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.
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!
The Mortality Rate 35% - 70% 25,000,000 dead !!!
SIGNIFICANCE of the Black Death? In the short term people became more fearful of the wrath of God but over time some looked for logical answers to explain the disease while others became resentful of what they deemed a vengeful God – though people certainly did not lose “Faith in God” in the way that we use this term today. In the short term the population decline led to an increase in prices as labour costs went up and people retreated back to the countryside as people temporarily fled the cities where diseases were more rampant and guilds jealously guarded their newfound wage demanding power. Over time though this empowered the peasants as they become more aware of their necessity in the economy. The resulting wage increase led to later rises in standards of living.