The Black Death was a plague that devastated Europe during the 14th and 15th Century. Before the plague, Europe was in the Late Middle Ages, a time of both development and problems. Some of these problems were causes of the plague. The Black Death has changed Europe economically by causing people to pay for religious services, making nobles pay higher wages to peasants and serfs and helping peasants gain money. Socially, the Black Death caused the downfall of feudalism and created discrimination amongst certain groups of people. Overall, the Black Death was an event that altered Europe. Before the Black Death, Europe was experiencing a time where they both developed and had problems. Cities became larger, weather conditions were great, and trade routes were expanded. However, overpopulation was common in towns and therefore, food shortages occurred and cleanliness was scarce ("Craig et al. 313"). In addition, a plague that initially began in Asia started spreading across Europe after merchants from the city of Kaffa passed on the plague to Italian ports such as Genoa and Venice ("Plague Decimates European Population, 1347-1352."). Once it reached Europe, it killed around 50 million people (Benedictow). Due to many problems such as famine and overpopulation, the plague was bigger than what it could have been.
There were many social changes that occurred in Europe during the time of the Black Death. One of these changes was the end of feudalism. Feudalism was the social structure that most European nations used. It involved the king giving power to his nobles who then had peasants and serfs work in their land. During the Black Death, a peasant revolt took place because nobles lowered wages even though the peasants had to work more due to the rising death tolls. Due to the revolt, peasants gained more power and job opportunities and consequently, it readjusted the social system of Europe and ended feudalism. Another social change that ensued during the Black...
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