Causes and Consequences of the Black Death of 1330 to 1352

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Plague is defined as a “destructive contagious bacterial disease” (Merriam–Webster). It spread just as fire captures anything dry near. The most well-know was the Black Death which swept through Asia and Europe in the medieval era. The plague did not discriminate the poor from the wealth, children from parents. Many feared that they will be no one to bury them as the deadly bacteria claimed its victims. It left several individuals wondering what caused the epidemic. The illness was named Black Death because of black spots it formed on the skin and the overwhelming feeling of darkness it brought. A dreadful predator was loose across Europe and medieval medicine had nothing to fight with.

According to the article Plague: The Black Death, the virus “presented itself in three interrelated forms.” Bubonic variant was the most common which left its victims with swellings that appeared on neck, armpits, or groin. Pneumonic plague was the more infectious and is a higher stage of bubonic pandemic. It attacked the respiratory system and was spread by breathing the exhaled air of the victim; was an air-borne pathogen. An individual had life expectancy of less than two days. The Pneumonic disease was spread through airborne droplets coughed or sneezed from the lungs (Plague: The Black Death). Another third form the Black Death showed itself was through Septicemic plague. This epidemic was spread through contact with the plague-infected body matter and threatened mainly the blood system (The Black Death, 1348).

The causes of the Black Death were not determined until the outbreak of 1885 which started in China. The first leap forward came in Hong Kong in 1894 when scientists “isolated the rod-shaped bacillus responsible –Yersinia pestis” (P...

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... the early 1700s due to improved medical knowledge; the age of enlightenment.

Works Cited

Ibeji, Mike. "Black Death." BBC. History. The BBC, 10 March 2011. Web 9 Jun 2011.

“Plague.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Incorporated 2004.Print

"Plague: The Black Death." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 9 Jun 2011.

“The Black Death, 1348.” EyeWitness to History. 2001. Web. 9 Jun 2011.

“The Black Death of 1348 to 1350.” History Learning Site. n.d. Web. 9 Jun 2011.

“The Black Death: Bubonic Plague.” Middle Ages.Net, n.d. Web. 9 Jun 2011.

Wade, Nicholas. "Europe’s Plagues Came From China, Study Finds." New York Times. The New York Times Company, 31 Oct. 2011. Web. 9 Jun 2011.
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