The readings describe crusades in detail and how they provoked a “clash of civilizations” between the Christian kingdoms of Europe and the Islamic kingdoms of Turkey and Asia Minor. The crusades were fought on religious grounds and suffused the fighters with a sense of religious fanaticism that proved deadly and dangerous to their opponents on the battlefield. As happens in any time of war, the crusades led to the development of newer technologies as well as newer forms of communication and control. The fact remains that as in contemporary times, the crusades were an important way to stimulate the economies of the European and Islamic countries. However, this should not detract us from the fact that the crusades were barbaric in nature.
As the reading indicates, “the crusades stimulated a remarkable increase in naval power of the mariner states. The heightened demand for ships – to carry crusaders and pilgrims to the holy land- led to a virtual frenzy in ship building” (Abu-Lughod, 111). The pope had a major role to play in the conduct of the crusades and was responsible for papal injunctions against or for certain practices and the way the war was conducted. The readings make an important point about the roles of Genoa and Venice and the way in which these cities contributed to the conduct of the war. The readings make it clear that both Genoa and Venice experienced rapid surges in population thanks to the crusades and the generally heightened economic activity that accompanied this period.
The readings make a case for the European subsystems and their access to different structures of power and commerce. The readings highlight the fact that the evolution of the modern forms of commerce and trading can be directly related to the developments in commerce and trade during the time that has been covered in the readings. The readings make