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Black Death
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Commonly referred to as the "Black Death," bubonic plagues swept across Europe between 1347 and 1350, affected people in every country, class and occupation. A burgeoning population had already begun to strain the natural resources, and there was little people could do in order to slow down or even halt the progress of the disease. Many estimates place the losses at around 33% of the overall population, and more were lost in further, smaller waves which occurred in successive centuries.

Unfortunately, losses were made worse because of the people's superstition. The disease was largely spread by the fleas carried along by rats, and the only thing which was likely to halt the spread of rats were cats. These cats, however, were believed to be in league with Satan - as a result, they were killed in large numbers because people believed that, in doing so, they could stop the disease. In fact, they only made things worse.

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