What are some impacts of the Crusades?What are some impacts of the Crusades?

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shaketeach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
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.
martinjmurphy eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

Here's a short video outlining some of the impacts of the Crusades:

jacobgilts | Student

i think that if there were no crusades there would not be the europe there is today.

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yuneebknyt | Student

There were impacts of the Crusades besides religion. For positive impact, you're not going to see a lot of benefit for anyone but Europeans. 

A huge positive impact was that Europeans were exposed to goods they weren't really aware of before - spices, luxury textiles and so on. This caused massive amounts of trade with the east, and had a huge impact on the development of the economy, and cities associated with the trade grew massively. Many merchants grew hugely rich, and because kings relied on loans from these merchants, barriers to travel and trade within Europe were reduced. The flow of ideas of the Renaissance would not have happened without this shift. 

Another positive impact is that it was the beginning of the end of feudalism. 

Another positive impact is that the Classical knowledge that had been preserved in the east and forgotten by the west was going to be rediscovered as a result of the renewed contact between east and west. 

Another positive impact, if you really want to be cynical, relates to the over-population in Europe at the time. There was a lot of violent feuding and squabbling happening in Europe because of an over-abundance of younger sons of lords. This was greatly reduced because Pope Urban gave them an opportunity to get themselves killed elsewhere. 

Obviously there were also negative effects, mainly having to do with the vicious slaughter of innocent civilians, and centuries of hostility and distrust established afterwards.

giorgiana1976 | Student

The Crusades have had negative and positive consequences. The negative ones were the destruction of properties, the massacres that took place during the war, the exploitation of populations.

The positive consequence was that it was possible the contact between two civilizations that have influenced each other.

Crusades have contributed to the development of connections between East and West. Western Europe's trade relations with East widened. In the thirteenth century, Venice and Genoa were bringing products from the Muslim East, China and India.

Also, different methods and processes concerning oriental textile industry and metal processing were spread in Europe. There have been introduced some new cultures such as: rice, melon, apricot, lemon.

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