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The Black Death

The Black Death



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Published by Jeff Lunsford
Paper I got a 98 on.....The grading was lax though so if you use it I would recommend to alterations to the thesis and structure.
Paper I got a 98 on.....The grading was lax though so if you use it I would recommend to alterations to the thesis and structure.

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Published by: Jeff Lunsford on May 28, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Jeff LunsfordHistoryDr. HermanFebruary 15, 2007The Black DeathThe black death was a plague that swept the european population withdevastating consequences in the late 13th and 14th century. while most of thehistorical focus is on the european side of the map, Asia was affected just ashard as many of the european states. (boisestate.edu) The plague had adevastating effect on the european continent though in particular as it wasorginially brought to europe on a ship that arrived in Cyprus in the summer of 1347 and by september of 1348, it had reached England.(boisestate.edu) Thisplague had three very disticnt forms of killing or severely crippling the individual.One of the forms was the Bubonic plague, which had large "bubo's", large sacksthat could grow to the size of an gold ball or as large as an apple, filled with pussand blood, would form around the groin and armpit region of the body. This formof the disease was about 60 percent fatal and was the least fatal of the threetypes of the disease. Another form was the Pneumonic Plague which attackedthe lungs and was extremely dangerous because it was an airborn virus andcould therefore be aquired by simply breathing the virus. This form of the diseasewas extremely deadly as it killed 95 percent of its victims and killed its victims inthree to seven days. The last and most deadly form. Its name is the SepticemicPlague and it attacks the bloodstream and kills its victims overnight byoverloading the immune system, causing it to crash.This form also killed at least95 to 100 percent of its victims, and since this was a highly contagious form of the disease and killed overnight, this was by far the deadliest form of the plague.(Civilization:past and present. 398)The Black Plague also had a devastating effect on the Catholic church during itscourse in europe. The reason being is that up untill the time if the Black Plaguethe church supposedly had all the answers to the peoples problems and when noexplanation or cure was put forth by the church, many people abandoned thechurch and also, may priests abandoned there flocks. The plague brought onmany differant kinds of reactions from the people of europe, from the "Eat, Drinkand Be Merry" mindset, to the extremeist views of the Flagellants.The Flagellants were an extreme group of individuals who would everyday gather in a group and walk around whipping themelves with a three -pronged whip thateach of them carried on there person. These whips had, in the end of each one,a sharp object like a piece of glass, or needles in order to cause intense pain,possibly signifying what Jesus wen through when we was to be crucified. TheseFlagellants would do this in order to show god that they were "sorry" for whatever they had done in order to cause such a terrible plague to sweep there country.
Many differant "cures" and measures to prevent and treat the disease in europe.Some doctors wold wear bizzare outfits almost resembeling a bird as they wereclothed from head to toe in a long robes and would also wear masks that had along nose, very closely resembling a birds beak. This "beak" would be filled withflowers and sweet smelling objects as at that time they believed that the plaguewas caused by an airborn agent and not fleas. I suppose it was a logicalconclusion as the rats that were carrying the disease would most likely emergefrom the sewers and would therefore carry the stench that the sewers so oftenhave with them to where ever they would go. However, this is just one of manyexamples of the bizzare actions of the doctors in there attempt to cure thedisease, from putting hot onions on the bubos to having pigeons suck the bloodfrom the bubos, all of these were frankly, worthless in treating the disease. Theseattempts however, were not all in vain as some of them were sucessful in slowingdown the disease."Yersinia Pestis", is the official name of the virus that casued the bubonic plagueand it was mainly carriewd by black rats emerging from trade ships and infectingother rats in the sewers. (www.wikipedia.org) This caused was devastating tomany of the lower class individuals because often times they would have sweagein the streets and it would, most of the time, just sit and rot in the streets becauseof poor irrigation in most citys. This allowed for the breeding of rats and providedan ideal enviroment for the rampant spread of the disease to any and allindividuals who encountern it.However, there was a group of individuals who seemed to be resiliant and hadvery few deaths, this was the Jewish population. It was more than likely becausethe Jewish population was very fond of cats and since the cats often times killedthe rats or simply kept them away from humans, many jewish people werespared from a terrible death. This was actually a very large source of anti-semticattitudes towards Jewish people as people did not understand why the diseasewas not effecting them. Also the Jewish diet that most orthodox jews keep to is avery diverse diet and most individuals that keep to it remain healthy and strong.As a whole the black death was the most devastating plague that europe hasever seen and probibly will ever see as we now have vaccinations and antibioticsthat can prevent outbreaks. We can learn a valuble lesson from the pastmistakes though as we can be preparing for the future by providing funding andsupport for research and development of vaccinations for new disease's. We asthe world can work together in unison in order to ensure that our lives and thelives of our children is a safe and healthy one.Works CitedCox Skip. "The Black Death". Boise State University. 15 February, 2007.<http://history.boisestate.edu/westciv/plague/>.

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