Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Impact of Holy Land Crusades on State Formation: War Mobilization, Trade Integration, and Political Development in Medieval Europe


Holy Land Crusades were among the most significant forms of military mobilization to occur during the medieval period. Crusader mobilization had important implications for European state formation. We find that areas with large numbers of Holy Land crusaders witnessed increased political stability and institutional development as well as greater urbanization associated with rising trade and capital accumulation, even after taking into account underlying levels of religiosity and economic development. Our findings contribute to a scholarly debate regarding when the essential elements of the modern state first began to appear. Although our causal mechanisms—which focus on the importance of war preparation and urban capital accumulation—resemble those emphasized by previous research, we date the point of critical transition to statehood centuries earlier, in line with scholars who emphasize the medieval origins of the modern state. We also point to one avenue by which the rise of Muslim military and political power may have affected European institutional development.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Hendrik Spruyt . 2002. The Origins, Development and Possible Decline of the Modern State. Annual Review of Political Science 5:127149.

Daron Acemoglu , Simon Johnson , and James Robinson . 2005. The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth. American Economic Review 95 (3):546–79.

Brad DeLong , and Andre Shleifer . 1993. Princes and Merchants: European City Growth Before the Industrial Revolution. Journal of Law and Economics 36 (2):671702.

Mark Dincecco . 2011. Political Transformations and Public Finances: Europe, 1650–1913. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Peter Edbury . 2000. Christians and Muslims in the Eastern Mediterranean. In New Cambridge Medieval History, edited by Michael Jones , 864–84. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Murat Iyigun . 2008. Luther and Suleyman. Quarterly Journal of Economics 123 (4):1465–94.

Murat Iyigun . 2013. Lessons from the Ottoman Harem: On Ethnicity, Religion and War. Economic Development and Cultural Change 61 (4):693730.

Stephen D. Krasner 1995. Compromising Westphalia. International Security 20 (3):115–51.

David Lake . 2003. The New Sovereignty in International Relations. International Studies Review 5:303–23.

Stelios Michalopoulos . 2012. The Origins of Ethnolinguistic Diversity. American Economic Review 102 (4):1508–39.

Douglass North , and Robert Paul Thomas . 1973. The Rise of the Western World: A New Economic History. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Douglass North , John Joseph Wallis , and Barry Weingast . 2009. Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Nathan Nunn , and Diego Puga . 2012. Ruggedness: The Blessings of Bad Geography in Africa. Review of Economics and Statistics 94 (1):2036.

John Gerard Ruggie . 1983. Continuity and Transformation in the World Polity: Toward a Neorealist Synthesis. International Organization 47 (1):139–74.

John Gerard Ruggie . 1993. Territoriality and Beyond: Problematizing Modernity in International Relations. World Politics 35 (2):261–85.

Steven Runciman . 1987. Byzantine Trade and Industry. In Cambridge Economic History of Europe from the Decline of the Roman Empire, edited by Edward Miller , Cynthia Postan , and M.M. Postan , 132–67. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Jan Luiten Van Zanden , Eltjo Buringh , and Maarten Bosker . 2012. The Rise and Decline of European Parliaments, 1188–1789. Economic History Review 65 (3):835–61.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

International Organization
  • ISSN: 0020-8183
  • EISSN: 1531-5088
  • URL: /core/journals/international-organization
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
Type Description Title
Supplementary Materials

Blaydes and Paik supplementary material
Blaydes and Paik supplementary material

 Unknown (406 KB)
406 KB


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 46
Total number of PDF views: 460 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1302 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.