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The History of the Black Death Essay

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“The sickness apparently began in Central Asia. In 1347, Italian merchant ships returned from the Black Sea, one of the links along the trade route between Europe and China. The ships were dirty and infested with rats. Fleas living on the blood of infected rats transferred the disease to the seamen.” (Dowling, 2013) The disease appeared in two varieties, one caught by insect bites and another airborne. In both cases, victims very rarely lasted more than three to four days between basic infection and death, a time of intense fever and vomiting when which their lymph nodes swelled uncontrollably and eventually burst.

The black death was one of the most unforgiving pandemics in human history, resulting in the fatalities of an estimated 75 to 200 million people and climaxing in Europe in 1348-50. People’s lack of knowledge for the way it spread was a major role for the black death to wipe out half of the population of Europe. Trade ships carrying rats, fleas and other animal’s infected with the bubonic plague came from Central Asia along the silk road. The ships eventually reached Europe and their deadly cargo started spreading excessively throughout the continent, affecting miniscule numbers at first but very soon reaching up into the hundreds of thousands and eventually millions.

The Black Death had a major impact on society. Entire village populations faced malnutrition. Towns and cities suffered from food scarcity because surrounding villages could not provide them with adequate amounts of food. Those who didn’t perish from the Black Death persuaded themselves that there was something special about them, as if God had protected them. Because of this, they took the opportunity granted by the plague to enhance their lifestyle. “...


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...d 1349. Thousands more fled to the smaller populated regions or Eastern Europe, where they could be relatively safe from the rampaging mobs in the cities.



Works Cited



Dowling, Mike. "The Black Death at mrdowling.com". www.mrdowling.com. Updated November 10, 2013. Web. Accessed December 6th, 2013

James, Tom. "Black Death: The Lasting Impact." BBC News. BBC, 17 Feb. 2011. Web. 09 Dec. 2013.

Whipps, Heather. "How the Black Death Changed the World." LiveScience.com. Live Science, 28 Apr. 2008. Web. 09 Dec. 2013.

Plowman, Piers. "The Flow of History." The Black Death and Its Impact. The Flow of History, 13 July 2010. Web. 08 Dec. 2013




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