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MMW 13 Chapter Text & Article Notes: Crises of the Later Middle Ages (PGS 411-414) & A Most Terrible Plague & Selections from The Black Death & The Black Death in the Middle East

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University of California - San Diego
Making of the Modern World
MMW 13
Edmond Yi- Teh Chang

MMW 13 – Textbook Notes – Crises of the Later Middle Ages (PGS 411-414) & A Most Terrible Plague & Selections from The Black Death & The Black Death in the Middle East Crises of the Later Middle Ages The Great Famine and the Black Death • Climate changes o Period of colder and wetter weather ▪ Little ice age o Population had increased before, but colder weather made it so that they couldn’t produce enough to support the new population, and a lot of people starved ▪ Scarcity ▪ Costs of grain, livestock, dairy rose rapidly ▪ Peasants had to sell/mortgage their land to buy food ▪ Amount of homeless people increased ▪ Crime increased • Black Death: transmitted through coughing and sneezing; boil growth; black spots from bleeding under the skin; coughing violently and spitting blood o Thought that the plague was caused by bad air o Death of many peasants disrupted food production in the short term o In the long term eased pressure on land ▪ Wages and wealth rose for those who survived A Most Terrible Plague Introduction • Humanist during Renaissance • Written during plague years 1348-1353 • Collection of stories told between friends Giovanni Boccaccio • Sought to clean the city in order to prevent plague • Expelled the people who started showing symptoms • People publishing instructions for ways to keep your health and avoid the disease • Description of the symptoms • Doctors don’t know how to cure it, or it is incurable • Caught by being near a sick person or touching anything that they had touched • Lots of crime because people didn’t want to go outside and the police officers were dying • Lots of people fleeing to avoid the plague • When someone got sick, everyone would run away from them, even their own family and friends • People’s bosses were dying so they weren’t making money anymore • 100,000 people died in Venice Selections from The Black Death The Black Death as a Historical Event • Returned once a decade • Endemic: locally confined disease o Plague probably began this way • Pandemic: wide-spread disease o Transmitted by the widespread Mongol Empire • 50% mortality rate Historical Significance of the Black Death • Inevitable consequence of an overpopulated area • Forced Europeans to make technological innovations o More efficient agricultu
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