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p. 353. Big impacts: the Black Deathlocked

  • Paul Slack

Abstract

‘Big impacts: the Black Death’ explains how the contention that major epidemic disasters changed the course of historical events — the ‘Great Disaster’ interpretations of history — leaves too much out of the account. Focusing on the second pandemic in Europe, and on the Black Death which initiated it, it describes the effect of the disease on human behaviour and explains how it might well appear to have reshaped the course of European history. However, it does not seem to have been plague alone which determined population trends in the fifteenth century. It is impossible to attribute everything to plague in explaining long-term and large-scale economic and social change.

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