The Black Death in Europe was one of the continents worth natural disasters. The bubonic plague wiped out nearly 60% of the population, causing changes that took many years to recover. The effects of art are astonishing. Every person and social class were affected, the church lost prestige and power, as did the doctors and physicians. Politics changes for a short time and the nobility lost wealth. Fear was wide spread, and people lost trust of their families. No one could escape the carnage this illness brought, if they tried, they succeeded in bringing it with them.
Knox (page 15) states that the population losses were staggering, between1347 and 150 nearly 1 to of 3 people where gone. Venetian records stated that the death rates escalated close to 500-600 deaths a day, 60% of Venice's population was gone.
As with medical professions the clergy suffered great losses as well. Theirs was an occupational hazard; entering the home of the sick, doctors were at greater risk of catching the illness themselves. The clergy had to give the dieing their last rights and preside over the burials, this made for their demise.
As indicated by Knox (page12) those who were learned hade some ideas about what was causing the disease such poisonous vapors released by constellation alignments. They recommended that no fat meant should be eaten at all and bathing was hazardous, these suggestions only made to make people more vulnerable to the plague. The only real action taken that worked was confinement, cities walled themselves off from incoming ships and would quarantine and ill persons house. .
With the population losses the labor forse was reduced, there was a greater need for crafts men and skilled laborers. Guilds began opening their doors to other skilled peoples, because when and skilled man died his whole family usually got the plague as well, this mad openings for others. Towns began to advertise higher wages to those artisans and those with skills.