Sunday, May 26, 2019
Black Death Cause and Effect Essay
The Bubonic offense or the total darkness demise has been in the history books since the chivalrous times. This deadly distemper has claimed nearly 1. 5 million lives in europium (Gottfried). The Black cobblers last hit Europe in October of 1347 and quickly bypass through with(predicate) most of Europe by the end of 1349 and continued on to Scandinavia and Russia in the 1350s. Not only did the plague effect the European population by kill champion-third to two-thirds (Gottfried), it in like manner hurt the social and economic structures of e actu each(prenominal)y European society. How it spreadThe Black stopping point actually first appeared in the Himalayan expanse around 1250 AD. There are several theories as to how the disease made its way to Europe. One theory is that since the plague is transmitted from a bite of a flea, that fleas that lived on marmots that were indigenous to the region were the original transporters (Clay,1). The first recorded appearance of the plague in Europe was at Messina, Sicily in October of 1347. It was believed to have arrived on profession ships that came from the Black Sea, past Constantinople and through the Mediterranean (Gottfried).This r break throughe was used to bring import items such as silks and porcelain, which were carried over territory to the Black Sea from as faraway away as China (Gottfried). No hotshot know the exact point of origin of the Black Death that what most scholars will comply with is that the disease reach Europe by rodents. The reason given was due to the climatic shifts in the area which caused a shortage of food. The disease ridden rodents migration put them in contact with human populations, thus, putting humans in contact with the disease carrying fleas. So many community were impacted because most people lived in very crammed and tight spaces.This also made waste disposal an issue, which caused people to just tip their waste out the window of their home, bringing the rats. Because everyone was so close, the fleas could easily pollute hundreds of people in one day, so no one was safe (Gottfried). The people that did manage to escape death was due to the fact that their immune governances being able to withstand the plague (Gottfried). Types of Plague What killed so many wasnt due to just one type of plague going around The disease that devastated Europe was caused by three different types of plague bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic.All three are bacterial infections caused by Yersinia pestis (Gottfried). The most common form was the bubonic plague. Fleas that lived on the plague-infected rats spread the bubonic plague (Gottfried). After 6 days people who were infected with this strain would develop flu-like symptoms and blood pressure drops, fondnessbeats faster, and a sudden febrility erupts, accompanied by chills, weakness, and headache. Next, a black pus filled bump surrounded by an inflamed red ring shows up at the range that was bitten (Got tfried). The lymph node would begin to swell with pus.When the enlarged lymph nodes would burst they would also emit dark colored blood and pus. This is how the name Black Death came to be coined (Vunguyen). A second type of plague was that of pneumonic. This plague could spread with a sneeze and could quickly jump from person to person and though it was less common than the bubonic form, but more deadly. This form was contracted through breathing in a mutated, airborne strain of the bacteria. The infected person would experience fluid twist up in the lungs. This very unfortunate circumstance would, in turn, cause suffocation of the infected individual.This particular form of the bacteria would cause death at bottom a short time span, usually two or three days (Boeckl). The third type of plague was speticemic plague. Though it was the least common out of the three, it was the deadliest. Septicemic plague was carried in the blood and was contracted only through blood-to-blood conta ct. The person infected with this type would develop a high fever but they would not develop many outward symptoms that they had contracted the plague. The individuals who were infected with this final strain of the bacterium were usually dead within 24 hours.Almost all who contracted either the pneumonic or septicemic plague died from the infection (Boeckl). Causes of the Black Death The causes of the Black Death the flea, the rat, and the bacillus Yersinia pestis have been labeled the profane trinity (Boeckl). The flea is able to live in environmental conditions of about 74 Fahrenheit and 60% humidity (Ibid). Before the Black Death reached Europe, they were experiencing those same types of abide conditions. The rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis and the human flea, Pulex irritans, are both capable of transmitting plague (Boeckl).Sometimes, an infected flea cannot ingest blood because Yersinia pestis obstructs its digestive tract. The blockage causes a flea to pat into a bitten host rather than ingest the hosts blood, thereby infecting the host with plague (Boeckl). Unable to eat, the famished flea will bite with more frequency, accelerating the spread of plague. A flea can be carrying Yersinia pestis without it blocking the fleas digestive tract, in which case the flea does not transmit plague when it bites a host. Also, Yersinia pestis can only ship a victim through a bite, as the bacilli cannot pass through intact skin (Gottfried).Social Changes The disease took a major toll on the population of Europe but as it wiped out communities it also caused changes in the social structure of European society. Europe was run by a feudalistic system (Vunguyen). As death took its toll, people started to question the way of life. When the Black Death swept over Europe and wiped out a third of its population, it also dismantled Feudalism. The feudal