Odds and Ends
Can you imagine the clipshow?
2 12, 4:51pm
Serfdom was pretty common across Europe until the Black Death, although to be fair, in most cases there wasn't such a distinct ethnic difference between the serfs and the nobility. To give an overly simplified explanation, the plague essentially broke serfdom in most of Europe because it killed enough of the lower classes that those who remained were suddenly valuable enough to demand at least some rights (mostly because the nobles were all desperate to get more people back on their lands, so the nobles' agreement that had previously existed to extradite runaway serfs collapsed in favour of competing to attract more workers).
Because of this, however, it was probably going on for a lot less time in the rest of Europe than in the Baltics.