Before the Crusades began, the three main institutional pillars that shaped European life was religion, the monarchy (government) and the economy. Religion was highly important during the Middle Ages, as Christianity spread extensively throughout Europe, Catholicism was the sole Christian faith that this time and the Roman Catholic Church was influential to Christians as it spread throughout Europe. No matter what class, it was an unifying factor on people from corners of Europe, except for a small population of Jews; everyone was a Christian, from Kings to serfs and provided a format for conduct from birth to death. Following baptism, all things Christian engulfed a child of the Middle Ages from the teachings of prayers, to learning one’s responsibilities to God and the Church. All were expected to follow the Church’s law and support it financially by paying heavy taxes. Besides collecting taxes, the Church also accepted gifts from individuals in exchange for special favors. While a significant departure from the core message of Christianity, the Church became very powerful through the practice of exchanging Church influence and doctrine for granting individual indulgences. Consequently, the Church often used this power to influence kings to do, as it wanted.
Because of religions importance in people�s live, many people chose to devote their lives to serve God and do the Church’s work. These monks and nuns lived apart from the world and lived in special communities called monasteries or nunneries. Monks and nuns promised to ...
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...d and write for kings and become vassals. Local priests were appointed by local lords, and were expected to uphold their wishes. Thus, the role of the church, government and the economy became interconnected.
The growing increase in the rights of individual and the spreading influence of Islam posed a major threat to the finances and existence of the Church and monarch. Hence, the Church and State conspired to use the Crusades as a way to appeal to the religious conscience of the individual to keep control over them. That objective was far from noble, but the result was a growing economy that brought all (Church, state and the individual) greater prosperity. The Crusades brought a demand for additional goods and services beyond just farm products- equipping, feeding, housing and moving the soldiers called to the crusades created economic opportunities for others.
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