The bubonic plague strikes Chapter 14 Section 4
The plague • 1300’s the bubonic plague destroyed nearly 1/3 of Europe’s population: • Instead of uniting people, the plague ripped them apart- • “This scourge had implanted so great a terror in the hearts of men and women that brothers abandoned brothers, uncles their nephews, sisters their brothers, and in many cases wives deserted their husbands. But even worse,…fathers and mothers refused to nurse and assist their own children” • "ate lunch with their friends and dinner with their ancestors in paradise." • -Giovanni Boccaccio
Origins of the plague • Began in Asia; trade routes spread the disease from Asia, to the Muslim world, to Europe • 1347 a fleet of Genoese merchant ships brought the “Black Death” to Sicily • “Black Death” – because of the purplish or black spots it made in the skin • The plague ripped through Italy and followed trade routes to Spain, France, Germany, England and Northern Africa • It took about 4 years for the plague to be in every corner of Europe.
Spreading the Plague • The plague came from rats carrying flees infested with the disease. • Due to the un-clean nature of Medieval Europe most people caught flees • Trash and waste in the streets brought more rats, and with more rats came more flees carrying the Black Death • Flees could pass from person to person with great ease helping to spread the disease with incredible speed
Symptoms and death tolls • Symptoms: • Painful swelling called buboes in the lymph nodes • Purplish/blackish spots on the skin (“Black Death”) • Extremely high fever, chills, delirium, DEATH • Death tolls: • Europe : 20-25 Million • China, India, Asia: 25 Million • Total: 45-50 Million people DEAD
Effect of the plague • Town populations fell • Trade declined • Peasant revolts in England, France, Italy, and Belgium • Start of anti-Semitism in Europe • Jews were blamed for the plague, kicked out of their homes or murdered • Church power on the decline • Prayers were not enough to stop the plague; people began to question the power of the church