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Impact of Black Death on England

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The Black Death

The Black Death, also known as the Black Plague, Bubonic Plague, and sometimes just “The Plague”, was one of the worst diseases to hit Europe back in the 14th century. The Black Plague, according to Modern Historians, had killed between 25 to 50 percent of the entire population of Europe in only two years, sometimes turning small, thriving towns into lifeless, ghost towns. The Black Plague swept mass hysteria over many civilians, which in effect, caused a record breaking amount of people to ultimately fear this disease. Even today, many people aren’t comfortable with the thought of the Black Death. So how did our ancestors manage to control the mass hysteria and the prolonged deaths? In truth, our ancestors didn’t control either. Medicine wasn’t advanced enough to save the ill from death, so dying wasn’t a choice, nor was mass hysteria. Along with the Black Death, came fear. Once both hit, no one felt safe. Due to this, our ancestor’s society was immensely affected by the fear of death. The Black Death caused thousands of people to die, soon following would be their society.

In 1348 and 1349, the Black Death was notoriously known for being the worst disease to ever hit Europe. Previous Plagues that rummaged across the country didn’t cause fairly enough damage to the population, only killing off the young, sick, or elderly. Cities might’ve had common outbreaks, but none of the diseases spread far enough. Unlike any other Plague that hit Europe, the Black Death caused lots of damage to the population, killing the young, sick, elderly, and even healthy adults. The Black Death “spread like wildfire” across Western Europe in one summer, only to return the next summer worse than before (3, Black Death). No one seemed safe from the torturous disease.

Throughout the years in which the Black Death caused agony, many people began to speculate that the Black Death wasn’t just a disease, but it was actually a sign. Beliefs arose that the Plague was some sort of Witchcraft, or it was a sign that the world was coming to an end. Some religious figures (known as the Flagellants) could even tell you that it was “God’s judgement on sinful mankind” (3, Sin). People believed many of these lies, which resulted in countless acts of flogging (beating) one another. Finally, after several days and nights, the right to flog was seized by Pope Clement VI. Another disastrous speculation about the Black Death was that it was created by the Jews (which of course was a lie). Mobs of religiously involved people targeted Jews, which they claimed caused the Black Death by poisoning all of the available drinking water. Due to this, Jews were arrested, their fortunes were seized, and their lives were taken from them. After another several days and nights of this, Pope Clement VI seized the right to enable a Christian harming a Jew. These two instances were one of the main causes of inhumanity being lost, therefore their society decreasing.

Society began its decrease more and more once the disease gotten worse and worse. Population decreases in Europe led to a plummet in jobs, which hurt the land even more. Farmer’s farmland wasn’t used, and all of their animals died. This resulted in a reduce in the output of food. Food began to go in demand, and starving became common in the land. Work began to rise in demand, and labor became harder to find. People that couldn’t pay for food had to live as a slave for others, and parents whose kids were starving had to be sold just so they could be fed. Slaves were beginning to be craved by more wealthier citizens and business workers. The increase for slaves were growing more and more by the day. Eventually, after the Plague had wiped out hundreds of citizens, rebellions began due to rising wages. Workers whom were disrespected by their bosses began to revolt, and peasants called for a reduction in service obligations. In the end, Peasants and workers revolted in Spain, the Netherlands, southern Germany, Italy, and England.

England’s society and the Black Death were very much related to one another. The relationship between the Black Death and England’s society is similar to a “cause and effect” situation, in which one thing occurs, another thing similarly happens. For example, once the Black Death hit, people were terrified of the new disease, which triggered speculations that (eventually) ended other citizen’s lives. Because of this, two years of England’s society began to wither once the Black Death hit. If this is true, then if the Black Death would’ve never hit, then England’s society would’ve never decreased into the troubling society that it became to be. In conclusion, the Black Death, a sinister disease that hit the country of England and many more, not only killed thousands of citizens, but altered England’s society as well.

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Impact Of Black Death On England. (2019, July 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from
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