How nature affected humankind throughout history with plague, cold and disaster
Introduction The topic of this research paper is “How nature affected humankind throughout history with plague, cold and disaster”. The reason I chose this topic is I am curious how plague, cold, and disaster relates to world history. Because no matter how technology, medical treatment and science will advance, people can not live apart from the disease and disaster as long as humans exist in the natural environment. Therefore, these influences from the diseases and disaster may happen again in the future, so I am really interested in this topic. It is the aim of this paper to analyze how plague, cold, and disaster historically affected human beings throughout world history. The paper will also examine how these disasters influenced the economic, political, and historical events which still impact our lives today.
Black Death First of all, I would like to start by introducing the most serious historical plague, called “Black Death”. Black Death had started in China and/or Central Asia in the1320s, and spread all over the world, peaking in Europe, especially in England at the end of the 1340s. According to the textbook, roughly 13 million people in China and 25 million people in Europe, which equates to almost one third of the population at that time, had been killed by Black Death. It is said that Black Death had been caused by the fleas carried by rats that lived in China, and spread to travel to other countries by ship, travelers and transported items. Then, they had become very common lived in the towns and cities everywhere in the world. Life expectancy after people were infected by Black Death was roughly three days. Since this disease had a very high death rate and changed people’s skin to black, it was known as “Black Death”. Because of its significant high death rate, Black Death had reduced more than 30% of the world population and had caused a shortage in workers, especially in the farm lands of England. This shortage in peasants had caused an increase the surviving peasant’s wages and changed their attitudes. Also this wage increase made the affected the economy of the entire country. In 1351, King Edward III attempted to control this situation, by legislating the “Statute of Labourers,” which had set out the schedule of the upper wage limits for every types of work. This new legislature prevented masters and lords from offering wages that were higher than 1346, which was the year before the Black Death outbreak. Also it had prohibited peasants from leaving the village they belonged to. However, this legislation was far from improving country’s situation. It had merely made the peasants be treated as the slaves which consequently launched “The Peasants’ Revolt” in 1381, in which the peasants claimed a reform. It was one of the largest revolutions in late medieval Europe and a major historical event in England. Spanish Flu Secondly, I would like to discuss about the cold which is known as influenza. According to “Influenza Fact Sheet”, “Influenza is caused by a virus that attacks mainly the upper respiratory tract - the nose, throat and bronchi, and rarely also the lungs. The infection usually lasts for about a week. It is characterized by the sudden onset of high fever, myalgia (muscle pain caused by disease or disorder), headache and severe malaise (a feeling of discomfort of body, a vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness), non-productive cough, sore throat and rhinitis. Influenza spreads rapidly around the world in seasonal epidemics and most people recover within 1-2 weeks without requiring any medical treatment.” However, there had been three deadly pandemic influenza outbreaks in the human history: “The 1918 Flu Pandemic” which is known as