Causes and Early Crusades
The Crusades were a long series of wars between the Christians and the Muslims in Southwest Asia that lasted for 200 years between 1095 and 1291. They were fought over the control of Palestine aka the Holy Land.There were the total of nine major crusades and almost all of them ended in a failure. In the end, Jerusalem will be under the control of multiple Muslim empires for the next 600 years. Palestine had been under Muslim control for many years but they did not bother any Christians who visited the region. In the late 1000s, a group of Turkish Muslims attacked and conquered the Holy Land. Christians were attacked and drove back to Europe. Pilgrims returning to Europe said that they had been attacked by the Turks and the Holy Lands were no longer safe for the Christians. Emperor Alexios I of the Byzantine Empire feared that the Turks would attack Constantinople. Despite the fact that he was Orthodox, the Byzantine Emperor asked Pope Urban II of the Roman Catholic Church for help and the pope agreed to the request. The first crusaders army set off for Jerusalem in 1096 moving eastward through Anatolia. Finally, after many battles, the Crusades army reached Jerusalem on June 7, 1099. Jerusalem was under siege for about a month before the crusaders entered the city on July 15 1099. As a result, the Kingdom of Jerusalem was set up. However, in 1141, the Muslim army started to reconquered cites taken by the crusaders. Because of this, the Pope called for the Second Crusade. The Second Crusades lasted for two years and many European kingdoms participated in the war. The Muslim armies also invaded and took Portugal including the city of Lisbon. However, the city was retaken by the Portuguese army in 1147. The Muslims was the victorious in the Second Crusades. In 1187, Saladin, the Sultan of Egypt unified the Egyptian and the Syrian forces and recaptured Jerusalem. Pope Gregory VIII called for the Third Crusades in 1888. Phillip II of France and Henry II of England stopped their war with each other to prepare their armies to fight Saladin. Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa was the first to set out for the Holy Land with his army in May 1189. But, Frederick died suddenly in an accident by drowning in Saleph River in Cilicia n 1190. In the same year, King Phillip II of France and King Richard I of England aka Richard the Lion Heart led their armies to fight the Muslim army of Saladin in the Holy Land. Phillip II of France and Leopold V of Austria were the first to arrive at the Holy Land in 1191. By the time they arrived, the city of Acre located in Palestine was already under siege by the crusaders. In June 1191, Richard and his English army arrived but, Phillip and Leopold left for Europe shortly before Richard took Acre. After that, Richard launched an attack on the city of Arsurf and Jaffa and was ready to invade Jerusalem directly. However, Richard noticed that he was low on reinforcements as more and more crusaders returned to Europe. So, on September 2, 1192, both Richard and Saladin signed a treaty that said that Jerusalem will still be under the Muslim control but Christian pilgrims will be allowed to visit the city unharmed. Richard departed the Holy Land and the Third Crusades ended. Saladin set up his new Ayyubid Empire with Cairo and Damascus as the capitals and later died in 1193.
The Fourth and Fifth Crusades
By the time the Third Crusades ended, no major European kingdom has any intention to retook Jerusalem. Even if there was no problem for Christians pilgrims to visit the Holy Land, some people still want Jerusalem to be under the Christian control. One of those people was Pope Innocent III of the Roman Catholic Church who called for the Fourth Crusade in 1198. Even if most European rulers and monarchs ignored his call, the crusading army was still organized by Italian knights and soldiers in 1201. The group was later joined by soldiers sent by the Holy Roman Empire. Each army agreed that they will set out from Venice and invaded the Holy Land through Egypt. However, the crusaders lacked money to pay the Venetians to sail to Egypt. So, in return, the crusaders had to capture the city of Zadar that had rebelled against the Venetian Republic. Despite the fact that Pope Innocent forbade any attack on the city and threatened to excommunicate the whole crusading army, the crusaders arrived and attacked Zadar in November 1202. The city of Zadar was under siege for about 10 days before being sacked by the crusaders. The crusaders changed their mind and decided to travel to Jerusalem through Constantinople which was totally under the control of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In June 1203, the crusaders arrived at Constantinople and decided to take the city by force after being prevented from passing through the city by the Byzantine Emperor Alexios III. By July 1203, Constantinople was under siege by the crusader. Alexios III fled and his brother Alexios IV ascended the Byzantine throne. The new emperor tried to make a deal with the crusader but was assassinated by Alexios V who continued to fight. On April 12, 1204, the crusader invaded and captured Constantinople destroying part of the capital. After that, the Byzantine Empire fragmented into many other empires controlled by the crusaders. Pope Innocent III again wanted to recapture Jerusalem and called for another crusade in 1215. This time, knights and soldiers from many European kingdoms joined the crusading army. In the late 1217, the crusading army reached the Holy Land and began attacking part of Syria and Lebanon. They quickly reached the Jerusalem's city wall but, they were ultimately defeated by the Muslims. Later in June of 1218, the city of Damietta located in Egypt was besieged and later captured by the crusaders in 1219. Because of this victory, the crusaders marched south toward Cairo, the capital of the Ayyubid Empire in July of 1221. However, the crusaders suffered a disastrous defeat against the Muslim army before reaching Cairo and began retreating. Both the crusaders and the Egyptians reached a peace agreement which ended the Fifth Crusades in 1222.
