What was the worst time to live in different countries?Vika
Humanity has experienced some pretty terrible things over the past 2,000 years, from wars to natural disasters and terrible epidemics. But what was the worst time for life in some countries?
If you look at the main causes of death in different eras, it is easy to see how some time periods were objectively better than others. Tuscany is a fantastic place, but around 1348 the city was buried in corpses - victims of the plague. And if you've always wanted to see London, be glad it's not 1666, the year of the Great Plague and Great Fire.
People sometimes argue that the modern era is one of the worst times to live. In fact, the two weeks after March 26, 2020, have been tweeted as the “saddest” since the site's inception. University of Vermont mathematicians Chris Danforth and Peter Dodds used a language tool called a hedonometer to track the relative emotional state of users in multiple languages. In an interview with Nature, Danforth and Dodds reported not only a significant drop in "global sentiment" but also an increase in the number of tweets, probably because “both the pandemic and the protests were much more cohesive in terms of collective attention than anything else. ".
Just remember, humanity always bounces back.
1. Italy: 1348
The Black Death was everywhere, but no region at all captured the despair and horror of the Italians, who watched more than half of their fellow citizens die.
2. Germany: 1918
World War I presented the bloody realities of trench warfare and the dangers of chemical weapons. And while not a single year from 1914 to 1918 was successful, 1918 was undoubtedly the worst. The war claimed the lives of 16 to 20 million people, and Germany suffered the most. 80% of the male population in Germany between the ages of 15 and 49 went into battle.
3. America: 1520s.
Christopher Columbus and the Spanish conquistadors brought more than just guns and horses to the New World. They also carried deadly germs that nearly wiped out the native people of America. According to Charles C. Mann, author of 1493: The Discovery of the New World Created by Columbus, the smallpox epidemic claimed the lives of 60% to 90% of the indigenous population, leaving the New World weak against European colonization.
4. Soviet Union: 1930s.
Joseph Stalin industrialized the Soviet Union with his five-year plans, consolidating his power through the Great Terror. He drove millions of peasants from their lands, sent millions to forced labor camps, and killed countless political prisoners using the Soviet secret political police. The show trials forced the accused political rivals to confess to the crimes, and Stalin ordered his supporters to hunt down Leon Trotsky and eliminate him.
5. Japan: 1945
As the deadliest war in history, World War II was devastating everywhere. 25 million people died in the Soviet Union. China has lost 15 million people. And 6 million Jews, along with millions of other civilians and political prisoners, went to German concentration camps during the Holocaust. In Japan, about 3 million people died and the losses were relatively low compared to the USSR and China, but Japan was the only country to be nuclear attacked during the war.
6. Ireland: 1840s
The Irish potato famine changed Ireland forever. It happened in 1845 when a fungal infection wiped out the Irish potato crop for seven consecutive years, destroying about 75% of the crop. The country's tenant farmers relied on potatoes as their main food source, and the losses quickly led to a severe famine.
7. England: 1666
For several reasons, 1666 was a bad year for living in London, the capital of England. The metropolis suffered from a deadly plague and devastating fire. Nearly one in five Londoners died during the plague that began in 1665 and claimed the lives of about 100,000 people. King Charles II fled the city, refusing to return for months, and things only got worse. In September 1666, a fire broke out in the baker's house, which quickly spread throughout the city. The Great Fire of London destroyed over 80% of the city, burning wood and resin buildings. The devastating fire had only one potential justification - many believed it helped end the plague.
8. Indonesia: 1815
Of the active volcanoes in Indonesia, Krakatau is perhaps the most famous, but the eruption of Mount Tambor in 1815 was the most devastating. The eruption of Tambora was 10 times more powerful than the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 and is considered the most destructive explosion on Earth in the last 10,000 years. It killed about 10,000 people instantly, and then another 90,000 died as a result of water pollution and hunger.
9. China: 1958-1962
China's Great Leap Forward, begun in 1958 by Mao Zedong, killed an estimated 45 million people. Mao planned to transform China from an agrarian society into an industrialized country, but the rigid and ineffective policy of the program claimed the lives of millions. Mao's ruthless industrialization subjected Chinese peasants to physical abuse, starvation, and death. Millions worked to death, and millions more were starved or beaten.
10. France: 1793
Foreign armies threatened to invade France, civil war spread internally, and French revolutionaries feared their rule would soon end. In 1793, the leaders of France, primarily Maximilian Robespierre, began a wave of arrests and executions. The suspected "enemies of the revolution" were seized and sent to the guillotine. Outside Paris, local authorities pursued a similar agenda. At least 300,000 suspects were arrested and about 40,000 were tried and executed, killed without trial or imprisoned.
11. Crete: 365.
On the morning of July 21, 365, a strong earthquake shook the island of Crete and triggered a tsunami that together claimed the lives of about 50,000 people in the region.
12. United States: XIX century.
Before the Civil War (and much later), life in the United States below the Mason-Dixon Line was a horror of inequality and social injustice. Slavery flourished and morality was not held back, as a small percentage of the population gained immense wealth through the struggles and sacrifices of people they considered inferior.
13. Rome: 476.
At one point, the Roman Empire stretched from the Pillars of Hercules in the west (around the Strait of Gibraltar) to present-day Iran. But by the fifth century, the empire was nearing the end of its long, slow decline. In 410 the Visigoths sacked the city of Rome. They burned houses, took the lives of the Romans, and took away trophies and prisoners. The Empire also lost Britain in 410, as well as Spain and North Africa by 430. Italy faced the invasion of Attila and the Huns around 450. By 476, the fall of Roman rule in the West was inevitable, and German forces led by Odovakar overthrew the last Western Roman emperor, marking the end of Ancient Rome. It was a bad year for the capital of the greatest empire the world has ever seen.