Economical Effects on the 14th Century During the Plagues Essay

1409 WordsMar 14, 20136 Pages
What were the main effects of the 14th Century plagues on the European economy The 14th Century was a time of pain, suffering and turmoil. Beset by plagues, famines and wars, the age of the 14th Century was that of a tragedy. Fears of the world ending were building up again and anyone looking at the facts of the era may not be surprised as to why. Of all the greatest horrors that affected this era however, the plagues were perhaps the worst and most devastating of all. As the Black Death ravaged across medieval Europe, the effects on the land and the economy were devastating. Before we look at the way the plagues affected Europe, I find it is important to first look at the state of the economy and its problems just before the plagues arrived. One of the earlier and main disasters was the climate, the “Little Ice Age” (1). The temperature of the world dropped at what is agreed roughly 2C. The sudden drop in temperature meant shorter summers and in that case shorter growing seasons. Winds picked up in speed and made growing specific crops difficult. Due to the slowing progress in agricultural technology since the 12th Century it was becoming increasing difficult to provide food for the newer expanded population. Mixed with the climate changes, food supply was dropping and the demand was increasing, pushing up the prices of food. Another problem in the economical state of the 14th Century was the fall of the Byzantine Empire. With the fall of their biggest front line to the east, trade routes diminished and medieval europe was suddenly isolated from the east. With the diminishing of trade lines meant the trade of manufactured goods dwindled, causing a small dent in the economy. In the 14th Century, areas depended entirely on exporting speciality goods, for example, Sicily focused on wheat whereas Bordeaux and Burgundy focused on wine. This is important to
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