The spread of the black death.
Poland, tell us your secret.
Poland is the
If I remember correctly, Poland’s secret is that the jews where being blamed all over europe (as usual) as scapegoats for the black plague. Poland was the only place that accepted Jewish refugees, so pretty much all of them moved there.
Now, one of the major causes of getting the plague was poor hygiene. This proved very effective for the plague because everyone threw their poop into the streets because there were no sewers, and literally no one bathed because it was against their religion. Unless they were jewish, who actually bathed relatively often. When all the jews moved to Poland, they brought bathing with them, and so the plague had little effect there.
Milan survived by quarantining its city and burning down the house of anyone showing early symptoms, with the entire family inside it.
I reblogged this tons of times, but the Milan info is new.
Damn Italy, you scary.
Poland: “Hey, feeling a bit down? Have a quick wash! There, you see? All better”
Milan: “Aw, feeling a bit sick are we? BURN MOTHERFUCKER, BURN!!!!!”
Also, this might have something to do with it: from what I understand, O blood type is uncommonly… common in Poland. Something to do with large families in small villages and a LOT of intermarriage. The black plague was caused by a bacterium that produced, in its waste in the human body, wastes that very closely mimic the “B” marker sugars on red blood cells that keep the body from attacking its own immune system. Anyone who has a B blood type had an immune system that was naturally desensitized to the presence of the bacterium, and therefore was more prone to developing the disease. Anyone who had an O type was doubly lucky because the O blood type means the total absence of ANY markers, A or B, meaning that their bodys’ immune system would react quickly and violently against the invaders, while someone with an A may show symptoms and recover more slowly, while someone with B would have just died. Because O is a recessive blood type, it shows in higher numbers when more people who carry the recessive genes marry other people who also carry the recessive gene. Poland, which has a nearly 700 year history of being conquered by or partnering with every other nation in the surrounding area, was primarily an agricultural country, focused around smaller, farming communities where people were legally tied to, and required to work, “their” land, and so historically never “spread” their genes across a large area. The economy was, and had been, unstable for a very long period of time leading up to the plague, the government had been ineffective and had very little reach in comparison to the armies of the other countries around for a very very long time, and so its people largely remained in small communities where multiple generations of cross-familial inbreeding could have allowed for this more recessive gene to show up more frequently. Thus, there could be a higher percentage of O blood types in any region of the country, guaranteeing less spread of the illness and moving slower when it did manage to travel. Combine this with the fact that there were very few large, urban centers where the disease would thrive, and with the above facts, and you’ve got a lovely recipe for avoiding the plague.
Interestingly enough, as a result from the plague, the entirety of Europe now has a higher percentage of people with O blood type than any other region of the world.
WHY IS THIS ALL SO COOL
When Tumblr teaches you more about the plague than 12 years of school ever did.
Just to throw a nod in, as a medieval historian, this is all credible, and is the leading theory as to the plagues effectiveness at this point. So. Enjoy your new knowledge!
It should also be noted that this visual representation only shows the rough spread of the disease and nothing about the infection rates, population density, migration, and mortality rates.
All of those things are very, very interested and have ramifications for Europeans to this day.
George Washington on Horseback (1927)
Fun History Fact
During World War I French soldiers were known as “poilu”, which literally translates as “hairy ones”.
You’ve heard of the Spanish Armada. Did you know there was an even bigger English Armada?
In 1588 King Philip II of Spain sent a force of 130 ships and 20,000 men to Britain in an attempt to oust Queen Elizabeth I from her throne and restore Catholicism to England. Unfortunately for him the Spanish fleet was scattered by the English navy and half of its ships were destroyed in a large Atlantic storm. Today the massive failure that was the Spanish Armada is common knowledge, taught in schools and colleges across Europe and North America. However, few know of the events of the English Armada, an even larger ill fated attempt by the English to get back at the dastardly Spanish in 1589.
