Q:

Why were the Crusades important?

A:

Quick Answer

The Crusades spread Christianity, expanded the territories of many European countries, increased trade, spread knowledge and began an era of persecution and war against non-Christians that continued with the Inquisition. The Crusades also dramatically increased the wealth and power of the Roman Catholic Church.

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Full Answer

The First Crusade was in 1095, when Pope Urban II called for an expedition to take Jerusalem from the Turks, who had harassed Christian pilgrims. There were regular crusades against the Middle East and parts of Africa until almost 1300. Crusaders rediscovered many ancient Greek and Roman texts by exploring Middle Eastern libraries. Many merchants became rich by transporting crusaders in their ships and trading with Muslims. The potential wealth motivated later explorers like Columbus to find new lands for conquering and trading.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Who won the crusades?

    A:

    The crusades were ultimately won in the East by the Muslims when the Bahri Mamluks conquered Acre in 1291. While crusades were mounted even after this point, political witch-hunts mounted against the Knights Templar by King Philip IV of France made further major crusades in the Levant impractical.

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  • Q:

    What were the effects of the Crusades?

    A:

    Two major effects of the Crusades were that the kings' authority increased and the Europeans learned about new things from the Muslims they encountered. During the Crusades, the kings increased taxes to fund the cause. Many peasants also left their land to fight, and when they died, the land went to the king. With large amounts of money and land coming in, the kings gained power.

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  • Q:

    How many crusades were there?

    A:

    There were eight or nine crusades, though only the first four were of any importance. The Crusades were Christian military expeditions mounted to wrest the Holy Land from the Muslims who had conquered it.

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  • Q:

    How long did the Crusades last?

    A:

    The Crusades lasted 196 years, from 1095 to 1291. The Crusades were holy wars waged against the Mohammedans or Saracens, with the intention of taking back Palestine.

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