system was structured like a pyramid with the King being at the top and having complete control. The King owned everything he had the power to decide who he would lease the land to.If he did allow a citizen to lease part of his land, before doing so they had to swear to an oath of trueness (Vunguyen). People who did rent the Kings land were called Baron/Baronesses (Vunguyen). The leased land was called a manor, and the Barons were a good deal called the Lord of the Manor (Vunguyen). They were allowed to establish their own system of justice, mint their own money and set their own taxes. The Barons had to serve on the royal council, pay rent and provide the King with Knights for military service when he demanded it in return for the land they had been given (Vunguyen).When the King and his court travelled around the country, the Barons also had to provide lodging and food. The Barons kept as often of their land as they desired, then divided the rest among their Knights (Vunguyen). Knights were given land by the Baron in return for military service when demanded, and to protect the manor. The Knights kept as much of the land as they wished for their own person-to-person use, and distributed the rest of it to serfs although they werent as rich as the Barons, Knights were quite richesy (). Serfs were given land by Knights in exchange for free labor, food and services whenever it was desired.They had no rights and werent allowed to leave the Manor. They had to ask their Lords permission before they could marry, and were often handle and poor (). The serfs or peasants were a key group in the population so when they started to die off, everything went downhill. The serfs served everyone on the pyramid and now Barons were willing to pay high wages and offer extra benefits (Vunguyen). All their life they had lived off the serfs hard cogitation, and were willing to pay them to stay on the manor to continue slaving for them. When the serfs died, the foundation on which feudalism relied upon was broken.The pyramid of power broke, and everything was a mess. Serfs left(p) to find hig h wages due to the labor shortages. The land that had usually been the primary source of wealth was now worthless (Vunguyen). Entire estates were deserted as families fell to the plague and died, or fled in a vain attempt to escape its fury, were there for the victorious (Vunguyen). As Europe evolved away from relying on land as the main source of prosperity, a rising middle- crystalize claimed more and more wealth and prestige, as the once-noble began to quickly lose both (Vunguyen). The end of Feudalism had started and progressed each day as the plague claimed more lives.As the days went on people wondered, if they necessitate to change the way they lived or worshipped God. Many found that if they continued to live and worship as they had for centuries, the plague was not being pacified (Clay). This caused many people to abandon the way of life that they were accustomed to and chose a life that contrasted with social norms. A large group of people, desperate to point their finge rs at someone, alleged and criminate many different groups which included witches, lepers and Jews (Clay). In central Europe, the flagellants convincingly charged the Jews.On a tragic day in Strasbourg alone, over 8,000 Jews were killed for being the point of vain suspicions (). This quote shows just how the mind of Europeans changed Many were uncertain about the cause of this great mortality. In some places, they believed that the Jews had poisoned the worlds, and so they killed them. In some other areas, that it was a deformity of the poor, so they chased them out in others, that it was the nobles, and so they the nobles hesitated to go out into the world. Finally, it reached the point where guards were posted in cities and towns, and they permitted no one to enter, unless he was well known.And if they found anyone with powders or unguents, they made him swallow them, fearing that these might be poisons (Clay, 2-3). Someone who survived the plague wrote Everyone appeared to be rich because they had survived and regained measure in life. Now, no one knows how to put their life back in order(Clay, 3). No one knew how to put their life back together after the plague hit. When all the crazy house died down and order was restored, the society was much different than what it once was. The disease did not discriminate it killed people from all different social classes.The peasants now see that everyone was made up of the same flesh, even though who once ruled over them. This epiphany led the serfs see the inequality of the system and they saw it as foul and unjust (Clay, 3). Because of all the affliction and misery there was much lawbreaking and because most of the law enforcers had also been hit by the plague there was not much that was done about it (Clay, 3). This quote shows just how their mentality was changing. Lawbreakers could not be stopped oddly by the lords and so once peasants realized all ties could be broken, they gained a new level of freedo m (Clay, 4).Peasants and lord relationships were not the only thing that changed individuals in the same social circle were forced to interact with one another differently. As a result of so many deaths, women were now being served by male servants and it did not matter if they were of noble birth or not. Men serving women was something taboo and unheard of before the plague, but the disease made that change. Noble women had to a find a different lifestyle below normal circumstances, these women would have been dishonored and shunned but this was not the case. Economic Effects All the death that fell upon Europe created a major labor shortage.It was a dominos affect, if the plague hit an area or manor in the summer, there wouldnt be enough serfs to harvest the crops in the fall. If it hit in the winter, there wasnt enough workers to