The effects of the Black Death on Medieval Europe Sample Essay

Medieval Europe was under an utmost load at the bend of the century. The demographics of medieval Europe grew to an unprecedented graduated table. The population had grown to the threshold of famishment. Merely under the best conditions would the field’s output plenty to feed the population. The Black decease struck in 1347 and decimated the European population. The black decease was a necessity to forestall overpopulation and economic diminution.

The economic system of the 14th century was in a province of diminution. The population roar along with the deficit of nutrient was taking Europe down a route to famishment. The clime in western Europe besides was get downing to alter at the bend of the 14th century. This caused a really wet clime and greatly adversely affected production. The clime alteration led to one of the worst dearths in Europe’s history. In 1315-1317. The Great Famine hit Europe with lay waste toing effects. The wet clime caused workss to disintegrate before they were ready to be harvested doing highly hapless crops. The great dearth affected all of Europe unlike old dearths which were localized. The world of this dearth is that comparatively few people died at first but they were weakened when all the nutrient militias gave out. Peoples started to scrounge in the forests for nutrient and they started to eat the seed used to works grain because there was nil else to eat. Due to the fact that most of the seed used for planting was eaten there was really small to works doing the dearth to intensify farther. It was non until 1325 that Europe began to retrieve to pre-famine degrees.

The population of the medieval universe grew steadily after the diminution of the Roman imperium.

In the twelfth century the population grew in reeling springs. The population roar caused Europe to make the threshold of its nutrient supply degrees. Improvements in agribusiness helped increase the sum of nutrient available but the nutrient degrees couldn’t maintain up with the population addition. During the Great dearth there were many deceases but this still didn’t curb population growing. Europe was looking frontward to many more widespread dearths unless the population declined quickly.

The chief eruption of the Black Death lasted from 1347-1351 and was the worst pestilence in history at that point. “There was. . . a sequence of epidemics in England. on a national graduated table from 1361 to some point in the 15th century ; thenceforth on a local graduated table. and restricted to the towns. and particularly to the greater towns. ” New eruptions besides occurred in 1360. 1368-70. 1375-1378. 1380-1383. and 1399-1400 in localised countries of Europe. The pestilence was brought to Europe by Genosean trading ships. In October of 1347. The ships unloaded their lading at the Italian port of Messina. They besides unloaded another really unsafe lading every bit good. Rats infected with the bubonic pestilence. The pestilence spread through Europe like a wildfire decimating populations wherever it went. The pestilence spread into France by June of 1348 and reached the British Isles by 1349. The bubonic pestilence was spread by fleas that lived on rats.

The bacteria responsible for the pestilence was Y. Pestis and it caused the worst population lessening in human history. “Impossible to avoid. . . Spread by breath. apparels. and dead cadavers that were infective for 24 hours. ” There were three types of the pestilence ; bubonic. pneumonic. and septicaemic. The bubonic pestilence was caused by an infection of the lymph nodes and had a mortality rate of about 60 % . “Bubonic pestilence with pneumonic complications which covered the victim in buboes. . . their limbs would melanize. his organic structure would be shaken by paroxysms. he would purge blood and dice without hope of recovery in three yearss. ” The pneumonic pestilence was caused by an infection of the respiratory system and was 100 per centum fatal. Finally. The septicaemic pestilence was caused by an infection of the blood and was besides 100 per centum fatal.

The pestilence decimated more than a 3rd of the entire European population or more than 25 million people. Wherever the pestilence came people fled. their lands and brother turned on brother. The harm to Medieval Europe’s society is incalculable because of the desolation. The black pestilence caused the church to lose most of its prestigiousness and helped take to the terminal of feudal system.

The pestilence had an tremendous impact on the European economic system. The widespread decease left Europe with a terrible labour deficit. Large landholders had to offer particular temptations to carry labourers to work for them. This led to an addition in the criterion of life for the provincials. There was besides a immense inflow of luxury goods on the market which were now within the agencies of the lower category. Even though the pestilence had many short term benefits. it hurt Europe in the long term. The big landholders were paying so much for their workers they were unable to do any money themselves which forced them to rent out their land. In 1349 statute law was passed called the Regulations of Labourers which stated that rewards had to return to pre-plague degrees but this jurisprudence was mostly ignored.

