gravediggers with the alms your lordships have sent me.

The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, which peaked in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Through the eyes of physicians, firsthand accounts, and written reports we got to see what Europeans did, thought, and how the Black Death affected Europe socially. The ending of the Bubonic Plague, one of the biggest epidemics in human history, was also the start of one of the biggest cultural movements in human history, the Renaissance.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Bubonic Plague

    ...PLAGUE DBQ In the 1300’s, a disease known as the Bubonic plague tore through parts of Asia North Africa, and Europe. This plague- commonly known as the “black death”- originated in Asia, and used the trade routes to travel to other cities, allowing the plague to strike  many major cities. The plague took away lives of around 25 millio...

    Read More
  • The Bubonic Plague

    ...Jordan Malone Accelerated English II 3 May 2013 The Black Death As a pandemic that was able to spread from country to country and kill millions in the process, the Black Death, also known as the Bubonic Plague, was able to leave a mark on almost all of the Eastern hemisphere. Additionally and ironically, the impact the Black Death had on m...

    Read More
  • Bubonic Plague

    ...I. Thesis Statement: The symptoms of the bubonic plague spread rapidly causing outbreaks and identifying the need for modern science to deal with epidemics. II. Topic Sentence: The bubonic plague or otherwise known as the black plague spread extremely fast and there were many symptoms of the disease. A. There are many initial symptoms and sy...

    Read More
  • Bubonic Plague

    ...http://ponderosa-pine.uoregon.edu/students/Janis/menu.html Abstract Bubonic plague has had a major impact on the history of the world. Caused by the bacterium, Yersinia pestis, and transmitted by fleas often found on rats, bubonic plague has killed over 50 million people over the centuries. Burrowing rodent populations across the world keep t...

    Read More
  • The Plague DBQ

    ...6 The Plague DBQ 1995 Beginning in the mid-fourteenth century, a plague swept the world like no other. It struck in a series of waves that continued into the eighteenth century. The first wave was estimated to have killed twenty-five million people, about a third of the Western Europe population at that time. Throughout the different outbre...

    Read More
  • Bubonic Plague

    ...horrific disease. Approximately one-third of the population of Europe died of a deadly disease known as the bubonic plague. Europe was not alone in this catastrophe; portions of Northern Africa and Asia were also affected. The extent of the devastation caused by the bubonic plague can be explained by examining the culture of the 1300s. The popul...

    Read More
  • Bubonic Plague

    ...When Bubonic Plague visited England in 1348, it was called the Great Mortality. We know it as the Black Death that lasted until 1352 and killed vast populations in Asia , North Africa , Europe , Iceland , and Greenland . In total, it extinguished as much as fifty percent of the world's population. In England , bubonic plague on average k...

    Read More
  • Societal Benefits of the Bubonic Plague

    ...world upside-down, the black death helped pave way for the new" (Giblin 44). There were many names for the Black Death including The Great Pestilence, The Great Plague, The Great Mortality, The Death, and The Black Plague. Genoan ships are thought to have brought the disease from Kaffa (Dunn 26). The bacteria first infected the black rats and tr...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.