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Jackson Benfer CCOT Essay- Islam Impact on Europe 650-1500 Bordering empires tend to have an impact on each other

through, war, commerce, and other means of contact. Such is the case in the impact of Islam on Europe. From 650 CE through 1500 CE, Islam impacted Europe in terms of politics, social, and culture. In terms of politics, Islam had opposing impacts on European empires. The Latin West benefited from the impact in that their empire became more centralized. In 650 CE, the Latin West was composed of many warlike and decentralized feudal states. During collaborative efforts during the Crusades, individual manors began to become united. By 1500 CE, definable states existed in the Latin West, including France and Britain. The Byzantine Empire received an opposite impact in that Islam caused its deterioration. As the old vestige of Rome, the Byzantine Empire was quite large, but was losing territories in the East and in Spain to the Arab Muslims around 650 CE. During the Crusades, the capital, Constantinople was successfully sacked for resources by the Latin West in 1204 CE. Constantinople was rebuilt, but was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 CE. Because almost all of the Byzantine Empires attention was on Constantinople, the Empire soon fell. It can be observed, therefore, that the centralizing impact of Islam on the Latin West is opposed by its deteriorating impact on the Byzantine Empire. Despite the changes in the integrity of empires in Europe, law systems were not effected by Islam and remained the same. Because the Muslim law code relied so much on its religion, it was doubtful that Christian Europe would have obeyed it, and so the systems remained the same. The social impact of Islam on Europe is undefined. Prior to the seventh century, women in the Byzantine Empire enjoyed a high degree of freedom, as they could leave the house. After the seventh century, however, womens rights were taken, and they were secluded to the home and veiled. There is a resemblance between this social change and the social change taking place in Islamic countries; however historians are not sure whether Islam actually had an impact on the Byzantine Empire in this regard. On the other hand, the Latin West received no social impact from Islam, and womens rights in the West remained liberating. Women in the Latin West, in fact, were able to own land, work along side their husbands, and played a vital role in the ownership of property through marriage. The impact of Islam therefore is small, if it even existed, in that it may have reduced womens rights in the Byzantine Empire. Islam had a very significant impact on Europe in terms of culture. Before Islamic influence, Europe had very little activity or advancements in the arts. Exposure to Islamic culture during the Crusades, however, caused Europe to realize that they lacked much of the architecture and art that was exhibited in the Arab Muslims cities. This combined with texts containing philosophies from Greece and Arabia proved vital in inspiring the Renaissance, lasting from 1250 CE through 1500 CE. These movements in culture caused Europe to transfer from its former, culturally dormant state into the leading center of the worlds culture. Advancements were made in literacy, painting, philosophy, and religion and included the discovery of depth perception, the creation of humanists, and the

creation of Protestant Christianity. Also, important cultural figures such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Martin Luther lived during this time and changed culture not only in Europe, but also in the rest of the world. Islam therefore had a significant cultural impact on Europe due to it providing inspiration for the renaissance. It can be observed that Islam had a very significant impact on Europe from 650 CE through 1500 CE. Politically, it contributed to the establishment of states in the Latin West and the deterioration of the Byzantine Empire. Socially, it might have contributed to the reduction of womens rights in the Byzantine Empire. Culturally, it contributed to the start of the Renaissance all through Europe. These great impacts not only had an effect on Europe, but they also provided a lasting impact on the world.