What are thought to be the causes of the Crusades? What was the initial inspiration for the crusades?

There were several inspirations to the crusades as written by Thomas Asbridge. Making Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre church free was one of the causes of the crusades. Jerusalem city had a Holy Significance to the Christians. The Holy Sepulchre church, which was situated in Jerusalem, acted as a commemoration to the will where Christ was crucified and the tomb where he was buried.

However, Turks, who hailed from Persia, took Jerusalem in 1065 and massacred about 3000 Christians. These actions awakened a storm of outrage in Europe and prompted the urge to rescue the holy city from the non-Christians, who were believed to be Muslims (Asbridge 5). The second inspiration was to defend the Eastern Christians, who suffered from the hope of putting an end to the gap that existed between the Orthodox and Roman Christianity. The final inspiration of the crusades was to merge the energy of the Knights and feudal Lords, who were at constant war into one of the atoning warfare.

How was it possible for the Europeans to enter the Middle East and maintain their hold on Syria and Palestine for almost two hundred years?

The Europeans penetrated Syria and Palestine because of their strong political leadership. Their leaders like Richard, the Lionheart, King Barbarossa Frederick from Germany and King Philip II of France had great influence thus, convinced the people to join crusading kingdoms. They managed to incite crusaders by proposing that people, who joined the kingdom, would be exempted from taxation that had been imposed to raise more funds in support of the third crusade. This made it easier for them to control the two nations. Europeans’ success can also be attributed to their desire to have economic powers. They desired to monopolize the commodities that were trading such as foodstuffs, fabrics and other spices. This economic power ensured that their crusade movements in Syria and Palestine were well funded. Finally, there was no unity between Syria and Palestine that would have helped to unite in opposing the control of the Europeans (Asbridge 25).

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What led to the resurgence of the Muslims after the first crusade? Why was the second crusade such a fiasco?

The resurgence of the Muslims after the first crusade can be attributed to Saladin, who unified the Muslim forces and their religious world. The resurgence was also facilitated by the lost coordination between the crusaders, who took part in the second crusade. The Muslim warrior took advantage of this to conquer and overpower the crusaders and sweep through the Jerusalem Kingdom. Saladin attacked Tiberias and held captive the Templar master and Lusignan’s guy. The second crusade was a fiasco because of the many challenges that were experienced during this period. For example, the severe weather demoralized the crusaders in 1148. They were also demoralized by the news of the defeat of Conrad’s army, which was earlier defeated by Seljuk Turks at Dorylaeum. The French army was also attacked at the mountains of Cadmus because their horses could not handle the terrain, which gave the Turkish archers, who had well mastered the art of firing from the saddle, an opportunity to attack them. The crusaders made a mistake and decided to camp on the East of the city after the successful attack on Damascus. This position had no water supplies, unlike their previous camping positions. The area also faced the section of walls of the city, which was best fortified. When the crusaders received the rumors that a Muslim army under the leadership of Nu red-Din, Zengi’s son was on their way to attack them, they were scared and retreated to the Muslims. This marked the end of the second crusade and a beginning of recriminations for the causes of its failures (Asbridge 18).

What caused the destruction of Jerusalem Crusader Kingdom?

Even though the Christians had always been defensive of Jerusalem since 1169, they finally lost control of the city. This was after the death of Jerusalem’s Baldwin V. His death prompted a fight between his mother and his aunt over the control of Jerusalem, which put Christians under a leadership crisis. This gave Saladin a chance to invade the territory of the Franks in 1187 and defeated the crusaders at the Hattin battle. The territories became vulnerable thus, Saladin managed to take control of Jerusalem and a vast territory that was occupied by crusaders since the army was destroyed. Therefore, Saladin’s rise to power contributed largely to the destruction of Jerusalem crusaders’ kingdom (Asbridge 20).

The greatest effort of Europe was made during the Third Crusade. Why wasn’t it possible for these Crusaders to capture Jerusalem? Why do Christians consider Saladin to be the most respected Muslim Leader?

Several European leaders such as King Philip of French, Fredrick I who was a German emperor and King Richard the Lionheart answered the call for the third crusade. Saladin frustrated the Europeans, despite their effort to capture Jerusalem during the third crusade. The series of attacks that were staged by Saladin on the Europeans was the main reason it was impossible for the third crusaders to capture Jerusalem. Richard was the only leader, who made peace with the Muslim warrior, Saladin but did not manage to capture Jerusalem from him. Saladin crushed with the third crusaders in three sections. He engaged the crusaders in a series of minor sieges, raids and minor battles thus, resulting in varied success during the first section. He launched a full attack and gained control of Mogul during the second attack in 1187. Saladin engaged in a defensive battle with the participants of the third crusade, who were being commanded by Richard the Lionheart during the third phase. The crusaders managed to secure the coast from Jaffa to Tyre, Tripoli and Antioch. On the other hand, Saladin maintained the control that he had over the kingdom and control of Jerusalem (Asbridge 22). The victory of Saladin in defending his control of Jerusalem has made him be regarded as the most respected Muslim leader by Christians.

