Since the beginning of the written history, many epidemic diseases caused a large number of deaths, but brought about socio - economic changes. Pointing out that the outbreaks play an important role in the formation of new historical facts, experts said, “The Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak, which today affects the whole world, will also highlight the collapse of globalization in the world”.
Üsküdar University Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty and Vice Dean Assoc. Dr. Hadiye Yılmaz Odabaşı, together with the Coronavirus, which started in China in December last year, underwent the whole world, made evaluations about the large-scale outbreaks affecting human history.
Outbreaks Affect History at Every Period
Stating that the outbreaks have caused important changes in world history, Assoc. Dr. Hadiye Yılmaz Odabaşı said, “In the Epic of Gilgamesh, 'I wish it was a plague instead of flood', it was pointed out that the first known epidemic was actually the plague. The plague will continue to affect human history for centuries. These effects, of course, are primarily those that have changed economic and political life. For example, the plague epidemic influenced the fate of the Hittites in the 14th century BC, causing the change of the throne of the throne and the throne of a child at the throne. There are many similar examples of this situation throughout history, such as the Roman emperors Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, who died in the 7th century from the plague of the Sassanid monarch. In other words, outbreaks have caused changes in political powers. Although it did not change the power sometimes, it caused large popular revolts and sometimes it changed the power and accelerated the end of a state. For example, the outbreaks have a great impact on the fall of Great Rome or the defeat of Sassanid armies against Muslim armies and erasing them from the history scene in the 7th century. ”
Spanish Flu was Effective at End of World War 1
Assoc. Dr. Hadiye Yılmaz Odabaşı stated that the outbreaks also played a role in the formation of new historical phenomena and continued as follows: “For example, he started wars, ended wars or accelerated them more accurately. According to Thukydides, Athens, where 5 thousand people died in the 100th century BC, the Peloponnesian War could last for more than 14 years if it did not break from the plague. The 30 Year Wars, in which most European states participated, brought Vestfalia Peace because the military power was largely exhausted due to the typhus epidemic. The epidemic has accelerated not only the end of a war, but also the birth of today's interstate system. Undoubtedly, the Spanish Flu was one of the factors that brought forward the end date of the first world war. Outbreaks have ended the war, but have also played a role in the start of wars. In the organization of the Crusades, which lasted for decades, the European motivation to have more prosperity, richer and healthier lands is high, which is also broken by epidemic diseases other than poverty. ”
Plague Eliminates Social Classes
Noting that the change of old economic systems in new conditions caused by outbreaks caused great changes in people's lives, Odabaşı said, “The rapid decline of the population due to outbreaks in history has weakened the economy based on manpower. While it was replaced by trade over time, the new economic field also shaped the new cultural-social lives. The desire of research and discovery of the human, who was desperate in the face of the epidemic, was triggered and the 'orientation towards scientific understanding' that would reveal the innovations of the Age of Enlightenment began to sprout in this period. For example, developments in public health and medicine, industry inventions followed one another due to lack of labor force. The plague that swept Europe has historically imposed geographical discoveries, that is, the necessity to discover new places. As the workforce decreased, wages increased, serfs were released and a social class disappeared. Food became abundant due to serious population loss. The authority of the church, which could not cure the plague, was weakened and the road to humanism was opened. Another interesting development that happened during this period is that the cats that were believed to have a bad spirit in the medieval age and were murdered upon the discovery that the plague was infected with mice, is now saved. ”
Outbreaks Changed the World Order
Odabaşı talked about the striking figures of the epidemics that led to the highest human loss throughout history: “6 million in Justinian Plague in Byzantine in the 25th century, 14 in Europe only and 25 million in total in the 100th century due to the Black Death plague epidemic. In the 16th century, 40 million people died due to an outbreak of smallpox in Mexico and the US-based Spanish flu spread in 1918-1919. If we compare the losses given to the world population of that day, in the period of Justinian Plague, while the world population was 40 million, 300 percent of the population was lost. In the period of Black Plague, while the world population was 8.3 million, nearly a quarter of the population was lost. While the world population was 400 billion at the beginning of the 20th century when the Spanish Flu was epidemic, 1,5 percent of its population was lost. Among these outbreaks, the outbreaks that led to a great change in the world order are Black Death and Spanish Flu. Black Death was instrumental in the beginning of the early modern adventure of the whole world with the influence of western civilization and its influence, which ended in Europe with the end of medieval and feudalism. Spanish Flu, on the other hand, has triggered a process in which the roots of today's events occur from the establishment of the world health organization to the importance of women's rights due to the necessity to benefit from the female workforce. ”
Covid - 19 Can Create New Structures
Given the historical events caused by the previous outbreaks, Odabaşı said that the Covid-19 pandemic could either start wars or the wars could end. It is also possible to say that it can develop new economic systems. It may also reveal new socio-cultural and psychological structures. However, it is possible to foresee some possible developments, as production and consumption have declined all over the world due to quarantine. Except for the basic food sector, there is a serious recession from textile to the service sector. Undoubtedly, this situation will have an invoice to all world economies. Another predictable development is that the health sector and health policies will gain importance all over the world. The governments that have successfully managed this process will receive a comeback in the near future, just like the failed ones. ”
National Economy Models May Increase
Touching on the economic changes caused by outbreaks, Assoc. Dr. Hadiye Yılmaz Odabaşı said, “Looking at the world, it can be said that the phenomenon of the collapse of globalization, which is actually a development before Covid-19, will become evident with the epidemic. The rise of glocalism can be triggered against globalism. From this perspective, it can be predicted that the national economy model may rise again, taking into account the economic decline due to the epidemic. However, it should be underlined that even if this is the case, it would be more appropriate to wait for a new understanding of statism, which was synthesized with the spirit of the 1930s rather than the statism of the 2000s. On the other hand, the epidemic once again reminded all humanity the indispensability of the understanding of the social state and the vital importance of scientific developments. After the epidemic, developments in these two areas can be expected. ”