The Plague


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The Plague

  1. 1. Enduring Understanding:The spread of disease can alter an area socially and economically
  2. 2. In the 1300’s an infectious disease struck Asia, the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe that killed tens of millions of people. It’s victims suffered severe chills, fever, convulsions, dark spots, vomiting, and usually died within a few days of infection Between 20 and 40 million people died by 1400
  3. 3. It is thought that the Plague, or “Black Death”, spread from centralAsia to Europe along trade routes. It was caused by a bacteria found in ground rodents in central Asia. It was carried along trade routes by Mongol armies and traders and first introduced in Europe in Kaffa in 1347.
  4. 4.  Mongol armies attacking the city of Kaffa used infected corpses as weapons  As traders escaped the city they carried the disease with them on ships to Sicily – It spread into Europe from this point  Weather, war and famine played a role in the severity and the speed in which the disease covered Europe
  5. 5.  The plague, or “Black Death”, didn’t officially get it’s nickname until 1833  The nickname came from the later part of the infection when the body would begin to rot and turn black  After a human is bitten by an infected animal the bacteria moves through the blood stream and into the lymph nodes, which start to swell causing painful bumps or ,“buboes”, to develop  Other symptoms include: fever, chills, headache and extreme tiredness  If left untreated the infection can enter the bloodstream and lead to abdominal pain, shock, and bleeding under the skin or organs  If it enters the lungs it can lead to coughing with blood, high fever, and results in death  After contracting the disease it usually takes between 2-6 days to run it’s course
  6. 6.  At first there was little or no response from European governments. The disease spread so fast that it was not clear where the disease came from  More people died in cities than in the country side – the clergy suffered more than any group because they cared for the sick  It wasn’t uncommon for 50% of a city’s or town’s population to die off.  “Experts” began to look to weather, natural disasters, and God’s anger as causes of the Plague. They also began to blame groups of people such as the Jews.  People tried to ward off the plague with handkerchiefs soaked in oils and incense. They believed that the smell could spread the plague. They wore charms, ate special diets, developed odd sleeping patterns, and tried to avoid too much exercise in one day.
  7. 7.  Religious fanaticism began to take off – minority groups were blamed for the spread of the plague  A religious group called the “flagellents” began to punish themselves for their sins in hope of preventing the plague from spreading
  8. 8.  The massive loss of life caused by the plague had a major impact on Asia, North Africa, and Europe  Christians saw the plague as a punishment for sins  Muslims saw the plague as a test of faith  War stopped, trade declined, landowners were ruined by the shortage of labor  Hostility towards Jews developed during the Crusades continued during the Bubonic Plague
  9. 9.  As time went on doctors and government officials began to understand the spread of the Plague.  Doctors spread the progression of the disease and began to develop vaccines.  Government officials began to quarantine people infected with the disease.  In Europe the economy suffered greatly, at first.  Lack of population = loss of workforce = not enough food produced and looting by pirates and bandits  Feudalism comes to an end