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How did the Crusades indirectly lead to the discovery of America?

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moveslikeswagger | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted August 28, 2012 at 6:22 PM via web

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How did the Crusades indirectly lead to the discovery of America?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 28, 2012 at 6:35 PM (Answer #1)

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The Crusades led indirectly to the discovery of the Americas in a number of ways.  Among the most important of these were:

  • The Crusades allowed Westerners to come into contact with scientific knowledge from classical times that had been lost in Europe but kept alive by the Muslims.  The Muslims had also added to that knowledge.  This contact helped to bring about the Renaissance and the advance of science, which helped make the voyages of exploration possible.
  • The Crusades helped create a situation in which Europeans had an incentive to go exploring.  The Crusades helped weaken the Byzantine Empire, whose eventual collapse made access to Asian spices more difficult.  This gave Europeans a greater incentive to find other ways to get to Asia.  It was in pursuit of such trade routes that Columbus "discovered" the New World.

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