Led by Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Norreys, the English Armada consisted of almost 150 ships and 24,000 men. The expedition had two major strategic goals and one secondary goal. The first was to capture Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. At the time Portugal was ruled by Phillip II, but it was thought that the Portuguese were ready to rebel against their king, and the English had plans to restore another ruler named Antonio, the Prior of Canto, as King of Portugal. Antonio was the last heir of the House of Aziz, an unintelligent, womanizing, wishy washy man, he was just the sort of puppet king the English wanted on Phillip II’s doorstep. The second goal of the expedition was to capture the Azores, a large Spanish held island chain in the Atlantic that would make a perfect base for English raiders in their attacks against the Spanish treasure fleets arriving from the New World. The third and final goal of the expedition was to capture a Spanish treasure fleet laden with gold and silver due to arrive at the time.
While the English Armada was formidable, the expedition was doomed from the beginning. Due to unexpected delays and disorganization, by the time the fleet set sail from England it had already consumed much of its supplies. When the fleet reached Portugal the men were already suffering from the effects of malnutrition and disease. Once the English laid siege to Lisbon it was readily apparent that they were at a grave disadvantage. Lisbon was a heavily fortified walled city and the English brought no siege guns or siege equipment. The siege of Lisbon was an extremely disorganized affair, led by privateers, pirates, and gentleman adventurers who cared more about plunder than Queen and Country. The fleet was so disorganized that Spanish blockade runners seemed to travel in and out of the city at will. Attacks were often halted not by the enemy, but by its own soldiers, who would stop an advance in order to loot and pillage. Worst of all, the presence of Antonio, Prior of Canto did not inspire the Portuguese to rebel as predicted. The Portuguese were more than happy with Phillip II, and resented the English for trying to impose a bastard snake slime puppet king on them.
As the siege wore on the English suffered more and more. Thousands died of malnourishment, disease, and combat with the Spaniards/Portuguese. By then out of 24,000 men, only 2,000 were able bodied and fit for service. The fleet set sail in hopes of accomplishing its other goals. The fleet was ordered to set sail back to England, but Drake had hopes of raiding the incoming Spanish treasure fleet on the return trip. By then the force was too undermanned to capture the Azores, but Drake hoped that fortune and booty awaited him in the Atlantic. Instead of gold and silver, his fleet ran into a large and terrible Atlantic squall. Seven of his ships were destroyed in one night. Many more were damaged, and the fleet was scattered, much like the Spanish Armada had a year before. Overall the expedition lost thirty ships and suffered 11,000 casualties out of its 24,000 men. The English treasury was bankrupted, as were all the investors and financiers of the expedition. The now forgotten English Armada was every bit as disastrous as the famed Spanish Armada.
A massive and ornately decorated Belgian copy of a Gasser Montenegrin revolver.
Features a ten shot cylinder in 11mm centerfire. Heavily engraved with pearl grips. Signed “Vicente Cerna” on the barrel. Liege proof marks, dates to 1870’s or 1880’s.
Estimated Value: $4,000 - $8,000
The M1875 Springfield Officers Trapdoor,
First produced in 1875, the Springfield Officers Trapdoor rifle was a special variant of the venerable .45-70 Springfield Trapdoor breechloading rifle used by the US Army from 1871 to the 1890’s. However this was not a standard issue military rifle but a specially made sporting rifle made by Springfield Armory and only offered for sale to high ranking US Army officers. Special features include a checkered stock and foregrip, engraved lock, a special semi-pistol grip, and fine target sights. Made from 1875 to 1885, only 500 were ever produced. Today a Springfield Officers Trapdoor can easily sell for over $10,000 at auction.
A cut down Springfield Trapdoor pistol, most likely modified by Native Americans, late 19th century.
80 years ago today infamous gangster John Dillinger was shot and killed by Federal agents outside Chicago’s Biograph Theater on the 22nd July, 1934. Dillinger had become America’s most wanted man having managed to evaded the police and FBI for a year while embarking on a series of bank robberies.
On the evening of the 22nd July, Dillinger, Anna Sage and Polly Hamilton left a screening of Manhattan Melodrama starring Clark Gable. Dillinger is said to have spotted agents as he walked out of the cinema. Moving to draw his pistol, a .380ACP Colt 1908 Pocket Hammerless, however he was unable to pull the pistol from his pocket and while moving towards a nearby alley he was shot by three FBI agents with a fatal round hitting him in the back of the neck.
Dillinger’s personal effects, including his 1908 Colt Pocket Hammerless (source)
The above video is an original MCA/Universal newsreel showing (rather graphically) Dillinger’s body, the reaction of crowds and his personal effects.