Wednesday, March 11, 2015

An invasive species, brought in with imported goods.

I know, I know, I'm completely ignoring the text and the topic of  THE WAGES OF WOMEN IN ENGLAND,1260-1850 (PDF, 38 pages plus Appendix & references) by Jane Humphries and Jacob Weisdorf. I'm just showing Figure 1 from that paper. Because it caught my eye.

The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in Europe in the years 1346–53...

The Black Death is thought to have originated in the arid plains of Central Asia, where it then traveled along the Silk Road, reaching the Crimea by 1343. From there, it was most likely carried by Oriental rat fleas living on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships. Spreading throughout the Mediterranean and Europe, the Black Death is estimated to have killed 30–60% of Europe's total population. In total, the plague reduced the world population from an estimated 450 million down to 350–375 million in the 14th century.

The aftermath of the plague created a series of religious, social, and economic upheavals, which had profound effects on the course of European history. It took 150 years for Europe's population to recover.

A few brief notes:

  •  The Black Death peaked around the year 1350. Look at the graph.

  •  It took 150 years for the population to recover. That gets us to 1500. Look at the graph.

  •  Based on the graph, it looks like it took another 150 years (after 1500) for wages to get back to normal.

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