How did the Black Death transform Europe?
The Black Death was one of the most devastating diseases in human history. In October 1347 twelve Genoese ships came to the Sicilian port of Messina. In the following three hundred years, one-third of the European population had died due to the Black Death changing Europe significantly. Europe transformed in aspects of economy, society and religion. Massive death caused Landlords to have trouble both in finding enough manpower and collecting dues. Meanwhile, peasants’ social status seemed to rise a bit and they began to demand for higher wages. The society was awfully unstable that numerous peasants rose up against their king, Richard II. Also resulted for the miserable population decline, most of the believers lost their faith in Gods.
First of all, the economy of Europe suffered from the Black Death. The whole society encountered extreme difficulties when dealing with financial problems. “Financial business was disrupted as debtors died and their creditors found themselves without recourse. Not only had the creditor died, his whole family had died with him and many of his kinsmen. There was simply no one to collect from.”(The ORB) For instance, the money collected from peasants in England declined by 40% from1430-1456 (P176). What made it worse was that landlords were forced to rise peasants’ wages. “Due to a severe labor shortage, serf survivors were able to demand higher wages and better working conditions from their new landlords. ” (EHA) Before the plague arrived, landlords didn’t have to worry that they would be short of serfs, because of the increasing population. But when the Black Death hit Europe, everything changed. The situation in which peasants are subordinates of lords no longer existed. Lords of farms had a hard time finding enough hands to produce goods, so they were forced by the serfs to raise salaries in order to attract more workers. “The humble turned up their noses at employment, and...
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