What were the lasting cultural and political impacts of the Crusades on European societies?

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asked by malia
  1. Let's start with your text. What does it say about this subject?

  2. During wartime, one culture often attempts to resist the influence of another culture. Yet even when an enemy culture is demonized, its cultural traits may break through political and social prejudices. As a relatively recent example, American soldiers in World War II were taught to demonize the Japanese enemy. After the war, however, American soldiers brought back Japanese objects in such abundance that by the 1950s the Japanese style surfaced in American home décor and commercial-art design.
    The crusaders experienced a similar impulse to purchase or plunder exotic objects to show their acquaintances back home. They returned with intricate Muslim metalwork and glassware. The Arabic design and craftsmanship influenced European craftsmen, who adopted the techniques into their own products.
    One unexpected influence was the cuisine of the Near East. Crusaders returned to Europe with a new taste for such spices as ginger, pepper, and cumin. These new flavorings altered the cuisine of Europe and expanded the Western art of cooking.

    Nadezhda Bolotina/Shutterstock
    The Church of Our Lady of Sablon in Brussels, Belgium, offers an example of medieval church spires influenced by Islamic architecture.
    The Crusades occurred during a time of increasing literacy. The result was an upsurge in written accounts left by the knights who fought these wars. No previous era had generated so many personal narratives. Muslim literature also expanded during the Crusades. The Arab tradition of documentation encouraged numerous Muslim writers to record their experiences interacting with the infidels. Arab historians wrote extensive chronicles of each Crusade.
    Similarly, the first crusaders influenced Arab architecture when they rebuilt Jerusalem. Saladin had a citadel built in Cairo that featured a bell tower, a Western feature previously unseen in the Arab Empire. Conversely, European church design began to incorporate spires into its architecture, perhaps inspired by Islamic minarets. Even now, a tourist to either area can see an array of overlapping styles of architecture.

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    posted by malia
  3. The Crusades arose at a time when constant bickering among European nobles had caused deep divisions throughout the Holy Roman Empire. The Church may have been unaware of the social ramifications when it called for the upper classes to fight in the Crusades. This call to action siphoned off many of the quick-tempered noblemen who had created the political rifts. Directing their attention to the struggle in the Holy Land channeled their energies in ways that were politically beneficial to the Church. Showing merit in battle allowed them to prove their superiority without causing more friction at home. The fractious kingdoms of Europe became a unified empire.
    This was equally true on the Muslim side of the conflict. The Arab world, wracked by infighting between the Sunni and Shiite factions of Islam, was divided during the First Crusade. At first, most Arabs thought the invading crusaders were simply Byzantine mercenaries on a looting spree. Arabs did not realize the Christian attacks were part of a holy war. But the crusaders continued to travel down the seacoast and attack cities until they sacked and seized Jerusalem. The fall of Jerusalem was an awakening for the arguing Muslims. They understood the Christian agenda was to claim the Near East as their own. Muslims ceased their quarreling and united against a common enemy.
    In Europe, the Crusades reestablished the authority of the Roman Catholic papacy at a critical time. In AD 1078, the pope had engaged in a power struggle with the Holy Roman Emperor. This earthly controversy had tarnished the papacy. But the Crusades reinforced the image of the Catholic Church as a powerful and divinely inspired force. Further, the Byzantine emperor had appealed for the Western Church’s aid. This gave Pope Urban II an opportunity to reunite the separated halves of the Church.
    However, the Crusades gave the Church a means to engage in politically motivated vendettas at home. The Crusades that Pope Innocent III called against the Cathars in France and the non-Catholic Christians of the Baltic region were holy wars against competing sects of Christianity. These groups were not threatening Europe; they simply threatened the Church’s position as Europe’s sole spiritual leader.
    The Church’s misuse of its power eroded its spiritual authority among its disillusioned members. Christian believers suffered a crisis of faith that made them question their spiritual values. This self-analysis led to the humanist philosophy of the Enlightenment and brought about the religious restructuring of the Protestant Reformation.

    This illustration of Knights Templar was published in the 1844 Magasin Pittoresque, Paris.
    The Crusades fueled the collapse of the rigid feudal system. This change gave people more social mobility and some freedom to choose their lifestyles. An individual was no longer confined to a particular social class for life. For example, a farmer could raise his station in life by becoming a prosperous merchant. Some scholars point to this economic and social development as the beginnings of the modern middle class. Social divisions were no longer limited to serfs and lords. However, it was difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to elevate to the rank of a noble. A person had to be born into the noble class or marry into it. But the new opportunities that did emerge brought about even more social change and advancement.

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    posted by malia
  4. If you understand what you have read, you should be able to answer the question. There are many examples in these excerpts you've posted.

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    posted by Reed
  5. ok ill read it again

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    posted by malia
  6. Yes! You have all the information you need to answer the question.

    I'll be glad to check your answer.

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