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The Crusades and Protocolonialism: The Roots of European Expansionism

The Crusades and Protocolonialism: The Roots of European Expansionism

Chapter:
(p.194) Six The Crusades and Protocolonialism: The Roots of European Expansionism
Source:
Why Europe
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226532387.003.0006

This chapter focuses on two early medieval developments that have been foregrounded ever more conspicuously in the scholarship on European territorial expansion outside the continent: the Crusades; and early expressions of the Italian maritime republics' colonial policy, called “protocolonialism.” They produced two completely different influences crucial for European expansionism: religiously motivated military action; and a profit-driven economic policy. Their origins must be treated separately, but the interplay of these influences in the ebb and flow of history generated similar causative factors in European expansionism.

Keywords:   medieval Europe, territorial expansion, Italian maritime republics, colonial policy, military action, economic policy

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