How Did The Bubonic Plague Change Europe

1339 Words 6 Pages
The Bubonic Plague was a potent and dangerous disease that changed Europe and it took a turn for the worse as it started killing people in unimaginable numbers. The Bubonic Plague was a powerful disease that was often referred to as the “Black death” or the “Black plague” because of the symptoms of the plague. The Black Plague first appeared when Genoese trading ships docked in a Sicilian port. To everyone's surprise, everyone in the ship was either gravely ill or dead with black spots all over their skin. The Bubonic plague was spread by a bacillus called the “Yersinia Pestis” which was spread through skin contact, through air, and through infected rats and fleas. The Plague was remarkably contagious as when “people are infected, they infect …show more content…
The potent disease tore families apart from the fear of a family member developing the infection, leaving parents to abandon their children. Many families lived in isolation, away from the rest of the community in fear that they would be poisoned. These people formed small communities, apart from the rest of the population, where “they shut themselves up in houses where there were no sick, eating the finest food and drinking the best wine very temperately, avoiding all excess.” As more people were dying from the Black Death, the space to bury the rotting bodies was running out. Eventually, cemeteries were forced to build large trenches to dump the bodies where they were “buried” by the thousands. All of these factors involuntarily changed the mood of the entire cities as they were sullen over the amount of deaths that were happening so rapidly (The Black Death, 1348). Overall, the unity of communities and societies were destroyed as a result of this dangerous disease, leaving one-third of the European people …show more content…
Soon wealth became essentially useless as many serfs/peasants started gaining wealth at an alarming rate as they received high pay for their usual jobs due to the shortage of labourers for the land. Also, the plague essentially divided society into two groups, the dead, and the living. As poet and writer Giovanni Boccaccio explains from his firsthand point of view in 1535, Society was divided as “One citizen avoided another, hardly any neighbour troubled about others, relatives never or hardly ever visited each other.” this is apparent even in their families where “brother abandoned brother, and the uncle his nephew, and the sister her brother, and very often the wife her husband” (Boccaccio). The backstabbing that was going down in many communities over Europe destroyed the moral code and everyone had to live on edge, with everyone thinking only about themselves. Lastly, not only did the Black Plague kill millions of people, they killed cattle and other animals which most communities relied on for their food source (Consequences). Without the food, people were even more vulnerable to the harmful effects of the disease, as their immune system became too weak to fight the disease. All of these problems joining together changed society forever and destroyed communities and family

Related Documents