Early Modern Europe – Major Forces for Change
There are a lot of events that shaped the history of early Europe. Our ancestors had a lot on their plate when they discovered new lands and fought new diseases. One of the early forces that had a major impact were the crusades. The Crusades were a bunch of religious wars that were called on by the Pope and the Catholic Church in order to defend Christianity against the Muslims and get closer to the holy cities and other places in ancient Palestine. So what exactly does “crusade” mean? The word comes from an old French word “crois”, which means cross (if you haven’t guessed it). The crusaders (men who take vows to fight for Christianity) were not usually under a single banner, they all attached a cross to their clothes, but joining a crusade was usually voluntarily (depending where you were from). The Lords would get a notice that the Pope has called a crusade, and if they didn’t have any local problems of their own, they would go and fight the Byzantines. But the King of a country was still the same old mean guy, and if a lord or a noble died while fighting in the crusades, his land was possessed by the king, and other nobles were so righteous that they sold off their lands in order to buy weapons and armor to fight in the crusades. Not everything was so grim, the crusaders were facing a superior force and they had to adapt, they learned for example how to use a compass or how to build better ships. And while warring with other country’s they picked up some loot along the way, like silk, spices, sugar and brought the spoils back home, which enticed the Europeans to trade to gain more of these luxury good. In total there were 9 crusades, with varying degrees of success. With increased trade, towns begin to develop across Europe as centers where people can come and share ideas and experience. They were mostly dominated by guilds, which was a kind of organization where people with a common goal come together. An...
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