The Impact of the Crusades on History
The Crusades, also know as the “Holy Wars”, were fought in the name of Christ and Christianity. Muslims controlled Jerusalem after the fall of the Roman Empire and they allowed religious freedoms to the Christians and Jews that also resided here. In the early 11th century, however, the Seljuk Turks (also Muslim) took rule of Jerusalem and the surrounding Palestine region. The Turks endorsed Islam and ended religious freedoms for both Jews and Christians. The Turks attempted to expand their reign and began to invade the Byzantine Empire. The Christian emperor of Byzantium decided to seek help from the Pope, who in turn sent Christian forces from Western Europe to go to war with the Muslim armies and to stop the spread of Islam in the Holy Land. These wars left an everlasting legacy medieval society, Islam, Europe and the Jews. The effects of the Crusades on these aspects can still be seen in the world we live in today.
The Crusades aided the movement towards a new way of government. The political effect of the Crusades impacted everything from existing nations' relationships with each other to the formation of completely new political states. Vassals thought themselves to be masters and Kings had a difficult time obtaining obedience from them. “The collection of money made for the crusades paved the way for tax systems; the protection of crusaders' property legitimized the intervention of sovereigns.” (Richard). Lords often deserted a family legacy of increasing the wealth of their land after they transferred ownership rights of their lands to another when they left to support the crusades. All of these had profound effect in benefiting political powers.
The crusades strengthened Christendom while simultaneously destroying the broader aspects of the Christian world. While Muslims were the main intended targets, the religious devotion inspired by the crusades led to the massacre of many Jewish communities, the most...
References: Richard, Jean., & Birrell, Jean. (2001). The Crusades. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Roberts, John M., Westad, Odd A. (2013). The History of the World (6th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
Rubenstein, Jay. (2011). Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse. New York: Basic Books.
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