Q:

How did the Crusades affect Europe?

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Quick Answer

As a result of the Crusades, Europe saw tremendous intellectual growth, a strengthening of the merchant class through expansion in trade and the rise of new banking institutions. Unfortunately, all of these benefits came at the tremendous cost of lost lives and fortunes.

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Full Answer

The flow of traffic from Europe to the Holy Land opened the doors to expansion in the trade of goods and ideas. While Europe was just emerging from the Dark Ages, the East was experiencing an intellectual Golden Age. Europeans were exposed to new concepts in mathematics, engineering and warfare, and they brought these ideas home when they returned. Because the Crusades went on for over two centuries, there was a need for goods and supplies. Merchants returning from the East brought spices, fruit and other commodities, while raw materials were sent back to the Holy Land to aid the Crusaders who remained. The merchant class increased in strength, and there were new banking institutions established to help move vast quantities of money safely.

The Crusades provoked the weakening of the feudal system as many of the hereditary lords died with their sons during the campaigns. With no one left to inherit, the lands were returned to the Crown. The Crusades saw massive casualties on both sides. Millions perished through the endless wars and pillaging, and many more were taken into slavery, including thousands of children.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How long did the Crusades last?

    A:

    The Crusades lasted 196 years, from 1095 to 1291. The Crusades were holy wars waged against the Mohammedans or Saracens, with the intention of taking back Palestine.

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  • Q:

    Why did the Crusades occur?

    A:

    Numerous social, religious and economic factors contributed to the launch of the Crusades, but primary among these was Europe's growing capacity for conquest. Having recently recovered from the Dark Ages, the nations of Europe were able to launch large-scale military action for the first time in centuries.

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  • Q:

    What were the effects of the Crusades?

    A:

    Two major effects of the Crusades were that the kings' authority increased and the Europeans learned about new things from the Muslims they encountered. During the Crusades, the kings increased taxes to fund the cause. Many peasants also left their land to fight, and when they died, the land went to the king. With large amounts of money and land coming in, the kings gained power.

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  • Q:

    Why did The Crusades take place?

    A:

    The Crusades were a series of holy wars fueled by two major causes: the Pope's desire to expand the Holy Roman Empire and the reclamation of the Holy Land. In the 11th century, Christians and Muslims were at odds over the ownership of Jerusalem, a holy site for both Christianity and Islam.

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