Black Death Plague Impacts on the Economic and Cultural Life of Medieval Europe

Assignment Instructions

Characterize the significance of the Black Death’s impacts on the economic and cultural life of medieval Europe. Then, illustrate your point with specific examples. How does your knowledge of other epidemics in history provide additional insight into the impact of the Black Death? Be sure to consider the following points in your essay:

  • The introduction should engage the reader and clearly present the essay’s thesis and a summary of the main points that clarify the writer’s point of view.
  • Organization should clearly present points arranged logically to support the thesis.
  • Writing should be clear and concise with no spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors.
  • The number of sources should meet or exceed any expressed assignment requirements and should be peer-reviewed or academic in nature.
  • APA formatting guidelines should be used for reference entries and in-text citations.

 

Sample Solution – Black Death Plague

Introduction

The Black Death was among the most devastating plagues in human history, climaxing in Europe from 1347 to 1352, killing over 20 million individuals in Europe, which was about one-third of the population of Europe. The plague started in Asia and on trading ships to Europe. The cause of the plague was not known during that time. However, it was years later established to have been caused by bacteria from fleas and black rats. Rats were infected by the fleas and passed it on to the people after they jumped into the ships and navigated to Messina, Venice and Genoe among other parts of Europe. It then spread fiercely to other parts of the continent. This paper focuses on determining the significant impact of Black Death on cultural and Economic life of medieval Europe.

The Black Death impacted the economy a great deal.

There was a decline in the population of workers due to massive death, resulting to increase of labor wages, especially in the agricultural sector. A considerable number of animals also died as their caretaker died. However, the availability of more cultivating land and tools after the death of people played a great part in increasing production, making it easier to pay higher wages. The decline in the number of laborer increased laborers bargaining power, forcing lords to provide higher salaries and improved working condition. Workers living standards became better as their wages increased. High wages also pushed most lords into rearing sheep abandoning grains farming. Sheep farming was growing due to increase in wool and meat demand, and need for fewer workers,increasing the level of diversification of agribusiness economy(Benedictow, 2004).

Black Death followed a great economy revival period that was associated with industrialization. This means that there was high level of production due to mechanization but less population to absorb the developed products in all sectors. Consequently, there was an imbalance between supply and demand in the market. There was therefore economic depression in the region due to reduced cost of goods and lack of market. The market also suffered due to the loss of skilled workers and intelligent individuals who engineered and facilitated industrial development. Although the economics of loss of intellectuals was not done, the region also suffered from lost human capital that could have swayed the economy of the region in a different way (Malanima, n.d.).

Black Death Impacts on the Cultural Life of Medieval Europe

The Black Death also influenced the culture of Medieval Europe a great deal. Some of the cultural changes were seen in the art done during and after the plague. The sense of hopelessness could be seen among individuals who had lost enough that they did not fear loss anymore. Black Death and its impact were also presented in poetry, literature, and art with high level of creativity demonstrated in European culture. Painting was done to demonstrate the changes that the Black Death had caused. More paintings representing death which include dance of death were done where human skeleton was presented in various ways. More plays were based on thematic role of the plague. The plague also influenced the perspective of more writers. There was change in religious believes as people felt doubtful of the ability of their gods in saving them. The church could not do much to save the life of people from the plague. There was great loss of power among clergies.

The knowledge of other plagues in the world improves my understanding on how the plague was spread and how it could have affected the life of the people. Based on the history, most plagues that took place during this time caused massive deaths, especially due to poor medical development. They mostly caused unimaginable losses of people, and their intellectual ability facilitating economic, social and cultural growth in the affected region. This made me to anticipate losses in the Black Death plague (Benedictow, 2004).

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