The Black Death or Bubonic Plague was a wide pandemic event that occurred from 1346–1353 in the Old World, affecting primarily Asia and Europe. It is estimated to have killed more than 30% of Europe’s population, while also having a devastating impact on Asian cultures. It is one of the most devastating pandemics in human history and fundamentally changed the course of human events due to the high death rates in many countries and regions. It also remained in societies, reoccurring frequently between the 14-20th centuries in different regions, as the plague never completely faded away. The effects of the Black Death are still felt today, as places had to evolve to much lower populations.
Prior to the Black Death, Europe had been facing a social and economic recovery. The population was growing rapidly, having gone from 38 to 74 million people in about 300 years. Learning and economies were beginning to thrive, with the diminished threat of Viking and other raids making commerce active across the continent. In Asia, the Mongols had invaded but trade was beginning to thrive under the Pax-Mongolica. This revived caravan routes and economies from China to the Near East, where the khanates, or Mongol successor states, thrived. In effect, the Old World was becoming more integrated as it had recovered and began to thrive to the changes initiated by the Mongol invasions. Connections again spanned the whole Old World and the Silk Road achieve a peak level of trade activity. Populations were increasing in many parts of the Old World.
Categories: medieval history