The Black Death was responsible for the beginning of the end of European Feudalism/Manoralism. As there were fewer workers, their lords were forced to pay higher wages. With higher wages, there were fewer restrictions on travel. Eventually, this would lead to a trade class/middle class.
The great population loss brought favourable results to the surviving peasants in England and Western Europe. There was increased social mobility, as depopulation further eroded the peasants’ already weakened obligations to remain on their traditional holdings. Seigneurialism never recovered. Land was plentiful, wages high, and serfdom had all but disappeared. It was possible to move about and rise higher in life. Younger sons and women especially benefited. As population growth resumed, however, the peasants again faced deprivation and famine.
In Eastern Europe, by contrast, renewed stringency of laws tied the remaining peasant population more tightly to the land than ever before through serfdom.
Furthermore, the plague’s grea… Continue Reading (9 minute read)