Crusades and Jihads: A Long-Run Economic Perspective
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 588, Islam: Enduring Myths and Changing Realities. (Jul., 2003)
Crusades and jihads have been a part of the histories of Christianity and Islam for more than a century. This article examines this often-violent history from several perspectives, focusing heavily on the period between 1000 and 1300, and on the factors that allowed Europe and its overseas extensions in North America and Australia to economically overtake the rest of the world by 1600. While some weight is given to religion in the discussion, many of the effects seem to have been accidental, both negative and positive. These include the reforms in marriage and family formation introduced by the Catholic Church; demographic pressures in Europe; and the Jihads: development of institutions in Northern Europe that provided continuity in commerce, administration, and A Long-Run archiving of intellectual advances. The factors that favored the economies of Northern Europe andlor held back other parts of the world do not appear to be related Economic to anything inherent in Christianity or Islam.