The effects of the Black Death on Medieval Europe

Essay by hightowerbogCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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Medieval Europe was under an extreme burden at the turn of the century. The demographics of medieval Europe grew to an unprecedented scale. The population had grown to the brink of starvation. Only under the best conditions would the field's yield enough to feed the population. The Black death struck in 1347 and decimated the European population. The black death was a necessity to prevent overpopulation and economic decline.

The economy of the fourteenth century was in a state of decline. The population boom along with the shortage of food was leading Europe down a road to starvation. The climate in western Europe also was beginning to change at the turn of the fourteenth century. This caused a very wet climate and greatly adversely affected production. The climate change led to one of the worst famines in Europe's history. In 1315-1317, The Great Famine hit Europe with devastating consequences. The wet climate caused plants to decay before they were ready to be harvested causing extremely poor harvests.

The great famine affected all of Europe unlike previous famines which were localized. The reality of this famine is that relatively few people died at first but they were weakened when all the food reserves gave out. People started to forage in the woods for food and they started to eat the seed used to plant grain because there was nothing else to eat. Due to the fact that most of the seed used for planting was eaten there was very little to plant causing the famine to escalate further. It was not until 1325 that Europe began to recover to pre-famine levels.

The population of the medieval world grew steadily after the decline of the roman empire.

In the 12th century the population grew in staggering leaps. The population boom caused Europe...