How the Black Death Brought on the Modern Era in Europe

Amanda Armstrong Rahko, Social Studies, Carmel Middle School

Final Unit (PDF)  Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)


The purpose of this unit is to allow students to examine how an iconic event, the Black Death, led to the end of feudalism in Europe and created an environment that led to the Renaissance and Reformation. There were many factors that led to the end of the Middle Ages, but the Black Death helped to cause many of the other causes. This unit will look at life during the Middle Ages and how it was changed as a result of the Black Death. The Black Death was the catalyst that helped to bring forth the Renaissance and Reformation. The Renaissance was a time known for its “rebirth” of learning and creative thought in many areas of society. The Reformation was an event that caused the new Protestant Churches to separate from the Roman Catholic Church. Leonardo da Vinci and Martin Luther are two icons of the Renaissance and Reformation. The students will analyze these two key historical figures in depth to better understand how their actions were a result of this era. This unit will analyze how historical events are interconnected and allow students to explore how one event caused another.