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Bubonic Plague

            In Medieval England, the bubonic plague most commonly known as the Black Death killed 1.5 million people of a total 4 million people estimated between 1348 and 1350. Written evidence showed that all victims of the plague would die between 3 or 4 days. During this time people lived very close together and knew nothing about contagious diseases. The impact that plague had on English society from 1348 to 1350 was terrible, it also had major impact on England's social structure which will lead to the Peasants Revolt in 1381.
             Fields went unploughed as the men who did this fell victims to the plague. Harvest could not be brought in and no one would be there to tend the animals. Whole villages faced starvation; towns and cities faced food shortages since the villages around them were not able to provide them with food. Lords who lost manpower resorted to sheep farming, as they required fewer people to work on the land. Grain farming became less popular keeping towns and cities short of bread.
             Another consequence of the Black Death was inflation; the pricing of food going up created more hardship for the poor. In some parts the price of food went up by four times. The ones who survived the Black Death believed that they were special because God had protected them. They took this opportunity to improve their lifestyle. Feudal law stated that a peasant could only leave their village of the lord allowed them to. Many lords were short of needed labor for the land they owned. Lords encouraged the peasants to leave the village where they lived and come work for them, once the peasants did this the Lord would not allow them to go back to their original village. Now peasants took this to their advantage and demanded higher wages, as they knew that the Lord was desperate to have them tend their land. The government faces the prospect of peasants leaving their villages to find the better "deal" upsetting the whole concept of the Feudal System, which was made to tie the peasants to the land.

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