Black Death DBQ Essay

Topics: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Middle Ages Pages: 4 (1394 words) Published: September 22, 2013
DBQ Essay
From the late medieval era to the enlightenment a series of plagues devastated European society, economy, and social/political structure. In the Middle Ages, the Black Plague (or Death) was a pandemic that killed nearly 2/3 of the population in Europe, and lead to the downfall of the feudal system. The groups that benefited the most from the changes caused by the Black Death were peasants and laborers reaction toward the calamity ranged from rational and proactive to irrational, egoistic, and even criminal. Over all, the human devastation revealed a growth over time in government role and the role of the educated class in serving society, while uncovering a persistent criticism of the upper classes and the common people.

The Black Death affected the society of early modern Europe by killing off an estimated 75 to 200 million people. People were dying quickly. “Almost none of the ill survived past the fourth day” (Doc 1). This evidence by Marchione supports that people knew they didn’t have much time until they died. There were many ways you can identify if someone had the disease. Many signs indicated if someone had it such as bubo in the groin, small swelling under the armpit, sudden fever, spitting blood, and saliva. It wasn’t just humans that died from the plague; in addition, animals died from the disease also. “Dogs, cats, chickens, oxen, donkeys, and sheep showed the same symptoms and died off the same disease” (Doc 1). Therefore families that had pets would spread it to them to. They would put layer of bodies of layer of bodies. This shows that there were a lot of dying from the disease.

People still alive during the plague benefited from many different things. Since large amounts of people were dying everything would cost less, there would be more jobs, and many opportunities to make money. “And there were small prices for everything on account of the fear and death” (Doc 2). This explains that there were lower prices because the more...
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