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The Europeans saw that the middle-easterns were so "ahead" of them in many ways, which really "shocked" them into catching up somewhat. They borrowed heavily from the middle-easterns, because during the dark ages, lots of early Roman and Greek teachings had been lost or destroied, but the middle-easterns (I think it was under the Calaiphate at this point) had kept quite a bit of that knowledge.
A sor to of continue on from argonx16- So the europeans launched a group of attacks known as the crusades, these crusades needed heavy funding and cost alot thus reducing europes money.
Richard the Lionheart led a successful campaign in the Holy Land. He captured Jerusalem but his people hated him. He had said something along the lines of "If I could sell England I would" in order to raise money for his crusade. He taxed his people heavily to pay for the wars and life was harsh for peasants. Watch Robin Hood (Not saying it is super accurate but a good picture).