Black Death

Marilyn Clark and Kaylee Barr 3rd period

What is the Black Death?

The Black Death

When did this all begin?

1328 - 1351 outbreaks occurred in some places for over 60 years.
It spread through Europe by trading in several European countries with trading ships containing rats and fleas.

How did it spread to Europe?

It was spread by the fleas that were carried by rats and other small rodents. The spread followed the trade routes to every country in Europe. Italian merchants brought the plague with them to the island of sicily from caffa. Then it spread to parts of southern Italy and southern France. The plague spread through France, Modern Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany and then it eventually came to England in 1349 which spread through the northern parts of Europe. When the plague hit England, it spread from Weymouth, down to Bristol and into London. Then, it goes into the neighboring areas of Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Symptoms and Treatment


-Produces blackened skin around the swelling areas which are called buboes

-swellings were all over the body

-skin would first turn red, then dark purple and then black

-high fever

-delirium (restlessness, illusions, brought upon by the fever)


-muscle pain

-bleeding in lungs

-mental disorientation

Typically the victims of this plague would sleep through the pain. They only lived between two to four days after catching the disease.

Treatments: Most treatments helped ease the pain of the symptoms like concoctions with herbs but there was no cure back then. Headaches were relieved by sages. Sickness and nausea were treatable with mint and balm.

Results in Social and in Economic situations

Trade declined, and shortages of worker and prices of labor rises dramatically. Decline of population lowered the demands of food, which resulted in falling prices. Landlords paid more for labor while the rents were declining. Peasants bargained with landlords for rent. With everyone in England catching this disease, Parliament of England had to discontinue its meetings because of the problems with the Black Plague. The schools in the Middle ages were closing due to lack of education and attendance because of the plague.

Decrease in Population

One third of the population died, over 200 million people in Europe. 7,500 victims were dying every day. Italy’s crowded cities got hit with the plague where 50 to 60 percent of the people died and In some English and German villages, the entire villages died of the plague.

Ring Around the Rosie

Origin - The words to Ring around the Rosie refer to the Black Death in England’s History in the 1300’s. The symptoms of the plague are apart of that song. Rosie red in a shape of a ring refer to the title. Pockets were filled with herbs (posies), these were carried due to the bad smell of death. Ashes Ashes refer to cremation of dead bodies.

Get Rid of the Plague with Dance and Prayer

Reference to Religion

With religion, the deaths got so bad that the Pope had to grant remission of sin to all those who were dying of the plague. When the plague occurred, many people went to the church for a cure and pray for a cure. With religious problems during the Black Death, the influence on the churches declined so this lead to the reformation in England.

Other Reasoning

What the people thought about the plague

Most people had no idea how they caught the black plague, neither did the physicians in that time. Many of the people believed that God punished them with the plague or it was caused by the devil. They thought it was God’s punishment because they didn’t have the knowledge of what was going on the plague. Many people of that time avoided those who were affected and some towns even built homes for the people who were affected by the plague. Many of the people of that time blamed the Jews because they accused them of poisoning the wells, which was the start of Anti-semitism. Christians in Germany went on a rampaged and killed Jews, which destroyed many of the Jewish communities. Many Jews fled to Poland, since so many people blamed them of the Black Death.

Essential Questions

How was the economy in Europe affected by the black death?

Why did the Europeans think that the Black Death was a sign from God or the devil?