The nursery rhyme “ Ring Around The Rosy” is more than a popular song little children sing while holding hands, walking around in a circle and then falling down. The nursery rhyme refers to the Black Death, one of the worst plagues of all time (Schladweller). Known as infectious diseases that spread quickly and kill countless people, plagues have had a tremendous affect on people around the world since the beginning of time. The Black Death, also known as the bubonic plague, is a contagious bacterial infection that has killed millions of people. With the bubonic plague brutally killing one fourth of Europe in the 14th century and devastating China in the 18th century (Link), it is noted in history books as the worst plague of all times.
In the years 1331 to 1350 all of Europe broke out in an epidemic, called the Black Death. This terrible sickness murdered about one third of all the people in Europe, it spread, and killed quickly. People’s lives were changed drastically; they were scared to go outside in fear of catching the gross disease. The Black Death spread rapidly through Europe having significant impacts on society. The Black Death started in China in 1331; it was then carried across the Asian caravan to southern Russia on merchant ships.
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.
1320: Section 6: The Black Death. N.p., 2013. Web. 06 Apr. 2014.
14th Century Outbreak of the Black Plague In 1300, multiple out breaks of the Black Plague arised. For example, in the thirteenth century an outbreak in China killed one third of the population. Several dates before this time showed the disease was present years ago in Europe. Dying from the Plague was scary to most people and Jordan Mcmullin, an author stresses, “Whenever the Plague appeared the sadness of death was terrifying” (Mcmullin n.pag.). Death has always been frightening, but when a country plagues with disease, death becomes a terrible fear, the Plague scared the people of 541, and 542, when their outbreak of the Plague spread.