In 1227, the Holy Roman emperor Frederick II set up his German army to begin the Sixth Crusades without the pope's support. Pope Gregory XI accused Frederick of desiring to go to the crusades but failed and excommunicate him. However, despite being excommunicated by the pope, Frederick and his army sailed to the Holy Land from Italy and arrived in Arcre in September 1228. There was not many fighting between two great armies of two great empires. On February 18, 1229, Sultan Al-Kamil of the Ayyubid Empire and Emperor Frederick II signed a peace treaty which gave most of Jerusalem and other holy sites back to the crusaders and ended the Sixth Crusade. Jerusalem did not stay in the Christians' hand for long. On July 15, 1244, being supported by the Ayyubid, the Khwarezmians stormed and conquered the city and returned it to the Muslim. King Louis IX of France (commonly known as Saint Louis) organized his crusading army in 1248 and launched the Seventh Crusade with full support from Pope Innocent IV. Louis' army landed and invaded Damietta, Egypt in 1249. The city was quickly captured in June and the crusading army marched south toward Cairo in November 1249. However, the crusaders faced the Muslim army and was defeated at Al Mansurah. hey were defeated by the Ayyubid Egyptians again at the Battle of Fariskur and King Louis was also captured and held for ransom. The pope and the crusaders asked the Mongols to become their allies but, the request was rejected. Louis and his army left for Arcre in 1250. He stayed there for four years before going back to France in 1254 and the Seventh Crusade ended. In 1270, Louis IX of France called for the Eighth Crusade. First, he sent in knights and soldiers to help the crusader remnants who were fighting the Muslim in the Holy Land. Not long after, Louis and his army landed and attacked the port city of Tunis. But, on August 25 1270, Louis suddenly died and his brother Charles of Anjou had to take over as a leader. The siege of Tunis was abandoned and Charles had to ally himself with Prince Edward of England. The Eighth Crusades ended and the Ninth Crusades began. The army of Charles and Edward arrived at the Holy Land in 1271 to fight the Muslim Mamluks besieging Tripoli. The city was successfully protected and Charles continued on to Arcre. He sent an embassy to the Mongol ruler of Persia Abagha and Abagha agreed to fight the Muslim. The Muslim leader Baibairs tried to fight the crusaders but was defeated while trying to take back Arcre. In 1272, Price Charles began negotiating peace with Baibars but, his father suddenly died and he went back to England to be crowned king. The Ninth Crusade ended and no European kingdoms tried to recapture Jerusalem again.
Aftermath and Effects of the Crusades
After 200 years of fighting, all the idea and intention to retake Jerusalem had become extinct. There was no way for Jerusalem to be permanently under Christian control in the first place. All the lands in Palestine taken by Prince Edward in the Ninth Crusade including Antioch, Tripoli, and Arcre had all been reconquered by the Muslims by the year 1300. The Crusades had many significant effects on Europe. Trade between Europe and Asia greatly grew. Many new products from Asia and the Middle East were introduced to the Europeans. Many Kings and rulers increased their power and became more liberated from the pope's influence and orders. After the Crusaders attacked Constantinople in the Fourth Crusades, tension between the Catholic and the Orthodox grew.