The Black Death
The Black Death, once it manifested itself, was certain death. Over a third of the European population died. European response to this took four forms. These were isolating themselves, engaging in immoral behavior, fleeing, and trying to deny the threat. The result of this pandemic was to change not only the economic and social structures of Europe but also the psychological outlook. These changes included break down of the traditional social structures, the widespread persecution of the Jews, and the questioning of religion.
As people isolated themselves from the sick, the basic social structure of Europe started to break down. What makes a society is people and interaction of these people. If the people of this society are dying or separating themselves form others, then how could there be people or the interaction needed to create a society? As people fell to the disease, the strength of cities like Bristol died The social structure was also hurt by the loosening of morals.
Many people drank and became reckless because they knew that death was coming.
As with all bad things in life people need someone or something to blame, in the case of the plague it was the Jews. The feudal lords of the time owed money to the Jews because at the time Jews were like international banks, they had family in almost every country. So lords took loans from the Jews. A rumor was started that the Jews had put poison that caused the Black Plague into wells and springs that Christians drank out of. The Jews were then burnt or baptized and everything they owned was canceled. It was said that had the lords of the time not owed the Jews money they would not have been persecuted so severely.