What are some impacts of the Crusades?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
When I think of the Crusades, I imagine all of those men traveling far and wide and experiencing new cultures, as they attempted to dominate them. Nonetheless, they definitely brought back goods, foods, language, and even people from the places and cultures they entered.
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team


An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I agree with the two answers above but would like to add another important contribution.

Since with the fall of Roman and subsequent destruction, much of the ancient knowledge was destroyed.  The Byzantine Empire, however, preserved and added to the existing mathematical and scientific knowledge.

For example in the field of mathematics, they took the Greek knowledge and added to it the mathematical knowledge from India and developed what today we call the Arabic numbering system which added two concepts missing form the more clumsy Roman sytem, place value digits and zero.

Their medical knowledge was superior to the crude Medieval system since the ancient medical knowledge, which was extremely advanced, was preserved and expanded upon.

As for architecture, the earlier European churches were thick walled.  This was necessary since they did not have the mathematical knowledge of how to construct an arch.  Once this knowledge became available, the graceful and beautiful cathedrals of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance became possible.

Despite the fact that the crusades were manufactured to determine which pope, the one in Rome or the one in Avignon, would be the supreme ruler of the church,  and despite the fact that they failed to secure the Holy Land for the Catholic Church, the Crusades succeeded in ways unforseen by those involved.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The most important impact of the Crusades is that they led to European expansion into the rest of the world.  It has been argued that the Crusades helped to cause the age of discovery that allowed Europe to start to take over the rest of the world.

The Crusades were the first time that European armies had gone outside the borders of Europe to try to impose their will and their culture on other people.  This attitude carried over into the age of discovery.  That age was motivated in part by the desire to go out and bring European culture to other peoples of the world.

As the link below concludes,

The crusades, therefore, may be seen as the first step in the long history of European imperialism. Indeed, much of the spirit and idealism that supported early imperialism during the European Age of Discovery (1415-1550) was that of crusading.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Crusades tended to have two major consequences effecting the social, political and economic life of Europe. The Crusades helped end feudalism in Western Europe and brought about the conditions that helped create the Renaissance. The Crusades began the breakdown of feudal society in Western Europe. Many feudal lords went off to fight and die in the crusades, leaving their serfs free to go to towns and start new lives. Monarchs gained new strength when knights left to fight in the crusades in the Middle East. This increase in the power of the monarch also helped to end feudalism. Crusaders brought back goods such as spices and cloths, which increased demand for these goods. Merchants, particularly in Italy, grew rich from this new trade with the East. Crusaders also brought back Greek and Roman classical works. The wealth from trade and new knowledge of from classical Greek and Roman works sparked the Renaissance in Europe.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial