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Black Plague: Catastrophic Phenomenon In The European History (Coursework Sample)


The assignment required a precise information regarding the black plague which is considered to be the most catastrophic phenomenon in the european history

The Black Plague
The Black Plague was one of the most devastating events across Europe. This paper seeks to analyze the extent to which the phenomenon affected the people of Europe in regards to various aspects of life. It is believed to have been brought along by Italians who had sailed from Asia and had gained resistance to the plague. The infamous Black Death arising from this plague is estimated to have swiped away close to a third of the European population.
The plague had its long term social and economic effects. The number of peasants during this period decreased as the lords who owned large tracts of land also died and in some instances the peasants divided the piece among themselves. The other economic effect of the plague was that people’s pay were elevated. This was due to the fact that the massive death reduced the available labor. The better economic conditions post the Black Death meant that the peasants could lead a better life and obtained education, better nutrition and improved standards of living. This was due to the fact that the demand for labor was high and its supply was low, the employers had to pay more. The peasants subsequently developed to give rise to the middle class in the mediaeval period. This event marked the emergence from the dark period when the peasants basically did resemble slaves. The Black Death is credited for delivering freedom to the peasants. Initially the peasants were regarded as being under the favor of the government and their lords. They would barely have a say on even matters that directly touch on them. This was a clear lack of freedom amongst the peasants. The plague provided them with a high bargaining power in terms of what they wanted their lords to accomplish. It marked the door to freedom to the peasants. This quest for freedom would later be known as the Great Revolt. The effects of the plague created a platform for emergence and development of innovations to cover for the deficit in labor. Technology can thus be attributed to the plague. The westerners had to come up with ways to fill the gap left by individuals who succumbed to the plague. It was therefore crucial that mechanisms be devised to top up to the diminished labor force available. The emergence, advancement and development of technology can thus be associated with the Black plague (Herlihy, 1997).
Philosophy and religion were both affected by the plague. Philosophers spent time trying to figure out the various aspects of the plagues. This included the causes, the carriers, the way it could be prevented and even the cure for those who had already been affected. The philosophers ascertained some aspects of the plague which became crucial to bring an end to its devastating effects on the people of Europe. The fleas were established to be significant media for transmission of the plague. They were mostly found in animals and as such individuals knew how to handle the plague in regards to this aspect of transmission. Religion either was not spared by the plague. The deaths, devastation, desperation and hopelessness changed the perspective of the people in terms of their practices. The predominantly Christian community that was divided in practices reacted differently to the effects of the plague. The belief by some individuals that it was a punishment from God could not be evaded. Various rituals were done to appease God and ask forgiveness for the sins done. A group of believers called the Flagellants whipped themselves on the streets to repent. However, there is a group of believers who had concluded t...
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