The Crusade and Trade• Trade between Venice and other Italian cities and the East had actually been re- established several centuries before the Polos’ journeys.• This happened as a result of a series of religious wars known as “The Crusades”• Two important results of the Crusades – Contact with Muslim civilizations – Trade
More Crusades• During the time of the Crusades, the Muslim world was more advanced than Europe• During their travels and contacts, the Europeans were exposed to new ideas about medicine, astronomy, philosophy, math, and ancient literature• Muslim societies were inclusive because they welcomed contributions from Christian and Jewish scholars
• Crusades brought new goods back from the Muslim world including: – Oil, spices, and new varieties of fruit – Spices were the most sought after good• Because Europeans wanted more of these goods, an increase in trade occurred between Europe and the East• Other goods that the Italian states brought by sea, after the Crusades, included jewels, rugs, and fabrics like silk, muslin, taffeta, and satin
Moving Goods and Resources• It cost a lot of money to transport goods during these times• Goods were moved to market towns on ships along the coast, on boats along the rivers, or over land by horse, mule, or ox• There was a great deal of trade within Europe for local resources and goods, and luxury goods
• Areas rich in resources like minerals (salt, iron, copper, lead, and precious metals), timber, fur, and fish exchanged these for cloth and manufactured goods produced in other areas• The market was not centred around paying money for goods, rather it relied on trading one thing for something else• The same interest in trade occurred when Europeans landed in North America and discovered that the First Nations people were anxious to trade furs for knives and iron.
The Italian City-States• During the times of the Renaissance most countries were not known as countries… they were more like kingdoms, empires, or principalities – All of these were likely ruled by a monarch• Italy was a collection of city-states – A city-state consists of a city that is politically independent and the rural are around it (this rural area was called the hinderland)
Success of the City-States• 4 contributing factors to a successful city- states• Geography• Climate• Leadership• Social Organization
Geography• Italy was closest to the port cities of North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea where spices and other luxury goods were available• Because of this transporting goods were easier and cheaper to do
Climate• Climate is a lot milder in Italy than in other European countries• This meant that trade was not interrupted by winter weather• This also allowed for a longer growing season
Leadership• In pre-modern Europe, most countries were monarchies• Northern Italy was a collection of independent city-states – This meant that each city state had their own government, armies, and were in charge of their own affairs (how they ran things)• Venice, Milan, Florence, and Genoa became the wealthiest trading, business, and banking centres in Europe
Social Organization• Feudalism wasn’t as high in Italy as in the rest of Europe• Nobles in Italy would typically move into town, living in the upper classes of urban society.• The nobles typically got involved in either running a business or politics
Competition For Trade• The city states were always rivaling one another because they all wanted to expand their trade and business – i.e. Venice and Genoa competed for control of the Mediterranean Sea• Venice became a great trading place because of all the trading they did with the East• Genoa had some trade routes on the Mediterranean sea, but they also had some in the Black Sea. – Genoa would typically trade with Spanish ports in Barcelona and Valencia• Genoa was always an equal to Venice in terms of money brought in from trade until the naval battle with Venice in 1380
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