The Bubonic Plague
By: Hazel Jordan
How did the Bubonic Plague affect feudalism in medieval Europe?
The peasant’s role in European Feudalism was affected in many ways by the bubonic plague. Since so many workers had died from the plague, there was a labor shortage. The workers that were left were able to demand higher wages and more rights. This meant that the peasants were at a higher standard of living, also having inherited estates from the plagues victims. "One sign of this was that peasant families, who, before the plague, were so poor that they sat at the dinner table on a common bench and ate from a common plate, now had individual stools and plates." When the lords raised the taxes to make up for less workers, the peasants would revolt or move to the villages and towns to find new work. Second, many peasants were blamed for plague and murdered because of it, causing another major population decrease. Since no one new where the plague came from, they would blame anyone who was different from them. Jews were constantly blamed for the plague by the Christians. "Lords blamed peasants for the disease; the healthy taunted the sick." Innocent peasants were slaughtered by the thousands, making the workers left even more valuable and powerful.The Bubonic plague affected the peasants role in European Feudalism in these many ways.