The Crusades

What impact did the Crusades have on western Europe?

The goals of the Crusades were not accomplished. The Holy Land had been recovered, but Christians were unable to keep control of it. And while the western Europeans had joined with the Eastern (Byzantine) Christians in their fight against the Muslims, the two groups remained bitter toward each other, which likely contributed to the fall of Byzantium to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. Nevertheless, the Crusades had a lasting effect on the European economy: During the expeditions, trade routes were established, new markets opened, and shipbuilding was improved. Having fortified themselves for the fight, the Christian monarchies in western Europe emerged from the Crusades in 1291 as strong as—if not stronger than—before Pope Urban had first rallied the troops in 1095.


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