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Black Death Essay (revised)

Black Death Essay (revised) - Nick Poggetti Black Death...

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Nick Poggetti Black Death Essay February 20, 2008 Topic 2 (revised) The Black Death and Its Effects on European Society The 14 th century Black Death is the most substantial event in the Middle Ages. The Black Death was a disease that swept through Europe like a brushfire in the dry season. Killing between nineteen and thirty-eight million 1 , it devastated the Europeans. This plague ravaged the people like nothing they had ever seen, and they were defenseless. It ended many lives, and drastically changed the ones who escaped death. With the disappearance of so many, the daily routines of life came to a sudden halt. All aspects of society were forced to stop and change. Death became a part of life, and people began to accept this. Everywhere one would go; results of the plague could be seen. A twenty-five to fifty percent decrease in population 2 warped the lifestyles and mindsets of Europeans on a societal and personal level by forcing them to find new religions, art forms, and ultimately a new perspective on how to live their own individual lives. The Black Death moved Europe into a new era, forcing them to find a new lifestyle. The plague had made its way through Europe so quickly that the Europeans had no idea what had even hit them until it was upon them. It was not uncommon for few or single members of a community to be the only one left in a town. This is a shocking experience, and would completely alter the mindset of someone. During the Middle Ages, religion was a large part of life. The death of everyone in a village would leave people clueless. Thoughts questioning religion, faith, and lifestyle would cloud the head of a person left without family and friends. These thoughts essentially leave one asking, “What have I done wrong?” If a previous way of 1 Spielvogel, Jackson J. “ Western Civilization: Vol. 1 Brief Discovery Edition .” (Thomson Wadsworth, 2006), 193. 2 Spielvogel, 193.
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living led to a devastating plague, then the only other choice a European in the Middle Ages is left with is change; a change on the outlook of life. A direct change visible post-plague can be seen is the artistic style people immersed themselves in. For example, the style of are greatly changed because death was. “A fairly large number of artistic works came to be based on the ars moriendi, the art of dying.
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