Today is Black Friday. As you read this I am out shopping like the good little consumer I am. I really have nothing I’m setting out to get, but there will be stuff that I get that I do not need. I am American after all and part of being American is overindulgence in shit we do not need.
This comic is about another Black Friday. The OG Black Friday if you will. Here is what Wikipedia says about it:
The Black Death was one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. It is widely thought to have been an outbreak of bubonic plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, an argument supported by recent forensic research, although this view has been challenged by a number of scholars. Thought to have started in China, it travelled along the Silk Road and had reached the Crimea by 1346. From there, probably carried by fleas residing on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships, it spread throughout the Mediterranean and Europe.
The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30% – 60% of Europe’s population, reducing the world’s population from an estimated 450 million to between 350 and 375 million in 1400. This has been seen as creating a series of religious, social and economic upheavals which had profound effects on the course of European history. It took 150 years for Europe’s population to recover. The plague returned at various times, killing more people, until it left Europe in the 19th century. Because the plague killed so many of the poor population, wealthy land owners were forced to pay the remaining workers what they asked, in terms of wages. Because there was now a surplus in consumer goods, luxury crops could now be grown. This meant that for the first time in history, many, formerly of the peasant population, now had a chance to live a better life. Most historians now feel that this was the start of the middle class in Europe and England.