Some view the Crusades as wars of bloodlust, greed, and power. War is an escalated conflict of interest usually over money and/or resources. The outcome of war is that one culture advances due to newly acquired resources or advancements made from the war. The Crusades, in principle, were originated to assist Constantinople from the onslaught of Seljuk Turks and free the Holy City of Jerusalem from the clutches of Muslim control. These events would create the most dramatic geopolitical upheaval until the discovery of the New World. From the crusades technology has advanced economically, socially, and politically in many ways.
The first advancement was a result of crusader’s liberating old sea and land trade routes. Trade during the Middle Ages was centralized in the Mediterranean, Black and Red Seas. These were crucial maritime trade routes linking the East and West. The crusaders initially were able to maintain Western control of Constantinople, a crucial link between the Mediterranean and Black Seas, and much of modern day Israel, a link between the Mediterranean and Red Sea. The First Crusade was the most successful in taking control of the Holy Land. This established a trade route between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. The crusaders were only able to hold Jerusalem for a short period of time; however continuous crusades to the area drove capital and trade through these regions keeping them open to the West for that time. Land routes crucial to Europe’s economic boom were also established by crusaders. Roads that had been neglected since the Roman Empire were being rebuilt and utilized to transport crusaders. Trade soon followed in the footsteps of these crusaders. The lords that owned the roads through their lands realized they could not impose tolls on the crusaders they sided with. The roads were also much safer during this period due to the alliance of lords for the good of the Crusades and the monetary gains being made from trade....
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Bongars, Gesta Dei per Francos, 1, pp. 382 f., trans in Oliver J. Thatcher, and Edgar Holmes McNeal, eds., A Source Book for Medieval History, (New York: Scribners, 1905), 513-17
Fulk (or Fulcher) of Chartres, Gesta Francorum Jerusalem Expugnantium [The Deeds of the Franks Who Attacked Jerusalem], in Frederick Duncan and August C. Krey, eds., Parallel Source Problems in Medieval History (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1912), pp. 109-115. [Chapter headings added for the etext version to match the more modern translation - Fulk of Chartres, A History of the Expedition to Jerusalem, trans. Frances Rita Ryan, (Nashville: University of Tennesee Press, 1969)]
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