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Demographic Decline, Black death, and the Ottoman Turks - Essay Example

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Instead, it was a series of events that caused the decline. First was rapid population growth from the years 1000-1300. The growing population was already…
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Demographic Decline, Black death, and the Ottoman Turks
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The events that led to population decline in Europe during the Middle Ages were not caused by any one isolated event. Instead, it was a series of events that caused the decline. First was rapid population growth from the years 1000-1300. The growing population was already straining the agricultural capacity of Europe. Next came the famines from 1315-1317. Rain ruined many of the corps these years. Those that didn’t starve to death in these famines were weakened through malnutrition. People were dying from common bronchial ailments that they could have survived if they had not been weakened by malnutrition. The worst illness to strike during this time was the Black Death or the bubonic plague. Fleas that arrived in Europe from Asia spread this disease. Most people that contracted the disease died, leading to population decline.

The Ottoman Turks played a peripheral role in the history of Western Europe. The loss of the Byzantine Empire and a Christian lineage stretching back to the Emperor Constantine was more psychological than anything else. Trade continued to flow through Constantinople, now called Istanbul. The Turks did press into areas in Southeastern European areas such as Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia and Morea. This provides much of the ethnic tension still present in the Balkan region to this day. But most of the Turkish expansion was Southwest into the lands of the Arabian Peninsula. After they captured the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the Ottoman Turks importance was elevated throughout the Muslim world. The Ottoman Turks were important in Western European history as a peripheral power. Read More
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