Cause And Effect Of The Black Death

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The Black Death is one of the common names for the horrendous plague that swept through most of Europe in the 14th century AD. It is a common belief that this disease was carried by rats and was transmitted by even coming into close proximity with an individual who was infected by this deadly plague. This troublesome time affected many of the people in Europe, and left it drastically changed. The Black Death had a lasting effect on the Western world and created difficulties for the people who were left to live with the outcome of this horrible illness that swept the continent.
In his book, The Burdens of Disease: Epidemics and Human Response in Western History, J. N. Hays expresses that the Black Death was one of the most severe illnesses
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The cause of the epidemic has long been the black rat, known as Rattus rattus, and is therefore the reason for the deaths of roughly fifty percent of the population of the continent of Europe in the time span from 1347 – 1352. Another study shows that the rats carried a microorganism called Yersinia pestis that caused the plague and would be picked up by these fleas that then carried the bacteria from rodent to rodent. These rats would live near or inside the homes of humans and the disease would therefore infest the homes of these individuals and would affect their livelihood and likely end up killing these people. Christopher Dyer and David Cannadine emphasize the fact that these rats would live in colonies surrounding human settlements, regardless of how remote the settlement was, and when the rats died, the fleas moved to their human prey and infested the entire area of human life. The symptoms of the Black Death included a rapid surge of fever, either hallucinations or lethargies, and an increasing failure of the body’s most important organs. These symptoms were mostly short and would continue until the person fully succumbed to the plague and the ill individual expired. Rapidly, the Black Death spread, as some believe, from Asia, through the Black Sea, Greece, and into Western Europe, where it spread to even England and Ireland, …show more content…
Many believed that the air was poisoned and would endeavor to purify the air to avoid the plague and medicines made from various plants were concocted and were hoped to be a deterrent of the plague. Another way to avoid this pollution of the air that came from the plague was thought to be burning the clothes of the sick as well as taking dead bodies outside of the walls of the town and disposing of them there. McKay et al. quote Giovanni Boccaccio’s work, The Decameron, that emphasizes that general care for ones neighbours was lost and individuals cared only about themselves and how they could avoid the plague – even parents would neglect the care of their children to ensure their own safety. Because this plague struck so quickly and violently, individuals sought a reason for this plague, some believed it was the fault of a single minority group, while other individuals believed that the cause of their suffering must have been the wrath of God because of the sins of the

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