The Black Death

Week #16 Essay, History

5/17/16

The Black Death

 

The Black Death was a severe plague that happened in Europe in the middle of the 14th century. It was spread mainly by rodents and fleas.

It started in Europe’s major trading cities and was first infectious around 1348 A.D. The plague spread to Europe’s countryside.

The signs that you had The Black Death were:

Large pores on skin (they started out red, then turned black, and after they turned black, the person would normally die within 3 days).

Fever

Chills

Vomiting

Aches

Doctors didn’t know how to cure The Black Death, because they had never seen anything like it before. People didn’t understand germs during that time, so they didn’t realize how fast the plague spread. Eventually, they tried quarantining the infected, without much success.

Some people thought that God was angry with them, so they started whipping themselves in public. It lifted the people’s spirits a little, but it did nothing to stop them from getting the plague.

Famine became a problem as well as the plague, because they didn’t have enough men well enough to harvest the crops.

The nursery rhyme, Ring Around The Rosy, was written after this plague.

The first line, Ring around the rosy, stood for the ring around pores on the infected people’s skin.

The second line, Pockets full of posies, stood for the people constantly carrying flowers with them to drown out the smell of death in the air.

The last line, Ashes, ashes, we all fall down, stood for the dead bodies that were burned.

While The Black Death was mostly over by 1350, it did appear in some towns all the way until the 19th century.

By the time The Black Death was over, 30-60% of Europe’s population was killed. It took Europe 150 years to get its population back to its original number.

By Amelia Jacobson

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