The terrible deficit of workers besides changed the type of farming done in Europe. “There was a alteration from farming to croping which was much less labour intensive and created a encouragement in the woollen and cloth industry. ” Another of import consequence of the pestilence was the debasement of the church and priestly category. Many people grew angry because the church was unable to explicate or cover with the eruption. In England over 40 % of the priests died. “This left a big spread. which was hurriedly filled with under qualified and ill trained appliers. speed uping the diminution in church power and influence that culminated in the English Reformation. ”

There was no demand to worry about the population roar after the black decease struck. Over one tierce of Europe’s entire population succumbed to the Black Death. “More than any individual calamity. this continual sapping of the human resources of England would account for the gradual but uninterrupted decay. ” The effects of the black pestilence devastated the demographics of Europe. After the remittal of the pestilence there was a terrible deficit of labourers. “Sheep and cattle went rolling over Fieldss and through harvests. and there was no 1 to drive or garner them. ” Over 25 million Europeans died during the plague many of who being craftsmen. clergy. or skilled workers. The black pestilence sent Europe into a demographic diminution that did non better until the 16th century.

For all its slaughter and desolation the Black Death had a positive side. It saved Europe from famishment and economic jobs. With the population roar in the beginning of the 14th century. Europe couldn’t handle the population because of the bounds of the nutrient supply. “The Big Dipper was forced to take over hapless. marginal dirts which after a piece brought decreasing returns ; and as the really bounds of cultivation were reached. the colonisation of new land more or less petered out. ” Overworked Fieldss were a terrible hurt to the nutrient supply and caused hapless crops in Europe. If the population had kept increasing in Europe famishment would hold been rampant. The Black Death devastated Europe’s labour force so difficult it was crippled good into the 18th century. The Black Death besides eliminated unemployment in most of Europe. In many countries of Europe provincials were packing into metropoliss to seek to happen work. The sum of occupations couldn’t suit the inflow of workers so there were many provincials that were idle and hungering. After the Black Death struck unemployment was virtually gone because of the immense demand for labourers all throughout Europe.

The Black Death badly devastated Europe’s demographics and about crippled it’s economic system. The desolation caused by the Plague had far making effects that hindered Europe’s growing for several centuries. The Black Death did nevertheless prevent Europeans from enduring drawn-out famishment due to the overpopulation.


1. Fossier. Robert. The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Middle Ages 1250-1520. New York: Cambridge University Press. 1987.

This book deals with the causes and effects of the Black Death on medieval Europe. It explains how the disease was brought west and how the epidemic spread. It besides discusses the assorted types of the pestilence and their symptoms.

2. Oakley. Francis. The Medieval Experience. New York: Charles Scibner’s Sons. 1974.

This book covers all facets of Medieval society earlier. during. and after the Black Death struck. It deals with political. economical. and social issues the Plague caused.

3. Davis. William Stearn. Life on a Medieval Barony. New York: Harpert Brothers Publishers. 1923.

This book describes what it was like to be a provincial on a mediaeval barony. It besides goes into great item about how the provincials were affected by the Plague.

4. Kershaw. Ian. “The Great Famine and Agrarian Crisis in England 1315-1322. ” Past and Present. No. 59 ( May. 1973 ) : pp. 3-50

This article discusses what caused the nutrient crisis in Europe before the Black Death struck. It shows what led up to the Great Famine and discusses its effects on later Europe.

5. Bean. J. M. W. “Plague. Population. and Economic Decline in England in the Later Middle Ages. ” The Economic History Review. New Series. Vol. 15. No. 3 ( 1963 ) : pp. 423-437

This article discusses the demographics of Medieval Europe before and after th Black Death. It besides discusses how the economic system was affected and how it took a long clip to retrieve.

6. Ross. David. The Black Death in England 1348-1350. Britain Express. October 25th. 2003.

This web site goes over the effects and effects of the Black Death on Europe. It discusses the economic hardships the people of Europe went through as a consequence of the Plague.

7. Robbins. Helen. “A Comparison of the effects of the Black Death on the Economic Organization of France and England. ” The Journal of Political Economy. Vol. 36. No. 4 ( Aug. . 1928 ) : pp447-479.

This article discusses how the economic system of Britain and France were affected by the Black Death. Its shows how each of these states had to accommodate to the new state of affairs the pestilence brought.

8. Saltmarsh. John. “Plague and Economic Decline in England in the Later
Middle Ages. ” Cambridge Historical Journal. Vol. 7. No. 1. ( 1941 ) : pp. 23-41.

This article extensively looks into how the economic system of Europe went into a deep diminution after the Black Death. It besides discusses how Europe reacted and dealt with the economic system.


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