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Black Death:see plagueplague,
any contagious, malignant, epidemic disease, in particular the bubonic plague and the black plague (or Black Death), both forms of the same infection. These acute febrile diseases are caused by Yersinia pestis (Pasteurella pestis
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the name given by contemporaries to the plague that spread throughout Europe between 1347 and 1353. During that period approximately 25 million people—that is, almost half the population of Europe—died of the Black Death. The pandemic recurred on a smaller scale in 1361 and 1369.
The Black Death resulted in a decline in the number of workers and, consequently, in a rise in the cost of labor. To provide the feudal aristocracy and urban patriciate with cheap labor, the governments of some countries enacted laws fixing wages at pre-plague levels. These measures intensified the class struggle, which found expression in uprisings, the rejection of feudal obligations, and the flight of peasants from their feudal lords.