Tales of the Decameron Interview with Dr. Hutton, U.C DavisInterview done by: Kalina and Yuke, May 2012

The Spreading of The Black Death
The Mongols came from Mongolia, an area north of China. They were made up of several nomadic tribes united as one under the rule of
Genghis Khan. The Mongols
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Wordle by Grant, with collaboration of 2 schools
were great on horses. They held and conquered one of the largest empires the world has ever seen, stretching from Beijing in China to Poland and Constantinople in Europe and all land in-between. The Mongols traded and travel le
d safely along the Silk Road, helping to bring Chinese products to Europeans. The Silk Road was the world's largest trade route at the time. It was a route
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Movement of Black Death in Europe (CC) How did it move so fast?
between China and Europe. They sold silk, herbs, spices, cloth, furs, jewelry, and more. They also brought the Black Death, also known as the Black Plague, The Bubonic Plague, or just the Plague. Since the Black Death existed where the Mongols lived, they grew immunity to it. However, they still carried the germs inside of them. The movement of the Black Death from China to Europe is an example of negative Cultural Diffusion. Cultural Diffusion is the spreading of ideas or products from one culture to the other.



What is the Black Death?

Black Death was a deadly virus that swept across Asia and Europe killing nearly 1/3 of Europe's population in just three years (see map). Scientists believe that the Black Death had three forms. They are called Bubonic(spreads by contact to Lymph Nodes) and Pneumonic (spread though air to lungs), and Septicemic (attacks your blood stream.) If you had the black death in the bubonic way, you would get it by being in contact with someone, or from the bites of flees. The flees would bite someone infected with the disease, and would bite you and pass it one. Since the middle ages had a big problem with sanitation, they are constantly itching from the bites of flees. If you catch the black death the bubonic way, you would experience a lot of swelling or buboes all across you body. The buboes could range in the size of an egg to an apple. You would also cough out blood, which is a sign of death. People you have the bubonic plague, usually dies in about 3-7 days. If you get the Pneumonic way of the black death, you would have gotten it by just breathing the air a person with black death. People usually dies in about 1-2 days with this type of black death. If you had the Septicemic form of the plague, it would attack your blood stream. You would get buboes and black or purple spots that appear all around your body. Your nose would also bled, which is a sign of death.
Scientists today, have also used primary source documents and artifacts to help proved the Plague was both bubonic and pneumonic during the years 1347-1351.

During this time period (1347-1351), people believed that God had poisoned the air to punish the people for their sins, so the people would punish themselves savorily thinking that god would forgive them and save them all. This didn't work. God didn't save them, so people started losing fate in god and started thinking, "Should I believe in God if they didn't even help us?" Because of the Black death and a lot of the events that happen because of this, the feudal system started to collapse. The reason why the feudal system collapsed is because since so many people died, there were serious labor shortages all over Europe. This led the peasants to demand higher wages, but the landlords refused those demands. This led to peasant revolts. Also, peasants for the first time owned their own land, meaning they didn't have to give their food to whoever runs the Manor. This forced a lot of nobles to make their own food. Also, peasants for the first time were allowed to go to the city and work for money. Another reason why the feudal system ends is because during the black death, the church wouldn't give the last rights to all of those people. This led to random people give the last rights to people, taking away a lot of power from the church. Because of this, a lot of people lost fate in the church and started to question the amount of control the church has over them.

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Death Macabre Art (CC): What's the Point?

During the plague, several other aspects of culture in Europe changed including art; which changed dramatically from focusing on religion and the afterlife to a morbid style of art, called death macabre.




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Flagellants (CC): Why did they do this?

The reason why the Black Death was so deadly was because they had no modern medicine to help cure them. They also had no knowledge of the viruses, or how disease was spread, or where it came from. People were so scared of the Black Death that they started to blame the Jews and people around them. Some people thought that the Jews for the spread of the plague because they thought God was angry at them for letting the Jews live freely among them.


Effects of the Black Death on the Future of Europe.
Feudalism was destroyed due to the Black Death and then to the rise of nation-states in Eurasia (Combination of Europe and Asia). The Black Death effected churches, manors and feudal life, and culture. As people during the black death looked to church to "save" them, many members of the clergy sent them away. This caused major harm, as many people could not have the last rites for their loved ones. People began to think, maybe, the church could not save them. Some also began to look to science to understand the world. The commoners (Peasants, Serfs) gained power in society, as feudal life and manor life changed. At the end of the black death, 35-50% of the population of Europe was dead, but the farm land was untouched. In fact, a surplus of food lead to the production of fruits and food not grown before. Peasant found they could demand wages for their labor and that they could eat new foods that they couldn't eat before. Since peasants found that they could demand wages for their would, a lot or peasants began to move to cities and leave manor life behind. The growth of towns led to more trade, new ideas and the spreading on knowledge that swept the feudal system away. The world entered the age of the Renaissance!
‚ÄčDesire to Trade with China

People still wanted to trade with China because it was the main trade route. New things that nobody had seen before were coming to China. That's why many people wanted to trade with them. Also, Many things were imported and exported throughout the Mid West, Africa, Spain, and Europe that were brought to China and the rest of east Asia. After people came from explorations most would trade items that they had picked up while exploring, others would go home and show what they had found. But the explores that wanted to trade their items would travel on the silk road which was a trade route that led to China. It led to China because of the Mongols, if they had not made the silk road safe again people would have not seen or experienced these brand new items that were brought to them which brought desire to trade with China and that side of the world. Another reason is because Europeans wanted silk, tea, and pottery which at the time were all chinese goods, till Europeans forced them to trade with them.

Created By Brittany added 6-6-2013

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Poetry from a student's blog










Cartoon Added on June 7, 2010: Oliva
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Introduction Paragraph: Created and added by Jack April 5, 2012
Edited by: Sanchari April 2014