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The Black Death-effects on Society

This Essay will describe the effects caused by the Black Death after the outbreak in 1350. This Essay uses simple maths to demonstrate.

The Black Death (also known as the plague) is the one of the worst ever natural disaster that ever existed. It started in south-east Asia, travelled along the trade routes and eventually got to Europe. It killed over one third of the European population in a period of 3 years (1347-50), but the effects of the Black Death lasted for centuries. The king of England was warned but not enough action was taken.

          The first to feel the force of the Black Death were the people at the bottom of the feudal system (the villeins and the poor) as they had terrible living conditions; eating rotten food and drinking stale water. Hundreds of them died each day. After that not many were left, many villagers left their villages, family and friends and left to go to the bigger cities to save themselves so little towns rotted away after time. There were also not many priests left, the courageous, most experienced and respected ones died an honorable death, looking after the sick while the others just fled. Also some churches also just vanished because there weren’t enough clergy to do anything. The newly appointed priests were poorly educated and not as experienced so they were not respected. After the Black Death, the birth rate rose as well. To conclude the social effects, I would say that the villagers fled to bigger cities, churches and villages just rotted away and that the birth rate rose were the most important.

          As the villeins were the ones keeping the feudal system going and there weren’t many of them left, the landowners were desperate to find new workers/villeins to work and to farm their rotting land. To convince the workers to work their land the wages rose, then the worker’s original employee wanted to keep them so they had to raise the wages again, just like an auction. The presents soon realized that and demanded more. What was worse was that the market price for food rose and the workers need food to eat, so demanded even higher wages, because of that in some places the wages rose by 500%, this lead to the statute of laborers which is a law to stop wages rising too much.  Surviving widows were really well off some were even richer than most of the men. To conclude the economical disaster, I would say that the peasants got higher wages and food prices rose dramatically.

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