Black Death Reflection

Posted: September 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Black Death activity was an activity in which we learned about the historical and economic effects that the outbreak of the bubonic plague had on Medieval Europe.  We also discussed scarcity in more depth and various different types of resources.  The bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, first arrived in Europe in the 1340’s.  It’s believed that fleas that lived on rats, which were abundant at the time, carried the disease.  At least one-third of the European population were killed by the illness, the population took around 150 years to return to its original state.  However, in these 150 years the structure of feudalism began to crumble as the peasant farmers were becoming scarcer and more valuable.  Traditional feudalism is a system based on loyalty.  The monarch would give some of his land to individuals of a class lower than his, but not a serf.  These men were called nobles and in exchange for the land they had to protect the monarch.  The nobles were given large plots of land and had peasants farm it for them.  The Nobles enforced strict taxes on the peasants and the peasants were highly discontented.  After the Black Death pandemic, the amount of peasants was greatly reduced.  Therefore they could demand tax relief and get it.  In the activity we were portraying a Medieval Lord and we were presented with certain amounts of land, peasants, and resources.  We were given elements of all different types of resources.  Our natural resource was the land we were given, the human resources were the peasants, and the capital resources were either the food or sheep we attempted to grow or raise.  At first, when peasants were plentiful it was an economic mistake to bring more onto your land.  However, once the population was reduced by a third, the land owned was going to waste and not making maximum profit.  At this point, it is a good economic decision to hire new peasants.  Once it’s economically wise to hire someone, they can demand higher wages, thus making the economy boom.  In this activity we were given an overview of resource types and an in-depth examination of scarcity.

  1. 13lucake says:

    Pro: Your detail on the Black Death was great and showed a lot of knowledge.
    Con: Some more detail on the activity and the concepts would improve the paper.

  2. 13swarva says:

    very good job, however you lack quite some detail. You should walk us through the PACED Decision making process a little more and explain some of the economic concepts a little more.

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