Impact of the Crusades
The Crusades were a series of nine military campaigns by European Christians to regain Holy Land from the Muslims, in which about 1.5 million lives were lost all together. The first Crusade was organized by Pope Urban II in 1095, and the last being in 1289. Pope Urban II originally intended to recruit followers by saying that your sins would be relieved if you helped regain Holy Land from Muslims, however, these intentions quickly turned into bad intentions when people joined for adventure, estates, and for commercial opportunities. The Crusades left both a positive and negative impact on the Eastern and Western worlds that were involved in the conflict. Positive effects of the Crusades include expanding of trade (Document 2) and the introduction of spices, sugar, and silk to the European world (Document 8), however the Crusades left more negative effects, such as leaving a bitter legacy of religious hatred behind them (Document 1), the permanent split of the Greek and Latin churches (Document 4), the hatred of crusading knights (Document 7), and the persecutions set by Christian knights and bishops (Document 5).
To begin with, the Crusades left a few positive impacts on the Eastern and Western world. One includes the expansion of trade between the two worlds (Document 2). Ships built by merchants in Venice that used to transport crusaders to the Holy Land were later used to open new markets in the crusaders’ states. The Crusades also brought sugar, spices, and silk to the European world ( Document 8). The spices were used to help keep food from spoiling and the silk replaced wool as the clothing choice of many lords and women. Nobles and merchants wanted more of these new goods, so therefore trade expanded.
However, with every positive effect, there is a negative effect, just as the Crusades had. With trade expanded, the Crusades also left a bitter legacy of religious hatred behind them (Document 1). In the Middle East, both Christians and Muslims committed unforgettable atrocities under the name of their religions. In Europe, crusaders sometimes massacred entire communities of Jews to release their anger. Also, crusaders were hated by local people
because they abused and committed atrocities against Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, and Muslims they encountered, such as killing and raping of the people (Document 7).
Finally, the Crusades resulted in more negative results than positive results. The 4th Crusade intended to unify the Roman Catholic church and the Eastern Orthodox church, however it did not happen (Document 4). Although this was a good intention, this made the spilt permanent between the two churches because of the assault of one Christian on another. The splitting of the two churches helped discredit the entire crusading movement as a whole. The series of Crusades left an inheritance of deep bitterness when Christian kings and bishops persecuted Muslims, Christians, and Jews (Document 5).
In conclusion, the Crusades were a series of military campaigns by European Christians to regain Holy Land from the Muslims. The Crusades helped expand trade in both worlds and introduced new luxuries into the European world . However, this did not come cheap. The Crusades also left a bitter legacy of religious hatred behind them, helped make the split between the Greek and Latin churches permanent, made the crusaders hated by local populations, and the persecution of many by Christian kings and bishops. In the end, the Crusades left more bad intentions than good intentions intended by the original organizers.