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A crusade is a series of religious warfare which occurs predominantly between Christians and Muslims primarily as a result of securing and controlling of holy sites presumed sacred by both groups (Amt & Allen, 2014). Major crusade expeditions occurred between the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries were characterized by violence, ruthlessness and bloody conflicts between the European Christians and the Muslims, and thus making them the key players in the fight for the holy site in the Middle East (Setton, 2012). Consequently, most people believe that nothing positive occurred as a result of the crusades, however, I disagree based on the following positive aspects highlighted below.
The Crusades contributed to the development and advancement of military techniques and fortification (Amt & Allen, 2014). For instance, the Muslims benefited significantly as they learned a lot about the building of warfare castles, arms, and ammunition. Additionally, they got educated on various military approaches and the logic of combat on encountering the enemy as a result of the introduction of the concept of the standing army (Setton, 2012). Thus, they were able to develop their military expertise and the art of fighting effectively.
Also, the crusades facilitated and enhanced cultural integration among both groups (Amt & Allen, 2014). For instance, when the European Christians moved to the Middle East, they got an opportunity to learn a lot about the social norms, beliefs and values of the Muslims. Consequently, there was merging of ethics, food and cultures between the West and the East for the first time (Setton, 2012). The crusade provided an opportunity for both groups to learn a lot about each other which otherwise would have remained unknown to them.
Finally, the crusades lead to the construction of the Temple of Holy Sepulcher which stands as a center of pilgrimage (Amt & Allen, 2014). Also, crusaders boosted the economy and trading activities between the East and the Western parts of the continent. The development and rapid growth of the economy and the trading sectors between both countries was witnessed, and hence, the introduction of new food, spices and clothing materials such as the muslin was made available in the western markets (Setton, 2012). Therefore, the merchants, mainly from Italy, grew wealthy as they amassed wealth from the new trading activities with East.
In conclusion, the key players in the crusades were Christians, Muslims and the Jews and they all had their share with regards to the positive and negative effects of the crusades (Amt & Allen, 2014). However, in as much as the bloody and ruthless battles were fought as a result of divine rights aimed at maintaining sanctity, in reality, the acts were meaningless as they were only initiated by inhuman feelings especially amongst those in power. Nonetheless, the crusades played a substantial role in shaping religious and ideological differences among each other (Setton, 2012).
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