The Black Death In Western Europe

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…
This is seen in the financial, economic, and social aspects of society that were left in a state of disaster once the plague had struck. The horror of the plague’s effect on Europe in the years from 1347 to 1353 is that Europe lost somewhere between a third and two thirds of its total population. Those Europeans left physically untouched by the plague were not fully untouched by this disease – they were mentally and emotionally scarred from this horrible epidemic and had to learn how to live life again without roughly half of the population. The Black Death that struck Europe in the Middle Ages had forever changed this continent and its inhabitants and would continue to affect their lives for years to

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