The Black Death
Characterize the significance of the Black Death’s impacts on the economic and cultural life of medieval Europe.
The European economy changed greatly after the plague. In the countryside, the peasants started to gain more wealth after the plague. They grabbed the land of those that had died and started farming. They produced a lot of yields and supplied them to the market since there were a few people and so they focused on farming. The peasants exploited the changed conditions especially by taking advantage of the available land. Moreover, the lords who owned lands and forced peasants to pay fixed rents had passed on and thus the peasants had taken charge by taking ownership of the land. They also displaced customary dues and services and, despite low grain prices, the peasant more readily fed himself and his family from his own land and produced a surplus for the market (Platt, 2014). The Black Death opened new opportunities by increasing the commercial and technological skills. Indeed, it led to many benefits than losses.
How does your knowledge of the epidemics in history provide additional insight into the impact of the Black Death?
The Black Death, unlike other catastrophes, destroyed people but not property and the attenuated population was left with the whole of Europe’s resources to exploit, resources far more substantial by 1347 than they had been two and a half centuries earlier, when they had been created from the ground up (Ziegler, 2013). Epidemics cause great losses of lives and in the agricultural sector as well, since the people in the country have less energy to work in the firms. This in turn reduces the economic system since the living standard of people decrease. For example, the 1918 Spanish Flu3 caused a lot of deaths and decreased the mortality rates of the world’s population. This in turn deceased the living standards of people since most of them would not work because they were isolated. It greatly reduced the economy and thus increasing the poverty levels because many families used their resources to care for the sick.
Ziegler, P. (2013). The Black Death. Faber & Faber.
Platt, C. (2014). King Death: The Black Death and Its Aftermath in Late-Medieval England. Routledge.