The Black Death originated in Asia and was brought over to Marseilles first by a merchant ship. Fleas and rats spread the infection and it quickly spread from person to person, killing many. Because of a lack of understanding of medicine and science, people viewed the disease as a punishment from God and people, called flagellants, whipped themselves to pay penance for their sins so they could avoid death. The Black Death was significant for many reasons. Firstly, it reduced the population of Europe by almost a third and left mourning families everywhere. Secondly, the Black Death caused a decline of trust in the Catholic church because people felt that the Church should’ve done more to help them but didn’t. Finally, the decline in population caused a labor shortage. Because of this, those that were still alive were able to demand higher wages and their standard of living rose.