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Lasting from 1096 to 1291, for nearly two centuries, the Crusades were a major event for the Christians, Muslims, Jews, and the rest of the population in Europe and Asia. Fueled by many different factors including endeavors for religious, military, and economic expansion, the holy wars left many significant impacts on the socio-economic and political systems of Europe. In response to the threat posed by the Seljuks, the emperor, Alexius Comnenus I sought help from Pope Urban II to drive the Muslims out of Jerusalem and claim their Holy Land (History Alive!: The Medieval World and Beyond, page 121). Those who joined the sacred cause were promised eternal salvation. However, although the Crusades began as a religious expedition to claim domination over the sacred city of Jerusalem and a safe path of pilgrimage, the Crusaders also had other objectives and motivations for pursuing. Not only did the Crusaders have a heavenly vision to spread Christianity and increase the strength of the church, they also wished to find economic revenue from their pilgrimage to the unfamiliar world by discovering new lands, goods, and resources. Beside the brave and adventurous knights and soldiers were all types of people ranging from nobles, merchants, and craftsmen to common townspeople and peasants. Everyone wished to profit from the Crusades and fulfill their own needs and desires. With a lack of a “clear-cut” or unified objective or purpose, the Crusades did not lead to a “clear-cut” outcome. There were many effects as a result of the Crusades, which affected various groups in different ways. The Crusades would lead to advancements in government, trade, economics, art and culture, and education, but also resulted in death, destruction, persecution... ... middle of paper ... ... to progress and development in Europe in numerous aspects. For example, if it had not been for the Crusades, when the nobles and knights left to fight in the Middle East, monarchs would not have gained power as quickly and the decline of feudalism would have been delayed. If merchants had not pioneered and discovered new lands to obtain rare, fine goods, Europe would not have experienced such economic growth and development. Although the Crusades did not benefit everyone equally, it eventually did lead to undeniable advancements in social, political, and economic systems and paved way for the modern European society today. Having endured the harsh times of the Crusades, the early form of efficient, organized, and systemized European society emerged and developed and the Crusades left behind unbelievable legacy for the world to analyze, incorporate, and appreciate.

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