Impact of Islam in Europe 1000C.E.-1750C.E.

Between 1000C.E.-1750C.E., Islam, a monotheistic religion, was revealed through Muhammad as the Prophet of Allah. Like any religion, it started out small then later spread across the world , starting from Arabia. Islam impacted many nations, one particularly being Europe. In many ways it was impacted culturally, economically, and politically.

Culturally, it went through the Renaissance. Economically, it went through trade networks. Politically, it went through the Crusades, where power through the Church and king occurred. Islam greatly affected Europe, making it later become a powerful nation.

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The Renaissance took a key role in Europe’s history as well as the whole world too. The Renaissance was a cultural movement of art and literature under the influence of classical models in the 14th -16th centuries. The culture and style of art and architecture started to evolve. Europeans were influenced by Muslims, who made mosaic and geometric art. They adapted to the beautiness of calligraphy and developed a wide range of sciences and mathematics.

Before any of this happened, Europe was dependent on their serfs, a kind of agricultural laborer under the feudal system who worked for the landlords. Back then many were illiterate and education was not offered. Europe was basically agrarian at the time. As soon as the Renaissance took place, schools and universities were being opened. Education gradually became a priority for families. With the help of new knowledge, many set out to take long journeys and explorations to find new discoveries. Art and literature now had a different viewpoint, it was finally honored. Technologies such as the printing press, helped immensely. Europe definitely changed to a modern stand point.

Europe’s economy changed abruptly. Before the Crusades, Europe’s technology was very low and not advanced compared to the Islamics. Influenced by their ways of living, they learned how to build stronger ships and use the compass. Trade started to become more advanced and enormous. They had to trade with Arabs for spices, silk, cotton, metals, and food. One of the main centers of trade was Constantinople.

It became a huge metropolitan area of the West. The Silk Road and the slave trade still continued. Established a long time ago between the Abbasids, Ummayads, and Ottomans , the Arab slave trade still carried on with the Europeans. Another thing Islam contributed to was the change of money. Before, Europeans used the “barter system” where they traded certain foods for food and clothes for clothes, etc. Later they developed coinage which made transactions much more easy and increased the trading process.

Finally, Islam impacted Europe politically.The Muslims were under a monarchy, controlled by their king, known as a caliph who was in charge of religious and political issues. Unlike the Muslims, Europeans had a separate religious and political leader. In 1095, the Crusades occurred under Pope Urban II, who wanted to unite all nations in Europe for a single cause. The Crusades were mainly attacking towards Jerusalem where the Islamics lived.

The first couple of Crusades brought among recognition and power to the Pope. Later the last few became unsuccessful and brought down the high reputation to a minimum. Before this series of wars occurred, kings originally had no power, until aristocrats eventually died down. Warfare between these two, opened up a variety of new finds such as gunpowder. The Europeans later used gunpowder to make cannons, which helped them in the future. The political state of Europe had many changes as well as continuities.

All in all, throughout 1000C.E.-1750C.E., Islam’s power affected the Europe’s culture, economy, and political system. It introduced many fine arts and texts, a new religion, sciences and medicine, compasses, and gunpowder, etc. The changes Islam had on Europe not only benefited them but other nations as well. Some may say that Islam changed Europe from an ignorant to a more powerful and wise nation.



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