The Bubonic Plague
The Bubonic Plague • First emerged in the 14th century (1347) • Dispute as to where it originated, but most likely from Asia • Brought to Western Europe via merchant ships carrying infected rats • A.K.A. Black Plague, Black Death
Background • Europe was overpopulated in the 14th century • There was a shortage in food, therefore much of Europe was malnourished • Where’s the food?... Bad weather and poor harvests led to famine
How it is Contracted/Spread • Flea carries bacteria, catches a ride on the rat • Bacteria multiply in flea’s stomach • Flea bites human and spreads bacteria • Infected human spreads bacteria to another human
Symptoms • Develop a large growth (called a buba) on your neck, groin or armpit • You could have the buba lanced (cut off), but there were no guarantees of survival • Extreme pain • Black spots or blotches due to internal bleeding • Violent coughing of blood • Death comes within 1 week. No cure at that time
2 Forms of the Plague • Bubonic- flea was the transmitter of the bacteria. • Pneumonic- human to human transmission of the disease. • 14th century Europe did make attempts at some sanitation & hygiene, but to no avail. • Closeness was a factor… 6-8 people often slept in one room.
Impact on Population • Estimates range from 1/3 to 1/2 of Europe’s population depleted (75 million worldwide) • Villages destroyed and survivors moved to cities for jobs • Cities hit the hardest due to overcrowding & sanitation problems • All social classes affected, but mainly the lower class • The Plague continued throughout the 18th century (1700’s) • Cure is discovered in 1947 by an American
Social & Economic Impact • No one knew what to do or how it spread. • Less people in Europe meant more food and jobs to go around. Good thing! • However, an inflation did occur due to lack of production. Food more costly • Workers fought for better wages & standard of living. Rebellions occured • The Hundred Years’ War would produce more destruction
Impact on the Church • Population lost faith in clergy members who claimed they could cure victims • Theories emerged that God was punishing the Europeans, Christians blamed the Jews • Extreme groups formed like the flagellants who would beat themselves as punishment for society’s sins • The church lost much of its clergy, church reforms would soon emerge
Cultural Impact • European society grew very pessimistic about life in general • Angry about their losses • Literature, art, and music emphasize death and the plague • New universities formed at this time due to the “decay of learning” during the plague
Question • Using the question below, please form a response in your notebook based on what was covered in class today: How did the Bubonic Plague affect the culture, society, economy, and religious aspects of 14th century Europe?