The Crusades were a series of Holy Wars launched by the Christian states of Europe against the Saracens. The term 'Saracen' was the word used to describe a Muslim during the time of the Crusades. All of the military expeditions taken by the Christian nations of Europe had the sole purpose of rescuing the Holy Land from the Muslim. There were a total of nine crusades, the first four are considered the main crusades due to their greater importance than the other 5 minor crusades.
Causes of The Crusades
The City of Jerusalem held a Holy significance to the Christian religion. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem commemorated the hill of crucifixion and the tomb of Christ's burial. Pilgrims throughout the Middle Ages made sacred pilgrimages to the Holy city of Jerusalem and the church. Although the city of Jerusalem was held by the Saracens the Christian pilgrims had been granted safe passage to visit the Holy city. In 1605 Jerusalem was taken by the Turks. 3000 Christians were massacred and the remaining Christians were treated very badly. These actions aroused a storm in Europe and awakened the desire to retake the Holy Land.
1096 - 1099 First Crusade:
The People's Crusade - Freeing the Holy Lands. 1st Crusade led by Count Raymond IV of Toulouse and proclaimed by many wandering preachers, notably Peter the Hermit
1144 -1155 Second Crusade:
The Second of the Crusades led by Holy Roman Emperor Conrad III and by King Louis VII of France
1187 -1192 Third Crusade:
The Third of the Crusades led by Richard the Lionheart of England, Philip II of France, and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I. Richard I made a truce with Saladin
1202 -1204 Fourth Crusade:
The Fourth Crusade led by Fulk of Neuil French/Flemish advanced on Constantinople
1212 Children's Crusade:
The Children's Crusade led by a French peasant boy, Stephen of Cloyes
1217 - 1221 Fifth Crusade:
The Fifth of the Crusades led by King Andrew II of Hungary, Duke Leopold VI of Austria, John of Brienne
1228 - 1229 Sixth Crusade:
The Sixth of the Crusades led by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II
1248 - 1254 Seventh Crusade:
The Seventh of the Crusades led by Louis IX of France
1270 Eighth Crusade:
The Eighth of the Crusades led by Louis IX of France
1271 - 1272 Ninth Crusade:
The Ninth of the Crusades led by Prince Edward (later Edward I of England)
Effects of The Crusades
- The power and wealth of the Catholic Church
- Social development
- Intellectual development
- Material development
- Voyages of discovery
Even though the crusades are over, the fight for Jerusalem still continues. After a six-day war in 1967, Israel gained control of all of Jerusalem. Since then, Palestinian terrorism has targeted Jerusalem in an attempt to regain control of the city from Israel.
The crusades caused Jerusalem to be the vocal point of violence ever since they started. The Islamic and Jewish religions believe their Holy Land to be Jerusalem and both believe it is rightfully theirs. The growing hate between these two religions will continue to add to the chaos and tension in Jerusalem.