Medieval Europe was under an extreme burden at the turn of the century. The demographics of medieval Europe grew to an unprecedented scale. The community had developed to the brink of starvation. Only under the best situation would the field's yield enough to feed the population. The Black death hit in 1347 and destroyed the European population. The black death was a necessity to avert overpopulation and financial decline.
The economy of the fourteenth century was in a state of decline. The community rise along with the shortage of food was premier Europe down a street to starvation. The climate in western Europe also was starting to change at the turn of the fourteenth century. This caused a very wet climate and greatly adversely affected production. The climate change led to one of the worst famines in Europe's history. In 1315-1317, The Great Famine hit Europe with devastating consequences. The wet climate caused plants to decay before they were ready to be harvested causing extremely poor harvests. The great famine affected all of Europe unlike previous famines which were localized. The reality of this famine is that relatively few people died at first but they were weakened when all the food reserves gave out. People started to forage in the woods for food and they started to eat the seed used to plant grain because there was nothing else to eat. Due to the fact that most of the seed used for planting was eaten there was very little to plant causing the famine to escalate further. It was not until 1325 that Europe began to recover to pre-famine levels.
The population of the medieval world grew steadily after the decline of the roman empire.
In the 12th century the population grew in staggering leaps. The population boom caused Europe to reach the brink of its food supply levels. Improvements in agriculture helped increase the amount of food available but the food levels couldn't keep up with the population increase. During the Great famine there were many deaths but this still didn't curb population growth. Europe was looking forward to many more widespread famines unless the population declined rapidly.
The main outbreak of the Black Death lasted from 1347-1351 and was the worst plague in history at that point. "There was . . . a succession of epidemics in England, on a national scale from 1361 to some point in the fifteenth century; thereafter on a local scale, and restricted to the towns, and especially to the greater towns." New outbreaks also occurred in 1360,1368-70, 1375-1378, 1380-1383, and 1399-1400 in localized areas of Europe. The plague was brought to Europe by Genosean trading ships. In October of 1347, The ships unloaded their cargo at the Italian port of Messina. They also unloaded another very dangerous cargo as well, Rats infected with the bubonic plague. The plague spread through Europe like a wildfire decimating populations wherever it went. The plague spread into France by June of 1348 and reached the British Isles by ...