The Black Death – By Isaac Purdie

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The Black Death (A.K.A . the bubonic plague), was a horrifying epidemic killing approximately 25 million people within the space of 5 years. It was called the bubonic plague because of the dark ‘buboes’ that appeared on the neck, under the arm pits, and on the upper thigh and groin area. The plague was caused by infected fleas that were transported by rats all over Europe. The unsanitary streets attracted the infested rats, causing the disease to be transported into those peoples towns.

How did people try to deal with the Black Plague?

People from the middle ages had very bad sanitation and health. They did not know much about sickness or what caused it. The doctors from the middle ages did not know much about science or about any diseases. The doctors thought of many different cures for the Black Death, but none cured the victims at all. The medicine that was used in the fourteenth century was very limited and was mainly based on concepts and religion. Many believed that the plague was a punishment from God. They thought they had to confess and please him to become well again. Most medicines were made from herbs and spices, and also animal products. Many people thought that the plague came from the bad smelling air, Therefore they often carried bunches of flowers and herbs to keep the germ away. Some Doctors caused their patients bleed out their blood, so that the patient would have cleaner blood, without diseases. They also thought that sounds could ward off the plague, so people made as much sound as possible. Because nobody knew what caused the disease, they didn’t know how to treat it. Most people also tried to burst their boils. Some people also cleaned the streets, which was actually the right thing to do.

Why is the Black Death not a problem today?

Most citizens today believe that the Black death has been destroyed. But in actual fact, there are still many cases of the Black Death today. The bacteria that was carried by fleas in the middle ages is still around today. The Black Death is still a very real threat to people in poor, third-world, or just unsanitary countries/areas, like China, Mongolia, Africa, and many more. Today, modern research and science has found cures to the Black Death. Although the plague can still be deadly, many measures are now taken to prevent the epidemic happening again. Most people now have access to doctors, who can give the patient antibiotics, and many other medicines to cure the disease. Most outbreaks of the plague can easily be prevented by just being sanitary and keeping clean.

When did the Black Death occur?

The Black Death occurred within the middle ages, in Fourteenth Century. The main outbreak lasted from 1347 -1352, but the plague mainly effect England from 1348 to 1350. Most people back then had bad hygiene and that’s why the epidemic spread so quickly and so vast.

Why were so many people affected?

So many people were impacted because most people lived in very crammed and tight spaces. This also made waste disposal an issue, which caused people to just tip their waste out the window of their home, bringing the rats. Because everyone was so close, the fleas could easily infect many people in a day, meaning that nobody could hide from the infection. Some people that did not die from the plague had immune systems that could withstand the plague.



The Magna Carta – Sam Godfree

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The Magna Carta – Sam Godfree

1-   The beginnings of the common law.

The common law is the English justice system which was introduced by Henry II.  He decided that trial by ordeal and trial by combat was not a very effective justice system. Whereas the law that he made which is trial by jury lets every citizen able to prove their innocence. Trial by ordeal and trial by combat were both based on the accused citizen being guilty until proven innocent. The trial by jury worked in a way that the citizen accused of a crime was innocent until proven guilty and the trial by jury worked by having the perpetrator stand in front of twelve of his peers and they would be given the information and evidence. The jury would make a vote of whether the perpetrator was innocent or guilty.

2-   What is the Magna Carta and who was involved with the signing of Magna Carta?

The Magna Carta was a document that King John was forced to sign which took away most of his power, the laws that the Magna Carta stopped trial by ordeal and trial by combat. It also took away the power of being able to accuse people of crimes that were based on rumours. Another thing the Magna Carta restricted was the amount of taxes the King could put upon his people and also the amount of time he could use people for battles.

3-   Who wrote the Magna Carta?

The people who were involved with the writing of the Magna Carta were nobles who were furious with the kings actions towards his people.

4-   When was the Magna Carta signed?

The Magna Carta was signed by the reigning King at the time, who was King John in 1215.

DIORAMA: In the diorama above, there is a knight reading the Magna Carta to citizens in the city.



QUESTION 1 – How did cathedral designs change over time during the Middle Ages?

In the Middle Ages, cathedral designs changed over time. The first cathedrals in the Middle Ages were based on the looks of the old Roman basilica. The first churches looked like these basilicas. Because the churches were built in the style of the old Roman basilica, over time cathedrals were built in the Romanesque style, cathedrals were a lot bigger than the churches. The people started to build in Gothic style because the Romanesque style cost so much to build because of the high need of stone blocks. Stone blocks were a lot cheaper than everything else. The difference between these two types of cathedrals was that Romanesque had a round arch, but Gothic had a pointed arch.

QUESTION 2 – When was the first cathedral built?

The Echmiadzin Cathedral is the first cathedral to be built. It is located in Armenia. This cathedral was one of the most important cathedral to the people in the middle ages.

QUESTION 3 – How long did it take to build a cathedral in the middle ages?

In the middle ages, it would’ve taken a long time to build a cathedral with the limitations of their tools. It took between 25 – 600 years to build a cathedral. Obviously if it took 600 years to build it was more detailed than other cathedrals. These days people don’t build many cathedrals at all.

QUESTION 4 – Why did people in the medieval times love the cathedrals so much, why were they so important?

People didn’t build cathedrals in towns or villages, but they were built in cities because they’re important. Cathedrals were so important to people in the middle ages because their religion was so important to them. Cathedrals is where people come to worship god and if their religion was so important why not go to a cathedral where the main purpose of the building is to worship God.


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The diorama is made how it is because some of the first cathedrals weren’t as big as they are now and had limied resourses. There is 2 pillars in the front for a big opening like cathedrals had in the Middle Ages. The structures were very square but very tall.