Question about Yuan period, blackdeath and depopulation?
Posted 07 June 2012 - 12:12 AM
But I can't find any evidence that China ever had them, and if they did, then the scale of the break out would be surely be just as horrific as the effect in Europe, China had more population, and think the majority of the population are not immune to it.
So even without any direct evidence of bubonic plague breaking out in China, but I did find some interesting trend happening at the same time. 1st, the black death break out in Europe was at the same time of the Yuan rule, or rather at the end of the Yuan period, 2nd I read there were many suffering and depopulation at end of Yuan period due to natural disaster, famine, disease etc... they can all be linked to the side effect to the out break of the plague. 3rd. The Chinese population at the later period of Yuan was somewhere around 85 million people, but the population at the beginning of Ming was around 65 million people, that is about 25% decrease in population, which is on par with the death rate for bubonic plague in Europe.
However with all this information I can't find any direct evidence of bubonic plague outbreak in any period of the Chinese history whatsoever.
Anyone knows anything more willing to share your opinion?
Posted 08 July 2012 - 08:30 AM
The main carrier of the plague was fleas and by extension the rats that carried them. The sanitation conditions in Europe at the time largely contributed to the rate and prevalence of the disease. It was this and the many superstitions that further fueled the rampant spreading of the plague.
In contrast, Chinese culture had relatively higher standards for sanitation perhaps due to Confucianism and the need to care for one's body and hair. Someone else could probably tell you more about it than myself.
Were the boundaries similar between the late Yuan and early Ming?
Posted 17 July 2012 - 06:49 PM
In regards to the black death's effect on China. Scholars have mixed feelings about this today, William McNeill argued back in 1976 that the Black Death was clearly a major factor in causing a population drop in China during the Yuan dynasty. HE argued that the Mongols picked up dormant microbes in Yunnan in 1254 and proceeded to spread it to not only China but the rest of the areas they invaded and conquered. Some scholars like Valerie Hansen, David Morgan, Morris Rossabi and Timothy Brook agree with this theory (or at the very least are willing to lend credence to it) while others like Ole Benedictow reject it (he argues that there's no possible way that the plagues could have spread such long distances and deemed it scientifically impossible). Who to trust is ultimately up to the scholar and how they've approached this particular area of research.
Edited by YuenKamSiu, 17 July 2012 - 07:01 PM.
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