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The Impact of Black Death on Europe

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275). The worst-hit was to the larger cities due to dense populations that more readily spread the disease and because of poorer sanitary conditions than in the urban areas. The plague would visit an area, last for about a year, killing about one-third of the population, and move on. … Most historians believe that between 1347 and 1351, at least one-third of Europe’s total human population (20 to 30 million people) died (Piccolo, 2004). Deaths alone were not the lone byproduct of the Plague, however. It also affected the economic, social, and political landscape of this large region of the world.The sector of the population that was most impacted was the lower classes because they were more likely to live in unsanitary conditions and had limited means by which to protect their health. The massive decrease in population produced negative effects on the European economies beginning with a predictable surplus of products and food supplies. Prices fell greatly which allowed those that survived the Plague to enjoy more wealth which stimulated the economies in the respective regions. However, when more money is being circulated, inflation is generally the byproduct which caused prices to steadily rise, causing economies to again suffer (Boccaccio, 1977, p. 3).The reduction of populations caused the available labor force to decline which caused prices to further rise. Workers now realized the opportunity to demand more pay which inflated costs to consumers even more. Prices steadily increased which necessitated government action to prevent labor wages, thus prices of goods and services to become unaffordable to the lower and middle classes. The effects of regression on the rural economy were far-reaching. Labour was scarce and wages rose rapidly. In England and Castile and elsewhere legislation was attempted to fix wages, but without success (Nohl, 1926, p. 20). This legislation attempted to reaffix wages back to levels at which they were prior to the Plague. Workers, especially peasants who were finally making a decent wage, rebelled violently to the pay reductions and though the intent was sound, its affects were disastrous.