The Crusades were Europe’s version for holy wars during the Middle Ages. The official First Crusade began in 1096-1099. The First Crusade conquered a strip of land along the eastern
coast of the Mediteranean about 500 miles long and averaging 40 miles wide. This European foothold in the Middle East was divided into four little kingdoms; the county of edessa, the
Principality of Antioch, the County of Tripoli and the kingdom of Jerusalem this kingdoms were ruled by the Muslims soon recognized and began to reconquer this territory.
The Second Crusade started in 1147-1149. The Christian forces in the Holy Land grew weak. In 1144, the Turks conquered the county of Edessa. The threat to the other
Christian states brought about the Second Crusade. The spirited preachings of the French religious leader Bernard of Ccclairvaux inspired Western Europeans to defend the Latin States
agains the Muslims.
King Louis VII of France and King Conrad III of Germany led the armies of the Second Crusade into Asia Minor, but their armies did not coperate, and the Muslims forces
defeated them before they reached Edessa.
The Third Crusade sterted in 1189-1192. The Muslims continued to attack the Christians in the Holy Land. By 1183, Saladin, the master of Egypt and Syria, had united
the Muslims areas around the Latin States. In 1887, Saladin
easily defeated a Christian army at the Batlle of the Horns of Hattin, and entered Jerusalem. Only the coastal cities of Tyre, Tripoli, and Antioch remained in Christian hands.
The loss of Jerusalem led to the Third Crusade. The important European leaders of the Third Crusade included the German emperor Fre*censored* I (called Barbara), King Richard I
(the Lion-Hearted) of England, and King Phillip II (Augustus) of France.
Richard the Lionheart the English King known for his love of Crusades to the Holy land. Richard’s action earned him the name Lion-Hearted. Richard actually spent only six
months in England out of his ten years as a King. In this absence the nobles grew in power, but thanks to the stable goverment that Henry II ( his father), had established, England fared
well even without her crusading King. Some of the legends of Robin Hood, the infamous outlaw of Sherwwod Forest, are set in the control of Richard I and his brother John.
The Third Crusade having failed in its importance objective of recovering Jerusalem, the popes almost began preaching a new crusade. This turned out to take longer than
anyone wanted, for a variety of reasons. By the time a new crusade was really under way,soon after the turn of the century,events were preparation in Constantinople that would cause the
Fourth Crusade to take a dramatic turn away from Palestine. The Fourth Crusade did not recover jerusalem in
fact, it never even made it to Outremer: rather, the Crusdes ended by attacking Constantiple, driving out the Byzantine Emperor, and installing one of their own in the ancient capital of
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