What was the impetus for the redirection of the Fourth Crusade? What were the results of the capture of Constantinople?

The redirection of the fourth crusade was caused by a series of events. The leaders of the crusade entered into an agreement with the prince of Byzantine in 1203. The agreement was to divert the crusaders to Constantinople to restore the prince’s father to an emperor. The crusaders were supposed to continue with their journey to Jerusalem while the Byzantine provided the military and financial support. However, clashes occurred outside Constantinople thus, the Byzantine prince became a co-emperor with the help of crusaders. However, he was killed while the crusaders were not paid, which prompted them to sack and capture the city brutally. The crusaders captured the city and divided the empires of Byzantine amongst themselves. The division between the Christianity of both the Byzantines and Romans resulted after the capture of Constantinople. It led to crimes against humanity where people were killed and valuable resources looted (Asbridge 5).

Why did later Crusades concentrate on conquering Egypt and North Africa? What were the reasons for their failure?

The crusades that followed concentrated on Egypt and North Africa because they intended to use the division between the Muslims and the Christians as an opportunity to gain control. The crusaders were determined to use it as a tool that would help them to gain control of Jerusalem. They hoped to use the powerful Cardinal Pelagius, who was a papal legate that could make wise military decisions and possessed a legal disposition. However, the crusaders failed in gaining control when Pelagius refuted their terms and even captured Damietta from them. The crusades also focused on Egypt to gain control over Palestine easily under the leadership of Louis IX from France. They managed to recapture Damietta but their leader, Louis was captured and imprisoned by the Muslims thus, frustrating their mission. The last group of crusaders was led by Louis as well but achieved nothing. They focused on attacking Tunisia as their first target. They failed because there was a plague outbreak, which claimed their lives and that of Louis while in Tunisia (Asbridge 57).

Why wasn’t it possible for the Crusaders in Palestine and Syria to unite among themselves and the native Christian population?

Palestine and Syria could not unite because of the rivalry that existed between them. They lacked strong leaders, who would end the rivalry and make a treaty to unite them. The Syrians were opposed to crusading by arguing that it would only distort their history and yield misery, as well as, lies. Additionally, the number of Christians in both Syria and Palestine is minimal compared to the number of Christians thus, the Christians lacked a voice. This imbalance between Christianity and the Muslim religion also made it impossible to unite Syria and Palestine.

There were extraterritorial organizations formed to help the Crusading Kingdoms. Why were they formed and what happened to them towards the end of the Crusades?

The extraterritorial organizations that assisted in crusading kingdoms were formed to amplify the efforts of the crusaders. Some of these organizations provided funding for the crusade movements. In addition, the organizations were to provide military support to the crusaders and in return, would be exempted from taxation.

What role did the Papacy play in the Crusades?

The papacy that operated during the time of the crusades was different from the preceding ones in that it strongly denounced vices such as corruption in the church. The main role of the papacy during the crusades was to end simony, which was a practice of selling the roles of the church and offices. This papal authority deposed the bishops, who were offenders. Papacy maintained purity in the church. It was also responsible for initiating crusades. For example, pope urban II delivered a speech and asked for a first crusade. He emphasized that the crusade would help in expanding and solidifying Christendom, especially in Western churches.

Describe the last years of the Crusader Kingdoms. Why were the Mamluks able to eliminate these Kingdoms when other Muslims have failed?

The last years of the crusaders’ kingdom did not accomplish many achievements. It is marked with the withdrawal of the crusaders because the leader, Edward, had family issues to deal with. The crusaders lost hope thus, the remaining stronghold in them collapsed. He attempted to enter into an alliance with Abagha, who was a ruler of the Mongul, due to the reduced number in Edward’s army and the crusaders. They agreed to withdraw the attack of the Mamluk. The Mamluk from the north and south later counterattacked them despite their combined victory at first. Therefore, Edward surrendered and agreed to enter into a peace treaty with the Mamluk. The Mamluks managed to eliminate the crusaders’ kingdom because of their unity. In this case, both the North and the South Mamluks combined their efforts to defeat the crusaders. They coordinated an attack on the crusaders thus, the Monguls marked the end of the crusading kingdoms. The Mamluks’ success can also be attributed to the reduced number of crusaders, who had already lost hope (Asbridge 75). The crusaders who took part in this last crusade were few thus, the leader had to request for reinforcement from the Monguls, which gave the Mamluk Muslims an added advantage.