The Plague

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The Plague

The rats did it! Rats, almost single handedly, killed off about a third of the

European population throughout the 14th and 15th centuries. Its effects on western

civilization still lasts today, but for the people who lived during the plagues wish indeed

that they did not. Society was depressed, the economy was struggling, food was scarce,

and all of Europe was in battle. Who would want to live in these dramatic conditions?

No one, and not for centuries to come.

The Plague, also known as the Black Death, or the Bubonic Plague, which struck in 1346, and again in 1361-62, ravaged all of Europe to the extent of bringing gruesome death to millions people of the Middle Ages. It was a combination of bubonic, septicemia, and pneumonic plague strains that started in the east and worked it’s way west, but never left its native home. One of the things that made the plague one of the worst was that there were outbreaks almost every ten years but still restricted to Europe. It is thought that one third to one half of the population in Europe could have possibly died due to the plague with some towns of a death rate of up to 30 or 40 percent. Very few that were infected with the plague actually survived more than one month after receiving the disease.
The Black Death was an incredible event that effected everyone on a physical level, emotional level, or both. The Black Death was more terrible, and killed more people than any war in history. The plague was so horrible and terrifying that people said it made all other disasters in the Middle Ages seem like a walk in the park when compared it to the Black Death.
The infested rat, called the black ship rat, was carried in the baggage of merchants on board ships traveling all over the Mediterranean. They didn't know it, but
It was the people that actually spread the disease across the land. The plague spread in a great arc across Europe, starting in the east in the Mediterranean Sea, and ending up in Germany. It is incredible that the plague hit Europe several times, but still no one understood neither the causes nor the treatments of the epidemic.
Although the Black Death was one of the largest epidemics ever recorded, it did not have many visible symptoms. The actual symptoms varied i...

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...e seen along with the cathedrals started in the 12th and 13th centuries and never finished because of the plague.
The effects on the future were not as bad as the effects the 14th century people experienced. After the plague had set in on Europe and took its toll the people began to stop writing and in turn stop reading. The citizens became illiterate and showed no real interest in the arts. The European population steadily declined after 1350 for the next century. In 1351, it was calculated that the total number of dead in Europe was approximately twenty-four million people. That is a great decrease considering that there was an estimated seventy-five million people living in Europe before the Black Death struck.
The Plague certainly had one of the greatest effects on the world in all areas, and was also one of the greatest displays of human suffering ever. The Plague caused the people of western civilization to lose family, food, society, and basic fundamentals of living. It seems that bad or depressing situations give us a grasp on what is really important in our daily lives, and that is what we all need.
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