HIST 2B Lecture 6: History 2B 6

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6 Feb 2017
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History 2B
February 1, 2017
Key Terms
Caffa
Yersinia pestis
Prato
Ciompi Revolt
Red Turbans
14th century
How did disease reshape society in the 14th century?
Recurrent plague cycles destabilized social norms, shrank the labor force and contributed
to political crises
What social conditions & political resentments produced rebellion in 14th century Eurasia?
Reduced population- attempts to control labor power; peasant, worker resentment of
social control, heavy taxation
Little Ice Age c. 1300-c.1700
End of the Medieval Optimal- period of warmth c.900-1300
Cold, wet summers
Shorter, unreliable growing season
o Agriculture becomes more difficult
o Population increase contributes to famine
Famine
Great Famine, Europe 1315-17
o Strikes almost all of Europe. Drought
o Contributes to preexisting political disability
Famines in China 1330s-40s
o Heavy populated
Famine, revolt in Iran, 1320s-30s
Weakened, vulnerable populations
Abandonment of marginal lands
Competition for grain, other resources
Malnourishment- enhances danger of plague, other diseases
o Peasants eat rice or bread
The Black Death
Bubonic plague: Yersinia pestis
o Endemic in ground rodents
o Transmitted via fleas, lice
o Forms of plague: bubonic, pneumonic, septicemic
o Medieval cities had little sanitation, overcrowded
o Disease originated from Mongol empire linked to trade routes
Caffa: Entrepot and Epidemic Flashpoint
Trading city on the Black Sea in Italy
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