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Black Death

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Black Death

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In the later part of the middle ages, an epidemic was unleashed upon society. Killing almost half of the population, the black death not only changed, or ended the lives of everybody in its path, it also left a dark cloud lingering over humanity for decades after. At a time when the population of Europe was at an all time high, food was scarce. The people of Europe were not prepared to fight this terrifying new disease that couldn't even begin to understand.

This catastrophe did more then kill, it changed the structure of life in the middle ages, both the church and state were effected. Surprisingly the public officials treated this as a disease, not as the wrath of a vengeful god on a society of sinners. Although for the people who were dying, or who were seeing their families and neighbors killed, their judgment day had arrived. It would be difficult to keep your faith at a time of great tragedy, if god wasn't doing this to them, then why was he letting it happen? Religion usually stabilizes a society and brings the people together, but in this case, the faith of the people was among the list of casualties. God had always served as a beacon of hope in uncertain times, and made the people feel safe and cared after. But at a time when entire families and towns are being wiped out, rich and poor alike, faith in god was dieing as fast as the people were.

When kings and nobles started to perish at the hands of this monster, it really painted a dark picture for the rest of society, it proved that nobody was safe. The rich already had more food and better health to start with, which made them somewhat more resistant to the plague, but in the end even they could not escape death. The cities were abandoned rapidly by those who could leave. No amount of power or wealth could save them from their grim fates. When priests

and popes began dying, faith was no longer enough.

The plague was accompanied by chaos and panic. People could not understand for what

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they were being punished. Most took precautions and hoped for the best. Some accepted that there was nothing they could do about it and felt that they had to live like everyday was their last. They ran wild in the streets, drinking too much, stealing, doing whatever they pleased. No longer worried about sins and that being good would save you, they simply tried to enjoy the rest of their lives. The church was quick to condemn gambling, excessive drinking and the laziness of peasants and urged immediate confession of all sins and prayer for forgiveness. But by this time, the church was losing its prestige. The church had promised cures, treatment, and an explanation for the plague. They said it was God's will, but the reason for this awful punishment was unknown. People wanted answers, but the priests and bishops didn't have any. The clergy abandoned their Christian duties and fled

Medieval society had a rough time trying to recover from the effects of the plague. So many people were dying that soon there were labor shortages. Peasants demanded higher wages, but landlords refused those demands. By the end of the 1300s peasant revolts broke out in England, France, Belgium and Italy. The governments of Europe were suffering, the people were revolting, their officials were dying. The drastic change in the population also led to a lot less revenue

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