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Effects Of The Crusades And The Black Deaths On Medieval Society

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What Effect did the Crusades and the Black Deaths have on Medieval European Society/ Did the Effects Differ According to Region?

Before the Crusades began Europe was isolated in many regards, but especially to trade. However, in the beginning, the Crusades started as a way for nobles to get out their frustrations and to stop feuding against one another and "Pope Urban may well have believed that the Crusade[s] would reconcile and reunite Western and Eastern Christianity" (text p. 405). The first Crusade was a success. The "goal was to rescue the holy city of Jerusalem, which had been in the hands of the Seljuk Turks since the seventh century" (text p. 405). Once Jerusalem was rescued, "the Crusaders divided conquered territories into the feudal states of Jerusalem, Edessa, and Antioch" (text p 406). The Crusaders soon learned that they were just a small portion of the world around them and "found themselves increasing on the defensive" (text p 406) once they had settled in. The second Crusade was an attempt to rescue Edessa, which had fallen into Muslim hands in 1144. The "attempted rescue [was] met with dismal failure" (text p. 407). The third Crusade became known as a "tragicomic commentary on the passing of the original crusading spirit" (text p. 407). It was led by Emperor Fredrick Barbarossa who accidentally drowned, Richard the Lion-Hearted and Philip Augustus, who were constantly fighting one another. In the long-run the first three crusades "had little to do with their original purpose. Politically and religiously they were a failure" (text p. 408). The two most positive things that

came out of the first three crusades is that the men found an escape for their violent behavior and "more importantly, they stimulated Western trade with the East, as Venetian, Pisan, and Genoan merchants followed the Crusaders across Byzantium to lucrative new markets" (text p. 408). The fourth Crusade "is a commentary on both the degeneration of the original crusading ideal and the Crusaders' true historical importance" (text p. 408).

To understand the Bubonic Plague, better known as the Black Death, one must first understand why the population had begun to grow. Reason being is that the agricultural aspect had enhanced and people were now using what was known as the "three-field system" (text p. 419). This system allowed more production of foods which in turn allows for a larger population. The population began to grow so fast that people were outgrowing the production of food and people soon found themselves starving; this famine led to the Black Death. The effects of the Black Death led to "whole villages vanish[ing]" (text p. 420) however,



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