The Bubonic Plague's Effect on the Church

Once the Bubonic Plague struck Europe, the peasants gained more power while the church and nobles struggled to control the people. The church began losing money because of the deaths of the peasants meant that taxes wasn't submitted, and had to figure out another method for cash. Unlike the clergy, flaggelants, a group of people, punished themselves (penance) so gain mercy from God. The clergy’s method for quick cash was not of use for long -- relying on the ability to bargain. Serfs were granted their freedom, to not be held to their fiefdom. Peasants were granted simonies, often multiple ones. And finally, people could buy their time out of purgatory, at the cost of a penny. While the clergy were busy trying to save their own hide, flaggelants, an offshoot, were punishing themselves so God would remove the plague from their lives. They begged for His forgiveness even in horrid conditions such as snowy weather, and being bare footed doesn’t help. Eventually, the movement reached France, Switzerland, and Holland. During the time that the plague destroyed everything in his path, the Jews acted as the scapegoats. The Jews certainly in better conditions as they often bathed, and that caused anger build up. The event of the Bubonic Plague had left almost everything in ruins. The church had no control of the peasants, having to abide to their will. While the church were helpless and doing nothing, flaggelants tried to gain forgiveness from God by penance. Religion was their only hope, their only glimmer. As the Bubonic plague faded away, nobles and the church had their grip on the world, loosened, while peasants and monarchs rose to power.

Comment Stream