Were the principal effects of the plague known as the Black Death economic, or religious, or psychological, or a blend? If a blend, then what kind of blend?

Essay by GobboCollege, UndergraduateB, October 2006

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"Oh, happy posterity, who will not experience such abysmal woe and will consider our history to be a fable."

The Black Death had dire and abundant effects over the East, Europe and Asia from 1346 to 1400, perhaps the most potent one being the psychological turmoil it created in the medieval mindset. However a distinct blend of religious and psychological effects becomes present as one of the most fascinating and diverse psychological shifts occur in the religious context of medieval society. Petrarch could not have been more accurate in assessing the plague and just how it has come to be viewed today. When considering the principal effects of the plague on the medieval world it is important to emphasise the sheer size and devastation which it reaped all over the face of Europe. The psychological effects it had on men, women and children were profound and the affects it had over the world last even to today, proving it to be the principal effects of the plague.

The plagues effect on religion was indeed devastating, leading to not only the destruction of the church but also a drastic change in the importance and utility of its practices. The church was forced to revise its outlook in the face of the Black Death, and this manifested itself in many ways. However it is of course undoubtedly true that medieval man was inextricably linked to the working of the church and therefore psychological and religious effects of the plague walk relatively hand in hand. The Black Plague had drastic effects on Europe and indeed the world, economically, religiously but most of all psychologically.

The plague took a dramatic toll on the medieval mind and there can be very little doubt that it was the area in which the plague did its...