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Crusades, religious wars which took place during the medieval period from 1096
to 1291. The Crusades were a series of religious and political wars fought by
the Christians and Muslims over holy land. At the time, the Muslims were known
as Saracens. There were multiple crusades, in total there were nine. These
Crusades were also known as the holy wars, launched by the Christian states of
Europe against the Saracen. There was also a children’s crusade. Crusades were
also started because merchants wanted to establish trade routes in the east. The
first four crusades were named the Principle Crusades and the rest were called
the Minor Crusades.  While they all
occurred at different times, they each had an impact.

Holy wars affected Western Europe the most, these effects have had a great
impact on history and have shaped history for Europe into what it is. Although
a couple of effects didn’t influence early western Europe so greatly, others
did. What mainly contributed to the Crusades taking place was Holy lands such
as Jerusalem being closed to Jewish and Christian Pilgrims. This infuriated the
Christians making them fight for control over the Holy Lands.

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Crusades have had a major influence on religion and in early Western Europe
overall. It seems fitting that the crusades would take place during the
medieval period, also known as the middle ages, since in the middle ages, the
church was really involved, it was in control. Although the Crusades did
persist for a while and were destructive, in the end the compromise reached was
good, peace was accomplished.

Crusades began with angered Christian men and women setting out to control the
Holy Lands since visitation was no longer allowed after the Seljuk Turks took
control of the Holy Lands including Jerusalem. 1Which was important to each
of them, to the Muslim this land was given to Abraham (religious figure) by God
and the place Mohammed ascended into heaven to meet Allah, to the Christian it
was the place where Jesus was crucified, arose from the dead and ascended into
heaven, and the Jewish saw it as the land that was given to Abraham by God. To each
of them the significance was different, but it was important, it was a crucial
part of their religion.

first crusade was called out in 1095, this crusade was launched in attempt to
capture the Holy Land, it was called by Pope Urban II. 2 This crusade was called
out in November of 1095, right after envoys from Byzantine asked for troops
from the West to help them with the Seljuk Turks invading the Byzantine empire.3 Many people joined the
armed pilgrimage, there were a couple of force crusades. 4The majority joined because
it was seen as a path of salvation to those who joined. “Those who took up the
cross were recipients of both spiritual and earthly rewards.” The Peoples
Crusade consisted of undisciplined German and French peasants, it was a vast
multitude, it numbered about 15,000 men. 5The People`s Crusade was
led by Peter the Hermit, unfortunately they never reached the Holy Land. The
main crusading force consisted of about 4000 knights and 25000 infantry. This
force was led by Raymond of Toulouse, Godfrey of Bouillon, Robert of Flounders,
and Bohemond of Otranto. After the Crusaders captured the city of Nicaea, they
went to Antioch, after a six-month siege Antioch`s Bridge gate was opened and
the knights massacred many enemy soldiers and citizens. The Europeans took
everything, except the city`s Citadel. After six months was when Jerusalem was
finally captured, there was only about 1200 Calvary and 12,000 soldiers. 6Tens of thousands of
Jerusalem`s occupants were murdered; the Christians had accomplished their
goal. 7It wasn’t all completely
over yet, soon after the capture of Jerusalem an Egyptian army marched on the
Holy City to fight for their claim. Although, the Egyptian army was defeated,
and five small states were set up in the region under the rule of the leaders
of the Crusade. The first Crusade lasted from 1096-1099, it resulted in the
capture of Jerusalem. 8In a letter written to Lord
Bishop of Viviers from Pontius of Balazun and Raymond Canon of Puy, they say that
God was responsible for “the great deeds which performed”

Second Crusade began in 1147 and ended in 1149, it was launched from Europe
against Islam as a catholic war. This crusade was announced by Pope Eugene III.
This crusade was called after Christians from Europe had heard that Edessa had
fallen in 1144 to the forces of Zengi, the governor of Mosul. The Second
Crusade was led by two rulers, King Louis VII of France and King Conrad III of
Germany. In the October of 1147, Conrad`s forces were destroyed by the Turks.
After both rulers had assembled their forces in Jerusalem, the Syrian
stronghold of Damascus was attacked. Their army consisted of about 50,000 men,
the largest so far. Aid was needed for Damascus, so the ruler had requested for
it from Zengi`s successor, even with this aid, the Muslim forces were defeated
and the Second Crusade was ended.

