The Black Death having occurred in the early to mid-fourteenth century had had long - lasting effects on the European economy. The plague decimated a significant percentage of the population (Robert Gottfried, the black death: natural and human disaster in medieval Europe, chapter 4). This resulted in a great reduction in the human factor in production, and overall development. The main sources of labor, the peasants were most affected by the plaque. They lived in densely populated regions, which made it easier for the plaque to spread (Byrne, 126). Their deaths in sizeable numbers affected the economy unfavorably since work could not be done without them. The employers of the time could not find enough cheap labor to employ. These put a strain on the economy.
The Black Death lead to scarcity of products and services because of limited labor force, hence high rates of inflation. Had the Black Death the era not occurred the European civilization would have evolved faster than it did. This is because the plaque caused the death of many people who had various talents and capabilities. There were people who had exceptional skills and abilities that died during that period. If the plaque did not occur, the discoveries, inventions and development of a varied nature would have occurred. The manpower that got lost would have advanced the European civilization far more quickly than it did as a result of the plaque.
The plaque had some positive effects to those who survived. Europe at that time had been found to be overpopulated and hence there was a strain on resources available at the time. The Black Death having reduced the population substantially provided for fair distribution of resources. The plaque had reduced the labor force by a great number. These led to a shortage of labor, and the peasants demanded better wages. They were able to negotiate for better working conditions and improved benefits (Byrne 63). As a result of the great number of people who died, peasants were able to move away from the clustered environments. They were able to access better social amenities improving living conditions.
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