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Chapter 12 Lesson 2 The Crusades


Chapter 12: Crusades and

Culture in the Middle Ages,

1000 – 1500

Lesson 2: The Crusades

World History Bell Ringer #48



Born to a wealthy merchant family, Francis of Assisi

A. Used his social status to improve the lives of women.

B. Eventually abandoned all worldly goods and material pursuits to live and preach in poverty.

C. Was both a successful, wealthy merchant and a very popular poet.

D. Gave up his claim to the family fortunes to join the

Benedictine monastic order.

World History Bell Ringer #48


Dominic de Guzmán believed the best way to attack heresy was

A. To lead a new Crusade against the Muslims in the

Holy Land.

B. By purging the cities of all old people who did not strictly follow Church doctrines.

C. To impose interdicts against kingdoms in which heresy was tolerated.

D. To form a new religious order of men who lived lives of poverty and preached effectively.

It Matters Because

• From the 11


to the 13



European Christians carried out a series of military expeditions to regain the Holy

Land from the Muslims .

• These expeditions are known as the

Crusades .

The Early Crusades

• Guiding Question: What were the religious, political, and economic motivations behind the Crusades?

• The Crusades started when the Byzantine emperor Alexius I

Comnenus asked for help against the Seljuk Turks .

• The Seljuk Turks were Muslims who had taken control of Asia

Minor .

• Pope Urban II , who responded to the request, saw an opportunity to provide leadership for a great cause.

• That cause was rallying Europe’s warriors to free Jerusalem and the Holy Land from people whom Christians viewed as infidelsor unbelievers— the Muslims .

The Early Crusades

• At the Council of Clermont in southern France near the end of 1095, Urban II asked

Christians to take up their weapons and join in a holy war.

• The pope promised: "All who die . . . shall have immediate remission [forgiveness] of sins." The enthusiastic crowd cried out: "It is the will of God , it is the will of God .“

• Warriors of western Europe , particularly France , formed the first crusading armies.

• These knights were mostly motivated by religious fervor, but some sought adventure and welcomed the chance to fight.

• Others saw a chance to gain wealth and a possible title.

• Italian merchants also sought new trade in Byzantine and Muslim lands .

• After asking for help, the Byzantines became doubtful.

• Alexius I and his daughter, Anna Comnena (who was also the Byzantines’ only female historian), were fearful that the western crusading armies, which would have to go through Byzantine lands to reach their objective, might prove harmful to the Byzantine

Empire .

The Early Crusades

• Regardless, the First Crusade began as 3 organized bands of mostly French warriors made their way to the East .

• The crusading army , which included thousands of men in cavalry and infantry , captured Antioch in 1098.

• The crusaders proceeded down the Palestinian coast , avoiding the well-defended coastal cities, and reached

Jerusalem in June 1099.

• The Holy City was taken amid a horrible massacre of its inhabitants.

The Early Crusades

• After further conquests, the crusaders organized 4 Latin crusader states in the East .

• One of these was the kingdom of Jerusalem under Godfrey de

Bouillon- one of the Frankish leaders of the First Crusade.

• Godfrey , however, rejected the title of king , protesting that it belonged only to God .

• Surrounded by Muslims , these crusader kingdoms depended on Italian cities for supplies.

• Some Italian port cities , such as Genoa , Pisa , and especially

Venice , grew rich and powerful in the process.

The Early Crusades

• It was not easy, however, for the crusader kingdoms to maintain themselves in the East .

• By the 1140’s, the Muslims had begun to strike back.

• The fall of one of the Latin kingdoms to the Muslims led to calls for another crusade , especially from the monastic leader

Bernard of Clairvaux .

• Bernard managed to enlist 2 powerful rulers, King Louis VII

(7 th ) of France and Emperor Conrad III of Germany , in a

Second Crusade .

• This campaign, however, was a total failure.

The Early Crusades

• In 1187, Jerusalem fell to Muslim forces under Saladin .

• Saladin had made himself sultan of Egypt in 1169 and then become leader of the Muslim offensive against the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem.

• After Saladin’s success, 3 European rulers then agreed to lead a Third Crusade:

German emperor Frederick Barbarossa, English king Richard I (Richard the

Lionhearted), and French king Philip II Augustus.

• Some members of the Third Crusade arrived in the East by 1189, only to encounter problems.

• Frederick drowned in a local river.

• The English and French arrived by sea and captured the coastal cities, but were unable to move inland.

• After Philip returned home, Richard negotiated a settlement with Saladin that permitted Christian pilgrims free access to Jerusalem .

The Later Crusades

• Guiding Question: How did the Crusades affect Europe and

Southwest Asia?

• About 6 years after Saladin’s death in 1193, Pope Innocent III initiated the Fourth Crusade .

• As it headed east , the crusading army became involved in a fight over the Byzantine throne .

• The Venetian leaders of the Crusade used the situation to weaken their greatest commercial competitor, the Byzantine Empire .

• In 1204, the crusaders sacked Constantinople , adding to the division between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church .

• Western forces also set up a new Latin empire of Constantinople .

The Later Crusades

Not until 1261 did a Byzantine army recapture the city, but the Byzantine Empire was no longer a great Mediterranean power .

It now comprised the city of Constantinople and its surrounding lands, as well as part of Asia Minor .

The empire limped along for another 190 years, until its weakened condition enabled the Ottoman

Turks to conquer it in 1453.

The Later Crusades

• Despite failures, the crusading ideal continued.

• In Germany in 1212, a youth known as Nicholas of Cologne announced that God has inspired him to lead a "children's crusade" to the Holy Land .

• Thousands of young people joined Nicholas and made their way down the Rhine and across the Alps to Italy , where the pope told them to go home. Most tried to do so.

• At about the same time, a group of about 20,000 French children headed to

Marseille , where 2 ship owners agreed to take them to the Holy Land .

• 7 ships filled with youths left the port. 2 of the ships went down in a storm.

• The other 5 sailed to North Africa , where the children were sold into slavery. 

• The next Crusades of adult warriors were hardly more successful.

• The last 2 major Crusades were organized by the king of France, Louis IX (9 th ).

• After his defeat by Baybars , the sultan of Egypt , Louis tried again, but died of the plague without any conquests.

The Later Crusades

• Did the Crusades have much effect on European civilization ? Historians disagree.

• Clearly, the Crusades benefited the Italian port cities .

• Even without the Crusades , however, Italian merchants would have increased trade with the Eastern world .

• The Crusades had a tragic impact on the interactions between Christian and

Jewish societies in Europe .

• The first widespread attacks on the Jews began in the context of the Crusades .

• Some Christians argued that to fight the Muslims while the Jews , whom they blamed for Jesus’s death, ran free at home was unthinkable.

• The Jews of medieval Europe came to be subjected to periodic libels , attacks, and expulsions.

The Later Crusades

• Perhaps the greatest impact of the Crusades was political.

• They eventually helped to break down feudalism .

• As kings levied (collected) taxes and raised armies, nobles joining the

Crusades sold their lands and freed their serfs .

• As nobles lost power, the kings created stronger central governments.

• Taxing trade with the East also provided kings with new sources of wealth.

• This paved the way for the development of true nation-states and contributed to the end of medieval Europe .

• By the mid-1400s, 3 strong nation-states— Spain , England , and

France —had emerged in Europe .


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