His-111 the Late Middle Ages Essay

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The Late Middle Ages Slide 2 I. The Black Death A. The Black Death is the name given to an outbreak of the Bubonic Plague that struck Europe in the middle of the 14 century. 1. It first entered Western Europe from the Black Sea region late in 1347, and had reached northern Europe and England within three years. Slide 3 2. Bubonic plague was by no means new, it is attested as far back as ancient Greece. a. This time, however, the people of Europe were especially vulnerable because the outbreak followed famine caused by crop failures, which left people starving and susceptible to disease. 3. Bubonic plague is spread by fleas, which were carried into Western Europe by the rats aboard trade ships. a. One potentially contributing factor to the spread of plague was the fact that people were convinced it was carried by cats, and so they killed them; thus the rat population, with its incumbent fleas, skyrocketed. Slide 4 B. People reacted to plague in basically the same ways across Europe. 1. Some saw it as punishment from God, and so became more religious. a. The most extreme example of this is the flagellant orders, which had to be outlawed by the Church because they were so disruptive. 2. Some saw it as a punishment from God, and so became irreligious. a. Chronicles state that church attendance dropped, and people were less attentive to morals ranging from promiscuous sex to murder. Slide 5 3. Some looked to place blame, and it landed most often on the Jews. a. Because the Jews has very particular rules about cleanliness, they were less likely to fall ill, and when they did, they were more likely to

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