The Crusades, The Rise Of Absolute Monarchs, And The Commercial Revolution

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Although the Americas were not discovered until the late 1400’s, there were many time periods in Europe that resulted in its discovery. The ones that stood out the most were the Crusades, the Renaissance, the rise of absolute monarchs, and the Commercial Revolution. Starting with the Crusades in the 11th century, it took hundreds of years for the age of exploration to begin. As the years went by, the Catholic religion, advances in technology, wealth, and power became important factors in the conquest and colonization of lands in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. European developments led to the discovery of America through religious, social, political, and economic causes. The emphasis of the Catholic religion during the Crusades resulted in the spreading of Christianity across many regions in Europe, and also resulted in an increase in trade. The Crusades were fought in order to take back the land of Jerusalem from the Muslims, and also to protect the Catholic Church. The Crusades began when Pope Urban II stated that “...an accursed race utterly alienated from God … has invaded the lands of the Christians and depopulated them by the sword, plundering, and fire. Tear that land from the wicked race and subject it to yourselves,” in which he blames the Muslims for the loss of their holy land. Then, sea routes towards Jerusalem were closed due to Muslim conquests. This changed Christopher Columbus’ original plan, which was to reach Jerusalem by sailing west. In order to continue his voyage, he sailed to the Americas, which were seen as a new opportunity to make up for the loss of the holy land during the Crusades. Also, the religious Order of Christ, which was set up in 1319 by King Denis of Portugal in order to continue the war agai... ... middle of paper ... ...rney and found success, although he discovered the Americas rather than India. One of Christopher Columbus’ main purposes of his voyage was to seek wealth, in which he explained, “but in truth, should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity, I shall remain till I collect as much as possible, and for this purpose I am proceeding solely in quest of them.” The Commercial Revolution eventually reshaped society through the decline of feudalism and the revival of the Renaissance. The discovery of the Americas was the outcome of the events that occurred many years before. The religious significance of the Crusades, the humanism of the Renaissance, and the economic benefits of absolutism and the Commercial Revolution all came together to refine exploration. European influence played a large role in American history, and shaped the direction of American society today.

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