This Too Will Pass

Norman F. Cantor's book, In the Wake of the Plague, tells the story of the Great Plague in 14th-century Europe and the lasting effects of that horrible pandemic.  The medieval plague was so destructive, killing as much as 60% of the population of Europe within a few years, that it permanently altered the social structure and economy of the continent. With so many landowning families decimated, rich farmland and entire villages sat empty.  Gradually, the land was taken over by persons of lower rank, who then rose into the middle and even upper classes.  With so few working persons available, the value of labor also rose sharply after the plague.   As with our own pandemic, the plague struck just when markets were at their high, and it quickly diminished the value of everything except human labor.  The century before the Great Plague, from around 1350 to 1450, had been one of remarkable progress.  Supported by a...(Read Full Article)
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