One of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350.
- the dominant explanation for the black death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium yersinia pestis. thought to have started in china, it travelled along the silk road and reached the crimea by 1346. from there, probably carried by oriental rat fleas living on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships,
- it spread throughout the mediterranean and europe. the black death is estimated to have killed 3060 percent of europes population, reducing the worlds population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million in the 14th century.
- the aftermath of the plague created a series of religious, social and economic upheavals, which had profound effects on the course of european history.
- the 14th century eruption of the black death had a drastic effect on europes population, irrevocably changing the social structure. it was, arguably, a serious blow to the catholic church, and resulted in widespread persecution of minorities such as jews, foreigners, beggars, and lepers.
- the black death, which began in asia and spread to the atlantic ocean, decimated the culture and economic aspects of europe. some communities were completely wiped out. larger metropolitan areas lost upwards of 50% of their population.
- when thinking about the importance of the black death, one must take into account that because of these societal changes europe evolved into a civilization that truly dominated the world. the population began to think differently about god and religion and mans place in the world. this lead directly to the protestant reformation, the renaissance, the age of exploration, the age of reason, which lead to the direct formation of the modern era of governments which embraces the ideas of the rights of man and democracy