The Black Plague or Bubonic Plague, the great pandemic of Europe came from bacteria called Yersinia Pestis. It was transferred around fourteenth century by rodents and fleas terrorizing the streets. It killed millions of people and caused social disarray. Europe was in gruesome sickness and sorrowful grief. Rather than thinking of the mere history of Europe’s dark past, positively, what if there was no Bubonic Plague?
The Bubonic Plague was estimated to have killed thirty to sixty percent of Europe’s population, about twenty-five million people. The bacterium targets lymph nodes and causes it to swell and lowers the immune system. In only three to seven days, the infected person would develop flu-like symptoms. Pnuemonic plagues come from when the bacteria gets into the lungs and are spread by coughing towards other people.
After the bubonic people, there was an obvious lack of people. The peasant class grew higher in status as they traded and negotiated higher wages. They worked for higher prices, because the number of workers were low. So after one third of the population remained, the society was still maintained and the poor began to grow up the social status.
Slowly as the peasant class grew, they had a loose amount of asking for a high pay. Many of the landowners restricted or did not permit their workers for a higher wage, and it lighted up many revolts and arguments between nobility and peasantry. The disease ravaged the land and eliminated many ways to grow healthy crops. Flourishing lands were turned into wasteland– land for cattle and animals to roam and to be slaughtered. Peasants never ate much meat because they were not rich enough, but due to the lack of vegetables, they grew enticed towards the bounty of meat.
Another significant factor after the plague was how there was a loss of men due to the disease. Due to the sudden crisis, women, who never usually inherited power or land, had their chance to indulge in wealth after familial loss. It was primarily men who were more respected in the past, but as women were gaining more power, they grew to fight the suppression and women became just as powerful.
Now what if there was no power for women? What if they did not have to worry about inheriting their relatives’ land? A possible answer would be that women in Europe would not have gained higher social status or rights in their society. Meaning they would be sparse in daily activities still. Only recently has women’s rights been important in America, I highly doubt that without the Bubonic Plague promoting the growth of women, women would be respected similarly now.
Similarly, what if there were no peasants rebelling against their clans and kingdoms? Well, because there were “many third estate parties,’ they grew to join into first estate parties. The peasantry climbing up the social class making room for more peasantry made it possibly “easier” for their society to improve after the biological aftermath. Therefore, without the black plague, the peasantry would not climb up the social status. Society would be the same, it would not improve. The purging of people promoted people to improve, the rising peasantry increased the flow of money by being paid more.
And after an economic revisory, there is also a sympathetic look towards this situation. Without the Bubonic Plague, nobody dies of this disease, millions of people who had sadly died of this disease would grow to make countless generations, millions of souls would not have had to visit the judgement of God prematurely. If nobody died in the Bubonic Plague however, there would not have been a social increase or higher standards for women in Europe. A drought of joy in history, but after time, it sprouted and society grew better and became today.
- Britannica.com – Black Death
- CDC.gov – Plague
- PubMed Central – Yersinia pestis: Yields and Plasminogen Activation
- Wikipedia – Bubonic plague
- ScienceMag.org – The Medieval Black Death: Ancient Plague Epidemics Revived,
- PLOS ONE – Human Dispersals and the Metabolic Syndrome: A Combined Analysis of Population Genetics and Comparative Physiology
- The Rockefeller University – History of Yersinia pestis and plague