The Black Death is considered the mightiest catastrophe that has ever been recorded in history. During the catastrophe, it is estimated that in a few months, the population of the world was significantly suppressed from 450 million to 350 million. The wild rodents are believed to be the primary cause of the Black Death, especially in areas where they lived in considerable number and density. Furthermore, the origin of the black rats dates back to the shipping through medieval Europe and the absence of rats to feed on the black rats. The poor state of hygiene, especially by the low-class individuals, significantly contributed to the widespread of the catastrophe. As a result, the Black Death dramatically impacted Europe’s economy in various ways.
First, the great loss in population led to favorable economic conditions for the peasants who survived the plague both in Western Europe and England. The social mobility was significantly elevated since the peasant's culture to depend on the traditional holdings was substantially eroded by depopulation. As such, wages increased, the land becomes more available, and serfdom ultimately ended. The situation created an ideal opportunity for the peasants to rise economically and improve their standards of living.
Moreover, the plague's reduction of population led to land prices being considerably low; the average peasant was also able to acquire adequate food. Nonetheless, there was a significant rise in the per capita income, particularly among the peasants since they used the readily available land to practice farming and livestock keeping, thus more agricultural products into the market. Consequently, there was a sharp rise in the consumption of both dairy products and meat leading to more exportation of the products, especially from the Low Countries.
The Black Death’s drastic decline in population resulted in laborers shifting to new localities in search of the increased wage offers. The act of random movement by the laborers led to urbanization and the development of industries that capitalized on the opportunity. Nevertheless, the inflation of wage rates resulted in the formation of the royal and local authorities in western Europe to ensure that the wages are controlled to create harmony. The authorities also sought to restrict the rapid relocation of workers. In most cases, the employers were allowed to seek imprisonment of the workers who attempted to ditch their current position for other job offers. The laws were critical, particularly in elucidating the economic anxiety that comes with the Black Death plague.
Furthermore, the plague led to labor-saving innovations that significantly impacted the European economy. By around 1200, a considerable part of northern Germany and the Mediterranean basin had been cultivated and deforested. The traditional flora and fauna were significantly affected by the introduction of domestic animals and grasses. However, the depopulation triggered the reversal of the process, and most of the primeval vegetation come into existence once more, the fields and pasture that were abandoned also become reforested. Productivity was enhanced through labor-saving technologies. For instance, the shifting from farming of grains to the husbandry of animals ensured that the labor-intensive activities were minimized.
In conclusion, the Black Death was a great catastrophe in human history that resulted in a major loss of the human population from approximately 450 million to 350 million. The origin of the black rats that caused the plague is believed to have originated from the shipping through medieval Europe. Nonetheless, the Black Death resulted in a drastic impact on Europe's economy, which included a rise in peasants' per capita income, a fall in land prices, and the introduction of labor-saving technologies.
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