Political Changes After the Crusades
The series of crusades which started from the early the 1000's and lasted for about two hundred years caused many important political changes in Europe. One of the results of the Crusades was the shift of power between kings and feudal lords. The method of direct taxing was initiated by the kings for the first time. The church also assumed more political power because of its spiritual leadership role in the Crusades. Evidently, the Crusades caused major changes of politics in Europe.
Power shifted in Europe from the feudal lords to kings after the Crusades. Kings imposed new taxed and raises armies to help the Crusades. In this process, they gained the respect and obedience of the people. The feudal lords on the other hand sold property and political liberties to towns in order to raise money for the wars, many nobles were also killed in the wars. After the Crusades, the nobles who got out of wars alive found themselves poor and powerless. Thus the kings had the stronghold of the government, and now controlled trade routes and their taxes, and had won full allegiance of the people.
Direct taxes were imposed for the first time during the Crusades. These taxes were first collected to support these wars, but after the Crusades ended the taxes remained. These taxes provided funds for the government they remain even now. By imposing these new taxed, the kings officially had more power to tax than did the nobles.
The Christian Church had even more political power by the end of the Crusades than before. This should make sense because the Crusades themselves were religious wars. By the Church commanding and directing these wars, it gained political power in the government. The popes who initiated these wars were almost like kings commanding their people to go to war. The church assuming this leadership role even more so made itself a major influence on the people's lives.
The Crusades changed the politics of Europe in more ways than one. It is somewhat comforting to know that even though an unknown number of innocent people died in these wars, many good things came out of it. Some of these things changed the structure of the government once and for all. It is hard to imagine our lives if the Crusades have never taken place. Would we still be under the rule of feudal lords? Would the Church play a different role in our lives? Maybe we will never know. But what we do know is that the Crusades were important to our culture, our government, and to our religions, and that they were not fought in vain.


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City, New York: Doubleday, 1988