The Effects of the Crusades on the Civilization of Europe. Essay

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The crusades was the churches response to the Muslim expansion, which had spread along North Africa and up to the eastern and western fringes of the
Mediterranean world. The Crusades began in 1096 and ended in 1291 (some 200 years) with 8 major crusades and some minor ones. Pop Urban II initiated them with the main intention of protecting Christianity and recapturing Religious Holy Sites in Jerusalem from the control of the Muslim “infidels”.
However, there were mixed motives behind the crusades. The kings and feudal lords saw crusading as a means for obtaining new lands and riches and the clergy found a new dumping ground for troublemakers. Lastly, the Church would give remission of penance for past sins and
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They had a wealth of scholars in many disciplines astronomy, mathematics, medicine, poets and writers who created literature equal to anything their European counterparts had done. Facts are that reading and writing was scarce even among the nobles and some were unlettered as their lowest serfs. Most nobles had a prelate at there side to attend to clerical duties. The Crusades brought many changes to the political, economical and social structure of Europe. Feudalism became weaker. The kings who led the crusades got more power and began to form countries and impose taxes. People gave their loyalty to kings in exchange for protection. As long as the king promised to keep the new trade routes open and safe; the people would pledge their allegiance to that king. The in- crease of trade also led to three big developments:
1. The manufacturing system
2. A banking system
3. The practice of investing capital
People began to invest in trading, ships heading east and got a share of the profit when it came back. Serfs who used to be bound to the land either escaped from the manor or bought their freedom by fighting in a crusade for their noble. As more

peasants left for the towns, the towns grew larger. This brought a new social class to the Europeans; the middle class as we know it today. New basic rights were created:
1. The right to be free, and not to be tied to the