The Plague DBQ

Topics: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Plague Pages: 8 (3207 words) Published: October 19, 2014
The Plaque DBQ
The Black Death also known as the Bubonic Plague and many other names, devastated European society by affecting its economy, social structure, government, and church in a series of outbreaks taking place years apart for over 300 years. When the Black Death began to surface for the first time people panicked and believed in supernatural reasons that had caused the plague but during the course of time different groups of people such as the state or government, the middle class, and the church either began to have a different attitude towards the plague like a rational or selfish point of view or they kept believing in supernatural beings that caused the plague.

The Black Death first appeared in Europe in 1347 when 12 Genoese trading ships arrived at Messina, Sicily containing infected sailors. These sailors were extremely ill and had black boils all over there body, this is where the name of the Black Death was derived from. The Sicilian authorities soon ordered that these “death ships' be expelled before contamination but by then it was too late. The Plaque then began to spread throughout Western Europe. The Black Death spread infecting and killing millions in 3 different ways. The first way was spread by rats and fleas. Since many people in Europe lived in such unsanitary conditions rats and fleas were attracted to people's homes and then people would be infected through flea bites. This caused swollen lymph nodes, high fever, depression, and would kill a person in 5 days. The second ways the plague spread was from person to person contact when an infected person coughs on a healthy person. If this happened the person would begin to cough blood, have a massive fever, cough out pieces of their lungs, and have black boils all over their body. Basically the person would look as if they were already dead. The person would die in 3 days. The third way the disease spread was through both the first and second way. If a person was infected by both the first and second way they would experience no symptoms and appear perfectly healthy but would die overnight. The Black Death affected Europe dramatically. Economically, for traders and merchants the Black Death ceased all transactions between countries because people wanted to limit the Black Death from spreading so one of the best things to do was shut down all ships traveling from country to country including trading and merchant ships. Europe's economy began to collapse. Socially, the peasants suffered the most. Since peasants lived in such close quarters and were not very hygienic the Black Death hit them the hardest while the rich who were able to afford leaving the cities were hardly affected because they were separated from the infected population. This affected Europe greatly because there were less and less peasants and serfs to do work for the nobility and middle class. The remaining peasants began to demand an increase in pay and better rights since there were only a few of them that survived they took advantage. Eventually this led to peasant rebellions all over Europe. The Black Death also affected the Catholic Church. People at first thought the Black Death was a punishment for sinners from God. But soon people saw how not only sinners but also non-sinners, bishops, and monks were being affected by the Plague. People began to lose faith in religion and in the Catholic Church. Some people began to find ways to atone for their sins such as the flagellants. The flagellants were were people whole would whip themselves in public in atonement for their sins. Although the church condemned them this movement was very popular in this time of crisis during the Black Death. The flagellants would wear white robes and whip themselves into a religious frenzy while carrying the cross in order to achieve salvation and fight against the Black Death. The Black Death affected not only the people but Europe as a whole. The Black Death mainly affected Europe...
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