Woman's and Blacks Power after the Plague After the Black Plague, women started to gain more and more power. This was mainly due to the fact that because so many people died, the women started to get more respect for the work that they put in. In the olden days, however, women were viewed as one flesh with their husbands. Back then, if a woman's husband were to die the wife had to leave the house within forty days of her husband's death. After the plague, however, they were allowed to keep the family shop open and run it as a manager. They were also allowed to give wills and testaments. Before the plague, all of their earthly possessions went straight to the husband. Now if the husband dies, she is also entitled to one half of the husbands movable goods. She can sell them and move them as she pleases right now.
Women who were widowed, had to pay no taxes by order of Henry III. If a child did not have a father, then the child was pronounced to be an orphan. To avoid such a legal definition, women would often remarry. When the population started to bounce back, the power of the women decreased. They started to be treated just like before the plague. When the protestant reformation started to occur, they gave the idea that the woman's place was in the home or in religion. This mad it not as easy for the women to work independently because people started to look down on them again. Women found it more and more difficult to be apprenticed or to continue a husbands business, a trend that would not be significantly reversed until the 1800's. The period of 1370-1470 was called the "Golden Age"ÃÂ for women. Even though this brief period of empowerment for the women ended quickly, it still gave them a chance to succeed in society with out the help of a man.