Positives Of The Black Plague: Power In Society Was Given To The Young


The explosion of the Black Death in the 14th century completely devastated the Earth's population. Between 75 million and 200 million people died, eliminating 30–50% of the population of Europe. However, the Plague didn't kill equally. Many of the people who succumbed the Plague were older and weaker, giving the young (and often lower class) a chance to lead Europe once the Plague dissipated. Art, local government, and even the clergy underwent a major demographic change, thanks to young people picking up the pieces of a world that fell apart.

That doesn't mean, of course, that everything got better because the world got younger. In some instances, these new leaders were terrible at their jobs. As the wheel of time turned, however, life evened out, and the world netted some positive change.

(Wikimedia Commons)

People Lived Longer

The greatest change that followed the devastation of the Plague was an increase in lifespan. In 2014, researchers at the University of South Carolina analyzed the bones buried in a London cemetery in the 14th century and concluded that around 10% of people lived past the age of 70. Following the Plague, however, the number of people who reached that age more than doubled. There are a few—fairly grim—reasons for this, such as a "survival of the fittest" scenario in which the Plague killed off the weakest members of society and the greater availability of resources to the survivors. As cruel as it may sound, with better food and fewer people, the youth of the 14th century were primed to change the world.