Third Crusade was an attempt to reconquer the Holy Land from Saladin It took
place from 1189-1192, it was also known as the King`s crusade because three
kings were involved in this crusade. Saladin was the sultan of Egypt, a Muslim
sovereign. The Third Crusade was caused by the capture of Jerusalem. 9It started in 1187 when
Saladin started a campaign against the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. On July
4, 1187, the Battle of Hattin took place where the Christin army was defeated
by the forces of Saladin, where Saladin Captured Jerusalem and a large amount
of territory. 10The
Third Crusade began after this, it was led by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa,
King Phillip II of France, and King Richard I of England. The only battle of
actuality of the Third Crusade was the Battle of Arsuf, here King Richards
forces defeated those of Saladin. King Richard recaptured the city of Jaffa, in
turn giving the Christians control over some of the region. It wasn’t until
September of 1192 where a peace treaty was signed with Saladin that
reestablished the Kingdom of Jerusalem, without Jerusalem. This in turn ended
the third crusade.

Fourth Crusade took place from 1202-1204, it was called by Pope Innocent III.
This crusade was a western European armed expedition whose goal was to
reconquer Jerusalem since it was controlled by the Muslims by an invasion
through Egypt. While this was the main goal, certain obstacles got in the way.
The main idea was to restore Alexis Angelo’s (Byzantine Prince) deposed father
as emperor after an agreement between the Christians and Alexios was recached.
The Christian crusaders wanted to continue to the Holy Land with promised
Byzantine financial and military assistance. Later in August 1203 Alexius was
named Co-Emperor but was then deposed and was not able to fulfill his agreement
with the crusaders. This was when the crusaders decided to take the city of
Constantinople, they did and set up a Latin empire. This was the end of the
fourth crusade.

minor crusades which were the remaining crusades from the fourth one took place
from 1208-1291. 11These
crusades were not aimed at Muslims anymore, but more so to enemies of the
Christian Faith.12
The Fifth crusade though was an attempt by western Europeans to reacquire
Jerusalem and the rest of the Holy Land. The end result was an eight-year truce
between the Ayyubids and the crusaders. The sixth crusade began seven years
after the fifth crusade it started in 1228and ended in 1229, it didn’t involve
much fighting, but it resulted in the Kingdom of Jerusalem gaining some control
over Jerusalem. The Seventh Crusade was led by Louis IX of France from 1248 to
1254, it was launched because Jerusalem had been captured by the Muslims again.
The result ended with a victory for the crusaders, but as the Crusaders were
heading aback the Egyptian army captured them and held them prisoners. The
eighth crusade was launched against the City of Tunis and led by Louis IX of
France. It took place in 1270 and resulted in a Muslim victory, the death of
Louis IX, Treaty of Tunis, and the opening of trade with Tunis.

the Crusades didn’t fulfill their goal, they ended peacefully. Crusaders had believed
that although the holy land was still in Muslim hands, they won the holy land by
“love, prayers, and the shedding of tears”.

of the Crusades effected Europe greatly, either politically or religiously. The
First Crusade impacted Europe since Christians captured Jerusalem from Muslim
hands and the Holy and was divided into four states. In the second Crusade, the
lost state was not taken back, it stayed in the hands of the Muslim Turks. The
third crusade resulted in a treaty between the Christian and Saladin, the
treaty allowed Christian Pilgrims to visit Jerusalem, but the Muslims kept it. The
Fourth Crusade ended with the capture of the city of Constantinople. The fifth,
sixth, seventh, and eighth crusades, didn’t accomplish much, but they still had
a great effect on Western Europe. The fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth
crusades, they helped break down feudalism by increasing the authority of
monarchs. Since some nobles died in battle without an heir, the land was passed
on to the King. Also, from the expose to Muslim technology, Europeans learned
how to build ships better and use compasses. Due to the crusades, western
Europe began to get an interest in trade, the trade of goods and luxury goods

while some crusades managed to accomplish more than others, they each had an
impact on Europe. The Crusades contributed to Europe`s development, without the
Crusades trade depots wouldn’t have been expanded, shipbuilding techniques
wouldn’t have been acquired, and the changing lifestyles wouldn’t have
occurred. With Crusaders getting a taste of trade, exotic good were becoming
popular, in turn contributing to changing lifestyles.

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