Effects of the Crusades

The crusades had a major impact on Western Europe. They helped to end feudalism by increasing the authority of kings.

The land of nobles who died in battle without leaving an heir passed to the king. Some nobles sold their land to raise money to pay the special tax levied by the king to offset the cost of the crusades.

Some nobles gave their serfs a chance to buy their freedom in an effort to raise the funds to buy armor and weapons. The serfs who could buy their freedom joined the crusades. With fewer workers, farms failed and were passed to the king.

Many young peasants joined the crusades for adventure. If a peasant died while serving in the crusades, his land passed to the king as well.

This influx of land and money gave the kings great power.

Europeans learned many new things from their exposure to Muslim technology, including better ways to build ships and how to make and use magnetic compasses. The crusades introduced Europeans to many new goods, including silk, cotton, different spices, and new forms of art and literature.

Europe developed an increased desire for trade with other parts of the world. Trade led to the rise of the merchant class, the end of serfdom, and the beginning of the end of feudalism.

Source: Effects of the Crusades
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