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The Tragic Black Death

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The Tragic Black Death

Picture you, alone on a street, dying to get air and bleeding every time you exhale. You just a full breath of air, but you realize that is not possible and you give up staying alive. Most people questioned why is this happening to me? That is how mostly felt. The Black Death had many different effects on the people of the middle Ages. To understand this tragic epidemic you must realize what the Black Death is, the cause of the plague, the symptoms, the different effects it had on the people, and the preventions and cures for the plague.

The Black Death, also known as the Black Plague or the Bubonic Plague, smacked in 1349 and in 1361-62 all over Europe, bringing death to many people of the Middle Ages. It was a combination of bubonic, septicemia, and pneumonic plague strains that started in the east and worked its way west, but never left its native home. One of the things that made the plague one of the worst was that there were outbreaks almost every ten years, but still restricted to Europe. It is thought that one-third to one-half could have possibly died by the plague, with some towns of a death rate of up to 30 or 40 percent. Very few who were infected with the plague actually survived more than one month after receiving the disease. The Black Death was an incredible event that affected everyone on either a physical or emotional level, or both. The Black Death was more terrible, and killed more people than any war in history. The plague was so horrible and terrifying that people said it made all other disasters in the middle Ages seems mild when comparing it to the Black Death.

There have been many disputes over what caused the Black Death, but only one is supported with the most evidence. It is thought that on October of 1347, a Genoese fleet made its way into a harbor in northeast Sicily with a crew that had sickness clinging to their very bones. The sickness this crew had was not brought by men, but the rats and fleas aboard the ship. The harbor tried to control the sickness by attempting to quarantine the fleet, but it was too late. Within six months of the docking of that very fleet, half of the region had either fled the country, or died. That fleet, along with many other fleets along the Mediterranean Sea brought the greatest natural disaster to the world. The infested rat, called the black ship rat, was carried in the baggage of merchants on board the ships traveling all over the Mediterranean. They didn't know it, but it was the people that actually spread the disease across the land. The plague spread in a great arc across Europe, starting in the east in the Mediterranean Sea, and ending up in northwest Germany. It is incredible that the plague hit Europe several times, but still no one understood the causes or the treatments of the epidemic.

There was another cause that some people strongly believed brought the disease into their world. Doctors at the University of Paris claimed that on March 20, 1345, at one o'clock in the afternoon, a conjunction of three higher planets Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars caused a corruption of the surrounding air, which made the air become poisonous or toxic. This is a highly unlikely theory unless you are coming from a basis of Astrology. Another explanation of the plague that scientists gave was environmental factors. These scientists thought that there were many earthquakes that caused toxic fumes to come from the center of the earth, which, again, brought contaminated air for the people. Certain historians have wondered if the plague could have been caused by overpopulation of the continent, but they are not completely convinced. Some people, possibly out of desperation, turned their violence on the Jews and blamed them for the cause of the plague. Whatever the cause was, you could tell from looking in a person's eyes that, above every person hung the terror of the Black Death.

Although the Black Death was one of the largest epidemics ever recorded, it did not have many visible symptoms. The actual symptoms varied in different parts of the continent. The most ordinary symptoms were black tumors or boils on your neck, and the coughing up of blood. One thing about coughing up blood that made the plague even worse, was that when you coughed up blood, everyone in the room was susceptible to the disease. This is because when the person coughed up the blood, the bacteria went airborne and infected the person of the closest proximity. This allowed the plague to spread more quickly and easily.

The Black Death had more than just physical effects, but more extensive effects over the course of 25 years. Such as physical effects, social and religious effects, economic effects, agricultural and commercial effects, effects on architecture, and effects on the future. For two generations after the plague, there was almost no increase in the population of



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