plant new crops in the spring (The Black Death, 1348). So inevitably there wasnt any one left on enkindle and maintain the land. The ones who did with stand the plague, moved else-where for better wages (The Black Death, 1348). Not only did it affect the farms, it hurt businesses or building projects. Cathedral that usually were beautiful and performed weekly services were left eerily empty with no priests to conduct services.The barons did not have enough knights and serfs to give to them and so many manors were abandoned. When someone dies normally, there would be a service and immediately be buried, well that didnt happen during the Black Death era. No one was left to bury the dead. Citizens, lower and middle classes were scared, they stayed in the homes believing they would be safe. The shelter did not stop the disease from entering and since they were poor they did not get the care and attention they needed and most of them died (The Black Death, 1348).Instead of suffering, many decided to take their own lives and committed suicide in the bridle-path others died in their homes but only found because their neighbors smelled the decaying body. Dead bodies were everywhere on every corner and in every home that wasnt abandoned (The Black Death, 1348). Most of them were treated in the same manner by the survivors, who were more concerned to get rid of their rotting bodies than moved by charity towards the dead. With the support of porters, if they could get them, they carried the bodies out of the houses and laid them at the door where every morning quantities of the dead might be seen.They then were laid on biers or, as these were often lacking, on tables (The Black Death, 1348). Bodies upon bodies were brought to the church every day and almost every hour so it was impossible to give them a proper burial especially since they wanted to bury each person in the family grave, according to the old custom (The Black Death, 1348). Although the cemeteries were full they were forced to dig huge trenches, where they buried the bodies by hundreds. Here they stowed them away like bales in the hold of a ship and co vered them with a little earth, until the whole trench was full (The Black Death, 1348). cultural Effects The plague not only affected humans it also impacted the arts. In the Medieval period, people had concentrated mainly on the Church, God, and personal salvation. The plague was evident in paintings, sculptures, and architecture, everything was centered on death. The arrival of plague harkened in a new darker era of painting. Paintings were overflowing with tortured souls, death, dying, fire and native sulphur (The Effect of Black Death on Art and Artists in the Medieval Period). Thousands of painters, craftsmen, patrons of the arts died during the plague. The disease tore a hole in the heart of the cultural world.The effects of the plague were lasting, bringing a somber darkness to visual art, literature, and music (The Effect of Black Death on Art and Artists in the Medieval Period). Writers and painters imaginations became dark and gloomy. The unknowing survival created a atm osphere of gloom and doom influencing artist to move away from optimistic themes and turn to images of Hell, daystar and the Grim Reaper (The Effect of Black Death on Art and Artists in the Medieval Period). Many painters simply gave up art with the thought process that it was hopeless to try and create beauty in a hellish world.The Decameron by Boccaccio, a collection of medieval tales and folklore is the most famous literary work that came from that time period (The Black Death). The collection is set in the Italian countryside where aristocrats, fleeing the Plague as it ravages Florence, are stranded without their usual entertainments. To pass the time, they allege each other stories, from which Boccaccio harvested a rich storehouse of traditional narrative. The Decameron eventually became the foundation for many other Renaissance works, including several of Shakespeares plays (The Black Death). Positive ConsequencesIts hard to find positive in so much death but the plague act ually helped in a few ways. First being manpower, because of the shortages, manpower had so much more value. Peasants werent readily available in large numbers so the ones still animated found themselves in high demand (The Black Death). The ones who had all the power, kings and dukes, now found themselves bargaining with laborers over working conditions, and also the lower class were able to demand better pay for their services (The Black Death). Also, serfdom was terminated, so those peasants that were slaves and tied to the land were no longer obligated to farm and serve.And one other positive result of the bubonic plague was the development of medicine as a science in the West. Islamic doctors had advocating general cleanliness and the value of studying anatomy but Western healers prior to the black death were still using practices like the theory of humors (The Black Death). But when Plague wiped out nearly all the doctors of Europe, because the doctors had to attend to the dy ing and because of this were exposed at a higher rate to the more virulent pneumonic form of Plague. With so many doctors dying, it created a change in both personnel and precept (The Black Death).Strangely, western medicine owes much to plague. Conclusion The Black Death started in 1347 and continued for a full five years, this devastating plague spread throughout Europe, leaving more than twenty million people dead. The consequences to Europe were profound. Besides immeasurable death, traditional medieval society broke, the economies were fractured, and art and literature took a turn from light to dark. Though it spread throughout Europe, the Black Death was world-shattering and shows how even the smallest of things, the microbial world, can at times steer the course of human civilization.