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Question: What effects did the plague of 1347 have on the economy of the fuedal system? please give any other information on this plague you can. such as: the causes the symptoms the number of deaths and those types of things.

Answer: Because the Black Death wiped out a vast proportion of Europe's population it created a shortage of labour. At that point in 1348 serfdom was widespread and the tenants of a feudal Lord had to work his land, perform tasks he required of them and form part of a fighting force when he was called to war by the King. These tenants had no say in the matter or they would be thrown out of their homes. Now, with this shortage of labour, for the first time this social class had the ability to select when and where they would work and sell their labour to the highest bidder. Wages became an integral part of the workforce. If a someone did not like the conditions under which they worked, they could up sticks and offer their service to another Lord. Coming out of the East, the Black Death reached the shores of Italy in the spring of 1348 unleashing a rampage of death across Europe unprecedented in recorded history. By the time the epidemic played itself out three years later, anywhere between 25% and 50% of Europe's population (roughly 30 to 60 million people) had fallen victim to the pestilence. The plague presented itself in three interrelated forms. The bubonic variant (the most common) derives its name from the swellings or buboes that appeared on a victim's neck, armpits or groin. These tumors could range in size from that of an egg to that of an apple. Although some survived the painful ordeal, the manifestation of these lesions usually signaled the victim had a life expectancy of up to a week. Infected fleas that attached themselves to rats and then to humans spread this bubonic type of the plague. A second variation - pneumonic plague - attacked the respiratory system and was spread by merely breathing the exhaled air of a victim. It was much more virulent than its bubonic cousin - life expectancy was measured in one or two days. Finally, the septicemic version of the disease attacked the blood system. The name "Black Death" wasn't actually coined until the mid 19th century, due to the recorded instants of the buboes being a dark purple in colour. To those around at the time it was known as "The Great Mortality".


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