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The Effects of Climate and Disease in European History

The Effects of Climate and Disease in European History

At the beginning of the fourteenth century, conditions in Europe were adequate. Nobles were prospering, trade and commerce were doing fine, and agricultural production was sufficient. However, that all changed later on in the fourteenth century due to two factors. These two factors propelled Europe into one of the worst times any culture has ever seen. Climate and disease ravaged its way through Europe causing (and these problems called for) economic, social, and political change.

Disease affected many areas of the Fourteenth century, the main one being the black plague. The black plague arose in central Asia, and then moved on to China. From China it continued eastward until it reached Europe from merchant ships, due to trading which was prominent back then. (Trading during the 14th century was prominent and this brought the disease from China to Europe through merchant ships.)The disease was carried by black rats and fleas on the ships. The black plague was not the only disease to affect the people of Europe; influenza, typhus, malaria, typhoid, and smallpox all played roles in decimating the people. (Hunt page 469)

Diseases such as the black plague in Fourteenth century Europe severely affected the economics of the continent. During this time Europe lost 1/3 of its population due to the black plague. The heavy losses of the population paved the way to economic contraction. There were falling demands for food and goods leading to the abandonment of many farms and settlements.(hunt 468) Many people gave up, ( working was no longer a priority because of the belief that they were going to die.) they did not care about working anymore because what is the point if you are just going to die(plague reading). However, once the death reached a standstill, people picked right back off from where they left off, and many benefited from the decrease in population. Because of the labor shortages workers received much higher pay. These workers were typically the poor, thus helping them tremendously, especially with better living and eating standards.(hunt 472) (As a response to the notion of impending death; the commoners bought luxury items because they felt that there was no reason to “pinch pennies”, so to speak. luxury goods were being imported and new commodities were...

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