Bubonic Plague Impact

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Impacts of the Bubonic Plague The bubonic plague is well-known as one of the deadliest killers of the early European civilization, being responsible for over twenty-five million deaths in a five-year period. The devastation left families, towns, and whole countries deteriorated, crumbled, and transformed as large percentages of the population rapidly fell victim to the excruciating disease. While the epidemic played a significant role in the transformation of post-plague European life, it is a common misconception to assume the deadly disease and the subsequent changes are in a cause-and-effect relationship. The plague was not a cause, but merely a catalyst for change; nevertheless, the depredations of the bubonic plague held extreme …show more content…
The expansive mortality rate did not exclude those of parliament and political importance as many reputable officials joined the long list of fallen victims. Although figures of high political esteem often isolated themselves from the exposure to the disease, the plague still managed to find its way into one royal home—King Alfonso XI of Castile. The ruler was one of the most prominent political figures to become afflicted with the disease and soon became “the only reigning monarch to die of the plague,” (Knox). While the wealth and power of many high officials allowed their lives to be spared, many nobles of lesser ranks were not afforded such a pardon. Among many of the afflicted nobles include the future Queen of France, Bonne of Luxembourg; King Peter IV of Aragon’s wife, daughter, and niece; Princess Joan of England; and the Byzantine emperor 's successor and son. The overwhelming number of government fatalities greatly weakened the political strength of Europe as those who ruled were no longer around to maintain sound government. In some regions, the death toll was so catastrophic that whole parliaments were adjourned (Knox). Even more devastating was the impact of the plague on local level politics. The fear and chaos of the epidemic transmogrified civilized citizens into violent heathens as they ransacked and destroyed city councils and courts. In result, …show more content…
The most obvious and immediate social shock of the plague was the crippling mortality rate, in which has a bare minimum estimate of “five percent” to a distressing maximum of up to “sixty to eighty percent” mortality in some parts of Europe (Routt). Europe might have recovered from the demographic upset had the affliction not lasted so excruciatingly long. However, the plague’s perseverance made it certain that European demographics would not recover for a very long time and the plague proceeded to reshape the European census. Furthermore, it made certain preferences in its victims-- “urbanite over peasant, man over woman, poor over affluent, and, perhaps most significantly, young over mature”--which helped to disproportionate the current demographics into a mess of unbalanced death (Routt). In result of the limited demographics, population growth stagnated throughout the rest of the Middle Ages as children died young and women lost potential mates. Additionally, the decreased population meant a decreased labor pool as well, and with an increased labor demand, workers were given the ability to reject unsafe working conditions and campaign for better wages. After the plague, the wages of England increased from “twenty to forty percent from the 1340s to the 1360s,” as a result of worker wage campaigning. Peasants who had survived the wrath of the plague deemed

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