The Black Death 01
The fleas which caused Black Death were carried by black rats.

The Black Death 01

This KS3 History quiz takes a look at the Black Death. The pandemic known as the Black Death caused the death of millions of people throughout Europe. Historical research has suggested that about half the population in Europe died from the plague. It is difficult to know exactly because no-one kept accurate records of the population at the time. The mortality rate was greater in cities than in rural areas - some remote villages may have escaped the Black Death altogether. The Black Death was the second major outbreak of plague in the world and repeatedly reached Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries.

The disease was caused by rat fleas biting humans and transmitting a bacteria to them. Once in the system, the bacteria caused buboes to form - that is why it is sometimes called the bubonic plague. The Black Death was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history and is thought to have originated in Mongolia. As people travelled from the east to the west, along the Silk Road, they brought the disease with them to Europe. There were no antibiotics to save people and it was the first time that they had been exposed to the disease, so there was no immunity.

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  1. In which year did the Black Death first reach England?
    The first cases were recorded in ports of the south west of England and spread north and east from there
  2. What is another name for the Black Death?
    The bubonic plague (as well as the septicemic plague and the pneumonic plague) are commonly believed to be the cause of the Black Death
  3. The plague originally spread from where?
    From there it spread steadily into Europe
  4. How was the Black Death spread?
    As the fleas bit people, they transferred a particular type of bacteria to their bloodstream
  5. The fleas were carried by which creatures?
    The rats arrived on board the trading ships
  6. What were buboes that gave Bubonic Plague its name?
    They formed in the armpits and groin
  7. What percentage of Britain's population is thought to have died from the plague?
    It is very difficult to know the exact numbers
  8. What did many believe about the Black Death?
    Some whipped themselves to show God they were sorry. It was another 500 years before people began to really understand the true causes of disease
  9. Things were made worse by pneumonic plague that attacked what?
    Any word starting with pneumon is something to do with the lungs
  10. Once the 1348 plague died out, which was not true?
    There were several important social changes caused by the Black Death

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