Overview Of The Black Death And The Crusades

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What was The Black Death and The Crusades? In this Essay I will be unpacking questions and writing and extended response to these questions. What were these events and why did they occur, what were important dates and significant times relating to these events, how did the people react and what impacts did it have on the medieval period and society that changed it for ever. The topic on these events will be further detailed and answered.

The Black Death, also known as the Great Plague or the Black Plague was one of the most disastrous pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of approximately 75-200 million people in Europe. A third of Europe. This plague spread throughout Europe between 1346 and 1353 and is believed to be the worst plague that ever occurred in Europe. We all know that the Black Death was a devastating pandemic that killed millions but what was the cause of it and why did it spread? The Black Death is thought to be originated in Central Asia were it travelled Silk Road and then reached Crimea by 1343, it was carried by fleas living on black rats which boarded merchant ships which was the main way for rats to spread to other places. It spread throughout Europe and the Mediterranean Basin with ports being the black rats and flea’s perfect breeding ground then leading onto the deaths of millions. The Black Death was first introduced to Europe on October 1347 where 12 ships docked at the Sicilian port of Messina were the people were met with the sight of almost all men dead or barely alive with black and blue covering their skin they called it the blue sickness as the people who were infected had bluish blackish skin and many started to get infected. When they first learned of the Plague they panicked and started moving away to places without the plague it had a few symptoms which identified if sick or not so they left their families in hope that they wouldn’t become sick but although already infected they started to spread the plague to other places which increased the people with the plague. Almost every town city and community were affected by the disease and was left to rot in their houses too sick to even move.

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People often thought that the reason that the disease was spreading was that when their spirit was leaving their body as they deceased it passed by and they became sick. This was not the only theory that they had. As many believed in God because the church almost had 100 per cent power people thought that God was punishing them for their sins. Some cures they tried to help the sick were to rub onions, herbs or a chopped up snake or they cut up a pigeon and rubbed it over an infected body they would’ve even drunk vinegar and crushed minerals. Although they had their own theories of the causes of the diseases the real cause of the disease was a dangerous bacteria that infected fleas which then passed on to black rats through a bite then to people from the black rats. During the terror that the Black Death caused three ways it impacted medieval society was family life, the church and the economy. It affected the family life by causing whole communities to be broken as they tried to avoid the disease moved to many different places this caused more families to die and spread the disease as people kept on moving. It affected the church because the church played a significant role during the Middle Ages because religion was an important aspect of daily life for European Christians. When the Black Death struck Europe in 1347 the Church struggled to fix the problem plague’s damaging which caused the church’s reputation to suffer as a result. The people who believed in the church stopped belief even sometimes blamed it on god and the people of the church. This also affected the economy in a number of ways. Some peasants thought of it as a beneficial way because people were dying their wages went up but in negative ways, the disease also affected livestock which caused a food shortage. It was such a big problem that it led to a shortage of wool throughout the continent. Because of the shock of available labour caused by the Black Death the Feudal system that had previously dominated Europe began to collapse. And working conditions were different as there weren’t enough people so they had to work in harsher conditions than they already have.

What were the crusades and what were the significant dates? The Crusades were a series of religious wars between Christians and Muslims which started to control the holy lands considered sacred by both groups in all there were eight Crusade expeditions that occurred between 1096 and 1291. The dates of these crusades were, first crusade 1096-1099, second crusade 1145-1149, third crusade 1189-1192, fourth crusade 1202-1204, fifth crusade 1217-1221, sixth crusade 1228-1229, seventh crusade 1248-1254 and eighth crusade 1270. The first crusade was the first of a number of crusades that attempted to recapture the holy land ordered by the Pope Urban II. At the council of Clermont 1095 Urban called for a military expedition to aid the Byzantine Empire. This is what the Pope ordered them to do but he did call for military back up to recapture the holy site it was also recaptured so that pilgrims could travel safely for their religious reasons.

By 1350 survivors of the plague began to realize everything was over. The immediate consequence of the Black Death was a massive reduction of the population but the plague also had many long-term effects on society. Many of the people who attended any form of school at the time died which led to a decline in schools and many were destroyed. There was also a decline to trade because people were afraid to trade with the continent just surviving a great plague. All of these things added up to Europe’s period of reduced success and wealth. During the middle ages, the plague was known as all-destroying. One-third of a countries population cannot be taken down over a period of three years without a large number of losses of economy, Church life, and family life because of the plague it change medieval times for ever. 


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