The consequences of Black Death or the Plague had both short and long-term effects on the populations across Europe. The Black Death was one of the worst epidemics in history. It hit its peak in Eurasia, the combined continental landmasses of Europe and Asia, in about 1347, killing one third of the planet’s population. In Europe alone, it took about 80 years for the population size to get back to where it was before Black Death. In other parts of the world where Black Death had hit, it took about 150 years for the population to return to normal. However, coming out of the Black Death, Europe faced a time of rebirth or Renaissance. Their culture and art changed dramatically as they looked to the future.
Europe was one of the places that suffered greatly from the Black Death. Today, scientists say that one-third to one-half of the European population was lost in the five-year period from 1347 to 1351. During that time, the areas that were affected the most lost about 80 percent of their population. All citizens were affected, but the people in the lower classes usually had to live with each other in tiny, unhealthy, and unsanitary living conditions that had lice, fleas, and rats. Therefore, they were more vulnerable than anyone else to get the Plague.
The people that had survived the Plague went through a faith crisis. Instead of thanking God for bringing them out of the Plague, they started to doubt God and His power. The people felt that God had turned His back on them and that He did not care about their problems and situations. They decided to revolt against God, so they held a huge banquet with drinking and gambling which went against everything they had believed in. Even though they were celebrating and having a good time, it was clear that they still had the Plague on their minds and were trying to forget about it. This was a living picture of the danse macabre or dance of death.
The Black Death did not just take a toll on people’s everyday lives, but also in their cultural lives which included their art. Before the Plague, artists would paint pictures of Jesus with bright vibrant colors, but after the Plague, art turned very dark and always included some sort of representation of death. One of the most well known images during that time was a skeleton in a drawing or painting that would choose its victim at random, start dancing with them, and take their lives away.
After Black Death, public health, hospital management, and education changed. Many doctors and philosophers at the time began placing a bigger emphasis on clinical medicine rather than physical science. The Plague helped cause a major shift in medical advances for the better. Even though many schools had to close because of the lack of teachers during the plague, the Black Death actually helped to make education better. After the Plague, new schools were built and in these schools teachers would address the gaps left in learning and in education because of the Black Death.
The Black Death was one of the worst epidemics in history, and because of it, it took a toll on many of the people’s lives that were living during that time. The people’s religious views were never the same either. People were under the impression that God had forgotten about them. The art also changed dramatically. It went from colorful and happy to very dark and depressing. But, because of Black Death, there were also many advances in medicine and education that improved everyday life. The effect that the Black Death had overall was life changing.