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Mr. Mike Castañón Ms. Susan M. Pojer. The Black Death was one of the worst natural disasters in history. In 1347, a great plague swept over Europe and.

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Presentation on theme: "Mr. Mike Castañón Ms. Susan M. Pojer. The Black Death was one of the worst natural disasters in history. In 1347, a great plague swept over Europe and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mr. Mike Castañón Ms. Susan M. Pojer

2 The Black Death was one of the worst natural disasters in history. In 1347, a great plague swept over Europe and ravaged cities causing widespread hysteria and death. One-third of the population of Europe died. The primary culprits in transmitting this disease were Oriental Rat Fleas carried on the back of black rats. Frederick F. Cartwright, DISEASE AND HISTORY, Dorset Press, New York, 1991, p. 42.

3 The Famine of 1315-1317  By 1300 Europeans were farming almost all the land they could cultivate.  A population crisis developed.  Climate changes in Europe produced three years of crop failures between 1315-17 because of excessive rain.  As many as 15% of the peasants in some English villages died.  One consequence of starvation & poverty was susceptibility to disease.

4 Causes Bubonic Plague Overcrowding in cities and homes Poor sanitation in cities Widespread malnutrition led to poor health Poor hygiene

5 How was the Black Death transmitted? The three forms of the Black Death were transmitted two ways. The septicemic and bubonic plague were transmitted with direct contact with a flea, while the pneumonic plague was transmitted through airborne droplets of saliva coughed up by bubonic or septicemic infected humans. Each different form of plague killed people in a vicious way. All forms were caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis

6 The Culprits Yersinia pestis

7 The Disease Cycle Flea drinks rat blood that carries the bacteria. Flea ’ s gut clogged with bacteria. Bacteria multiply in flea ’ s gut. Flea bites human and regurgitates blood into human wound. Human is infected!

8 The Symptoms Bulbous The bubonic plague was the most commonly seen form of the Black Death. The mortality rate was 30-75%. The symptoms were enlarged and inflamed lymph nodes (around arm pits, neck and groin). The term 'bubonic' refers to the characteristic bubo or enlarged lymphatic gland. Victims were subject to headaches, nausea, aching joints, fever of 101-105 degrees, vomiting, and a general feeling of illness. Symptoms took from 1-7 days to appear.

9 The pneumonic plague was the second most commonly seen form of the Black Death. The mortality rate for the pneumonic plague was 90-95% (if treated today the mortality rate would be 5-10%). The pneumonic plague infected the lungs. Symptoms included slimy sputum tinted with blood. Sputum is saliva mixed with mucus exerted from the respiratory system. As the disease progressed, the sputum became free flowing and bright red. Symptoms took 1-7 days to appear.

10 Septicemic Form: almost 100% mortality rate. The septicemic plague was the most rare form of all. The mortality was close to 100% (even today there is no treatment). Symptoms were a high fever and skin turning deep shades of purple due to DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation). The black death got its name from the deep purple, almost black discoloration." Victims usually died the same day symptoms appeared. In some cities, as many as 800 people died every day.disseminated intravascular coagulation

11 1347: Plague moves West

12 It is believed the plague originated in Asia, and moved west with Mongol armies and traders. According to a traditional story, the plague came to Europe from the town of Caffa, a Crimean port on the Black Sea where Italian merchants from Genoa maintained a thriving trade center. The plague traveled on trade routes and caravans. Its path of death was generally from south to north and east to west passing through Italy, France, England, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Finland, and eventually reaching Greenland

13 The Plague spreads across Europe: 1347-1351

14 What were the efforts to stop the plague? Although the government had medical workers try to prevent the plague, the plague persisted. Most medical workers quit and journeyed away because they feared getting the plague themselves.

15 Attempts to Stop the Plague A Doctor’s Robe “Leeching”

16 Lancing a Buboe

17 The Church ’ s efforts One of the groups that suffered the most was the Christian church. It lost prestige, spiritual authority, and leadership over the people. How? The church promised cures, treatment, and an explanation for the plague. They said it was God's will, but the reason for this awful punishment was unknown. People wanted answers, but the priests and bishops didn't have any. Some clergy abandoned their Christian duties and fled. People prayed to God and begged for forgiveness. After the plague, ended angry and frustrated villagers started to revolt against the church. The survivors were also enraged at doctors, who didn't cure patients, but said they could.


19 Attempts to Stop the Plague Flagellanti: Self-inflicted “penance” for their sins!

20 Attempts to Stop the Plague Pograms against the Jews Jews are burned alive “Golden Circle” obligatory badge

21 The Plague affects the Economy The economy was probably hit the hardest of all the aspects of Europe. The biggest problem was that valuable artisan skills disappeared when large numbers of the working class died. Therefore, those who had skills became even more valuable than the rich people. The society structure began to change giving formally poor laborers more say.

22 The peasants and artisans demanded higher wages. Serfs seeking liberation from tilling their lord's land were told by decree and statue to return to their master's duties. The poor people saw so much death they wanted to enjoy life. Serfs began to leave their land and not engage in the planting of crops. Unattended crops and stray animals died of starvation because of the lack of care. Several domesticated animals began to roam the forest. Farming communities became rare. The lack of sufficient law enforcement personnel promoted lawlessness. Some individuals pillaged homes, murdering and assaulting others. The horror of the Black Death had taken on a new victim, the economy.

23 The Plague affects Art & Music People's attitudes towards art and music changed as they began to see the depression surrounding them. The horrific nature of the Black Death was reflected in the realistic depictions of human suffering and carnage as well as the symbolic use of the skeleton. The only exceptions were people who decided that since they were going to die anyway, they might as well spend the rest of their life in happiness.

24 Medieval Art & the Plague

25 An obsession with death.

26 The Danse Macabre

27 “The victims ate lunch with their friends and dinner with their ancestors.” The Decameron by Boccaccio

28 The Triumph of Death The Triumph of Death Brueghel “the Elder”

29 Results Large numbers of people died- 1/3 of population Economy declines in towns Serfdom ended in most of Western Europe- peasant revolts increased Field enclosure began for better agricultural production Best of the clergy died helping the sick Jews were blamed and prosecuted for the plague Literature and art reflected pessimism A positive: less workers = higher wages

30 The Mortality Rate 30% - 60% of Europe’s Population over 25,000,000 dead!

31 What were the political, economic, and social effects of the Black Death??

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