Bubonic Plague Essay example

2976 Words Mar 20th, 2005 12 Pages
When Bubonic Plague visited England in 1348, it was called the Great Mortality. We know it as the Black Death that lasted until 1352 and killed vast populations in Asia , North Africa , Europe , Iceland , and Greenland . In total, it extinguished as much as fifty percent of the world's population.

In England , bubonic plague on average killed at least one-third of all inhabitants between 1348 and 1349. In London alone, one out of two people died during the visitation. The bottom line is that every English man, woman, and child at the time encountered plague in some way, and all feared it.

After 1352, the plague became endemic in England , flaring up routinely and then yearly from 1485 to 1670. Within those two centuries,
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The Plague returned sporadically, striking mostly children, until it disappeared from Europe in 1399, not to return again until the 17th century. The Black Death changed the demography of Europe significantly. Aside from the Plague deaths, there was also a decline in the birth rate. The net result was that by 1400, Europe 's population was half what it had been in 1345. This is known with some accurateness from many medieval church, census, and tax records that have survived. Reasonably accurate records exist for the London epidemic in 1665, that from an estimated population of 460,000 two-thirds left the city to escape. Of the one-third remaining, about half died. Europe 's population took about six generations to pick up.

The Italian writer Giovanni Boccaccio lived through the plague as it devastated the city of Florence in 1348. The experience inspired him to write The Decameron. Boccaccio gives a striking account of the effects of the plague on his city:

"No doctor's advice, no medicine could overcome or alleviate this disease, an enormous number of ignorant men and women set up as doctors in addition to those who were trained. In any case very few recovered; most people died within about three days of the appearance of the tumors". 5

Symptoms Of The Plague In Europe the pestilence was named the Black Death because of discoloration of the skin and black tumors that occurred

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