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HIST 111
Janna Bianchini

War and Pestilence 4/29/13 Great Famine (7 years and happens BEFORE the Black Death) - First to hit N. Europe in centuries - Was geographically extensive and kept going (bad winters, bad harvest) - Around 1200- was peak then declines after (Cycle climate) The Black Death- pandemic in 1348 - Bubonic Plague- spread through air, infects the lymph nodes, causing black swellings called buboes - Develops slowly over several days and kills around 75% of population - Plague first occurs in rats and spread by rat fleas, when rats start dying off in vast numbers then the fleas jump to new host- the humans o Clearly travels along trade routes b/c rats (most commercial areas the hardest hit) - Plague existed since 542 (of Justinian) but recurs in cycles then disappears until 1340s (no preexisting resistance to plague so is easily caught) Population already weakened by great famine so more susceptible - Florence- major trade city, 2/3 population dies, Poland largely spared, one of deadliest plague in history - Only 3 YEARS LONG (recurs every 10 years after, but death rate drops each time) Seek spiritual solutions, considered plague a divine punishment - Started movement of flagellant- men and women who walked through streets whipping themselves as form of public penance, to atone for sins that brought disaster on - Medical approaches: reduce infection by breathing clean air (aromatic herbs), impose quarantines (can’t enter city), stopped people from visiting dead, psychological measures (stop funeral bells from ringing) - Economics: real estate prices dec, labor costs inc, number people buy stuff dec o black death considered good for peasants- more land, more work, high wages o inheritance effect- (short term) those survived inherit a lot of money, rich get richer, greater % is unearned wealth o long term – manufacturing moves up market, invest in luxury goods that require fewer workers who were more skilled (silk rather than wool)  effort to chase inherited wealth (mass consumption to luxury goods for smaller and wealthier market) - Social: distrust for institutional authority (church and medical profession) and they lose prestige, have lasting effects, peasant revolts across Europe o immense immigration to cities b/c economic opportunities, (long term consequence- destroys existing social networks w/in cities) 100 Yea
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