The Silk Road was the first international trading route connecting people from Asia with those in Europe.
More than goods were passed along these routes: Exchanges of ideas and knowledge Italy was seen as Europe’s gateway to the east. Why? Camel caravans travelled long distances moving goods from one region to another.
The Crusades were a series of Holy Wars fought between Christians and Muslims.
There were two important results of the Crusades for Europeans Contact with Muslim Civilization Trade During this time, the Muslim world was more advanced than Europe Because of the Crusades, Europe was exposed to new ideas about medicine, astronomy, math, literature The Crusades brought many new goods to Europe, including oil, spices and various varieties of fruits Europeans wanted more of these goods and this led to an increase in trade.
Renaissance Europe did not look the way Europe does today. Italy was not yet a country like it is today but rather it was more like several kingdoms or empires. Italy was a collection of city- states. A city-state consists of a city that is politically independent.
Dozens of city-states developed in Italy, there success depended on four things Geography As Italy had a lot of coast line transportation was easier and cheaper than in other European countries Climate Warm climate meant trade was not dependent on weather Leadership Italian city-states had their own governments, armies and controlled their own affairs without a monarch Social Organization Feudalism did not have nearly a strong a hold of Italy as the rest of Europe.
Rivalry among city-states was common as all wanted to expand trade and business.
Resources, goods and luxury goods was common in city-states Money lending and banking began to take hold as Usury (the practice of charging interest when lending money became a way for people to gain wealth.)
The Economy went into a depression in the years following the Black Death, but merchants and bankers continued to grow wealthier through trade and commerce.
Bankers and merchants brought wealth and money to their city Florentine bankers established banks across Europe Usury – the practice of charging interest played an important part in creating wealth During the Middle Ages the bank considered usury a sin Rise of international trade required large investments that would be tied up for years and therefore usury became a common practice.