Where did it come from? First seen in China (under Mongols) in early 1330s.
How did it spread? Rat Flea
What helped it spread? • Small cramped living spaces in towns • Dirty wool clothing • Trade routes
Physical Symptoms Fever Swelling of lymph glands (buboes) Red spots on skin that later turn black (hence the name Black Death)
The Dead • Killed 25 million people over 5 years - 1/3 of Europe’s population!
Dealing with the Dead Cities and towns lacked means to adequately deal with the number of corpses . . . Some of the corpses were left to rot. Some were taken to mass graves and burned. * Hoped to get rid of the disease . . . didn’t work
Social Consequences Many towns and cities closed their borders Many people blamed the Jews leading to anti-Semitism People left cities and towns and went to rural areas hoping to escape the disease, but it caught up with them there!
Economic Consequences • Economic decline • Severe labor shortages • Workers demand higher wages, land owners refuse to meet these demands • Peasant revolt of 1381 • Feudalism collapsed • Increased tension between upper & lower class
Powers of the Church changes • Church power increased • some people become convinced that the plague was a punishment for sin
Power of the Church changes Church power questioned • Why did God let something so horrible happen? • Why hadn’t peoples prayers been answered? • Why did priests charge high fees for sacraments for the dead?
Primary Source • Read and annotate the primary source, Description of the Plague • Focus: Find evidence of the social, economic and religious effects of the Plague.