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How the Black Death Transformed the Role of States - Essay Example

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How the Black Death Transformed the Role of States? Introduction In the latter part of the 14th century, English populations endured drastic, consecutive, and, and usually vicious transformations to the structure of their families and society, and numerous of these transformations had a deep impact on the role of their state…
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How the Black Death Transformed the Role of States

Download file to see previous pages... This paper discusses the impact of the Black Death on the role of states. The Response of the State to the Black Death From the 16th century, the state had persuaded the city government, the London Corporation, to take steps to stop the pestilence and other maladies. The frequently recommended solution was a kind of quarantine, where the afflicted were prohibited to leave their homes.ii Theodore de Mayerne, the king’s physician, produced a statement in the 1630s indicating a stricter regulation for food distribution, removal of beggars, and widespread cleansing. Furthermore, he suggested that a public health centre be formed, with power over issues of beggars, cleanliness and sanitation, and health assistance.iii Even though the physician received due respect from the king’s counsellors, his recommendations were immediately overlooked after the plague had stopped. In the period after the 1640s deaths from pestilence were unusual, and the ‘pesthouses’ where the afflicted were confined had been renovated for other functions. A lot of physicians, by 1665, had never observed the typical indications of the epidemic, and London stayed defenceless.iv The Royal College of Physicians, the certifying association for physicians, had been licensed by Henry VIII and had been an esteemed organisation. However, by 1665, its power was greatly diminished due to its historical connection with the state, oppositions from other associations, like the Society of Chemical Physicians, and the reality that only a few Royal College physicians were working in the city, and several doctors could simply be identified as frauds whose certification had been coerced by King Charles on the Royal College.v Yet, when the Black Death stormed, the Royal College suggested medications and public health actions to mitigate the predicament. The Royal College also financially supported medications for the infected people who could not pay for them. Additional pesthouses were hurriedly constructed, and alleged ‘plague nurses’ were assigned to look after the afflicted, even though many thought that their major interest was to speed up their demise so they could steal from them.vi As usual, the state attempted to fight the pestilence by removing beggars and wandering merchants from the streets, shutting down courts, schools, and other establishments, and implementing quarantine on the afflicted and their families. London’s economic being was plunged into pandemonium, and countless animals were exterminated due to suspicions that they carry the virus.vii State-supported exterminators were hired to eradicate cats and dogs and received two pence for each animal as wage. This was a big pay at that time, and Daniel Defoe, who presented a description of the pestilence, assessed that 200,000 cats and 40,000 dogs were killed, and usually the remains were left to rot in the streets, hence worsening the already revolting reek in the city.viii These actions only made the rat population bigger, because nobody knew in during this time that these pests were the main virus-carriers. In September, the state ordered the kindling of flares to expel the epidemic from the air. Countless were dying successively that burying the deceased became a serious hygiene problem. Digging of mass graves was the initial response of the state, but there were very few gravediggers.ix At last, when the October weather chilled, the number of deaths dropped and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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