1. Discuss the growth of cities and the rebirth of trade.

What led up to this development and how was society affected? Before the 11th century, most of Europe and the Eurasian continent was in a depression. Trade was slow and most people were living in small manors all over Europe, not united together. Slowly though, the development of self-governed cities began to grow. These self-governed cities sparked trade and technology, bringing about a general uplifting in the quality of life. Major trade cities such as Venice started to gain power and brought further prosperity to the trading systems. This led to greater wealth and united kingdoms in the European continent, increasing the population and creating new trading centers. From the 7th to the 10th century, centralized governments broke down and small communities began to appear. A lord who guaranteed the peasants protection in return for agricultural output ruled these small communities, or manors. These manors were self-sufficient and they were not at all united. There were some alliances, but most of Europe was broken, disbanded, and vulnerable to outside invasions. Also the black plague was present, killing of almost a third of the people. The population was low and trade was very slow; little technology was discovered or spread and these manors mostly kept to themselves. This began to change however in the 11th century. In Italy and Flanders, the people of these manors demanded to govern themselves after successfully defending their homestead. This small group of people, or commune, won this right from their lords. The people were allowed to govern themselves while the lord received the benefits of the economy. Pretty soon, the people in these manors ran out of farmland and converted to manufacturing centers. This was a big step towards the increase and rebirth of trade. The cities were soon almost bursting with people as many former serfs and peasants came to work in the manufacturing centers. Pisa’s population grew so big that the government needed to expand the walls around the city. As the trade networks began to open back up, the primate bartering system in place was thrown out, and replaced with currency. The silver penny was used in the areas of France, England and Germany initially, and the abundant gold coins from the Muslim areas didn’t reach West Europe, simply because most of the goods in Europe were not worth these golden coins. Slowly though, the gold coin was reintroduced and became more popular than the silver coins as trade and good values went up. The advent of new technologies was spread and helped to further stimulate the trade already going on. Farming technology such as the new plow (made especially for the European soil), a new horse harness, and horseshoes was spread and used all throughout European farms. This spurt in trade also sparked new trading centers and cities like Venice rose to power. In the Adriatic Sea, a group of settlers on an island created the city of Venice, and it quickly became a trading center. Trading within the Silk Road and the Indian Ocean Trading System, the people traded and received goods such as wax, cotton, indigo and dyes, spices, sugar, crops, fruits, paper, and much, much more. This further boosted Europe’s economy and helped along the rebirth of trade in Eurasia.

2. The Crusades were a major event on Europe of the Middle Ages. Why were they conducted, who benefited from them, and how did they affect ChristianMuslim relations? The four Christian crusades took place between 1095 and 1204, and although they had no lasting military affect, they were Europe’s first major military campaigns after the collapse of the Roman Imperial government. Pope Urban II started the crusades because of the Muslim threat to Byzantine that threatened the Christian pilgrimage routes and Christian centers under Byzantine’s imperialistic rule. The wars affected very little, however they gave the Italian merchants much prosperity, and they spread Arab ideas to the European continent and culture. Byzantine’s regression of power began when the Muslim Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantines at Manziker. This defeat decreased the security along Christian pilgrimage routes to Rome and Constantinople, as well as the Muslim controlled area of Jerusalem. The Byzantine government desperately asked Pope Urban II for help in pushing back the Muslims, and in 1095 during the Council of Clermont he told the Christians to go and capture the holy city of Jerusalem. He told the knights to stop fighting among themselves and to sow crosses onto their uniforms. He also promised that anyone who participated in this crusade would have all of his or her sins erased, and die a hero. This first crusade was extremely effective and actually captured the city of Jerusalem. However the following three crusades made to protect the land capture against the Muslim warriors diminished in success. By the time of the fourth crusade in 1204, the holy war appeal had worn off and people were not as reluctant to go and fight. The Muslim warriors had recaptured Jerusalem in 1187, and the fourth war was so unsuccessful, that the crusaders sacked and raided Constantinople to pay for the war. The transportation needed to take the warriors across the sea in boats had been very costly and required someone to pay for it. The four crusades may have not had any long-lasting strategic military affect, but it did help the Italian and Mediterranean merchants. The merchants would follow these crusades and supply the Christian and Muslim troops with supplies. This was an extremely effective tactic to gain money, as both sides would buy enormous amounts of supplies to fight with, and by supplying both sides they insured their flow of money would continue. The wars also helped to spread Arab and Muslim practices into the European continent. It brought a brand new cultural awareness to the Christians who realized how lacking their own culture was. The Europeans learned how to make pasta, paper, refined sugar, colored glass, and other goods that had been needed to be imported before the Europeans learned how to manufacture them. Intellectual works from Arabs, Iranians, and the Greeks (that had been translated into Arabic) provided a stimulus for European thinking and thought. Science, mathematics, art, and philosophy that had been passed down for generations now inspired the Europeans to create, invent, and educate themselves. The Muslims also benefited from the crusades. For the first time they were all united under one leader and for one cause. Saladin helped to lead the Muslims to victory against Richard the Lion Hearted during the third crusade and repelled the Christian attacks after recapturing Jerusalem.

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