Europe At The Time Of The Crusades
One of the distinct events during the Middle Ages which spanned for 200 years from 1095 to 1291 was the crusades. There were nine crusades in all of which the first four were most successful.
The war between the Christians and the Muslims centering the city of Jerusalem sowed the seeds for the emergence of crusades. The church in the Holy Land commemorated the hill of Christ’s crucifixion and the tomb of Christ‘s burial which was thronged by many pilgrims. Following the invasion by the Turks in 1065 and the massacre of Christians, the rising of the crusade happened.
The main objective of the crusade was to liberate the Holy Land of Jerusalem from Muslim rule. But with the progress of time and events, the motive of the crusaders also became liberation of Spain from the Moors, Slavs and Pagans from the Mediterranean islands and Eastern Europe.
For this period of 200 years, there were many wars fought between Asia and Europe. The crusaders comprising knights, kings and commoners moved constantly from and to the lands under Muslim possession especially in Egypt, Syria and Asia Minor.
The first crusade commenced in 1095 and lasted till 1099. This enabled the establishment of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. The knights involved in the crusades were given lands. These knights traveled across Europe in pursuit of fortunes and also wanted to visit the Holy Land.
Over the last few crusades that were fought, the Kingdom of Jerusalem was slowly lost to the Muslim attack. The last of the Christian city, Acre, was lost in 1291. Although many knights and kings of England and France continued to dream of regaining the Holy Land, they were unsuccessful due to regional tensions.
Of the many powers during the period of the crusade were France, England Germany and Italy which comprised of many players like Venice, Pisa, Genoa and Sicily. Although it was the Papacy which was the core for the emergence of the crusades, the political events in Central Italy took most of its attention.
The effect that the crusades had during the Middle Age on Europe became crucial in the progress of the civilization. The direct effect was on the power vested in the hands of the Catholic Church with respect to power and wealth, matters pertaining to politics, feudalism, development of intellectual aspects, commerce, and effects on social and material aspects. The major outcome of the crusades, which was unintended, was the voyages of discovery.
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Boise State University: Europe During The Crusades