By: Logan VanMier

The Black Death should be talked about more in the high school curriculum because it killed so many people, it helped the survivors, and it changed the field of medicine.

Death Toll

The Black Death killed almost a third of European population. 25 million people lost their lives to The Plague. 60 million Chinese died due to the plague and famine. In the Middle East the death rate was also about a third. About 40% of Egypt’s population died.


It starts with a headache, nausea, and vomiting. Within a day there are large swellings on the neck, armpits, and thighs. These lumps will grow to the size of oranges and then start to bleed and ooze pus. Death would likely come within a week.

So what happened to the survivors?

Trade and War

During the Plague, trade stopped. The wages were higher because of the reduced work force and the reduced amount of trade. People could demand more because workers are needed to get food.Trade eventually resumed. Because of the lack of supplies and the lack of people all wars slowed to a halt, to be resumed later.

The Church

the plague weakened the church because people stopped believing in the power of God to save their friends and family. But churches were built by grateful survivors.


In the 1300s, before the Black Death, it was common for doctors to also be alchemists. During the Black Death doctors often prescribed alcoholic spirits as treatment, but when it didn't work so they stopped being alchemists.

Plague Doctors' Clothing


  • Hat - a large wide-brimmed hat was worn to identify the person as a doctor.
  • Primitive gas mask shaped like a bird beak - there was a belief that by dressing in a bird-like mask, the wearer could draw the plague away from the patient and onto the garment the plague doctor wore.


  • Long suet covered overcoat - The overcoat worn by the plague doctor was tucked in behind the beak mask at the neckline to minimize skin exposure.
  • Leather pants - Similar to waders worn by fishermen, leather pants were worn under the coat to protect the legs and groin from infection.


  • Wooden cane - used to both direct family members to move the patient and to examine patients without directly touching them.
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