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  • Created on: 26-04-14 13:10

Why was the 1st Crusade launched? (1)

The influence of Medieval Christianity:

- Fears of the last judgement and hell widespread (heaven = reward, hell = punishment)
- View of the afterlife - tympanum on Conques Church (visible to all at church entrance)

- Christianity was a forgiving religion and crusading offered spiritual reward and remission of sins - a certain pathway to heaven if killed on crusade 

- Jerusalem was considered the centre or 'navel' of the world - Mappa Mundi showed this - so a pilgrimage to the Holy Land would gain God's favour.

- Whether they died in battle or reached Jerusalem, they would have remission of sins and could join God in heaven in the afterlife

- Emphasised that a true Christian would go and defeat the infidel for God - milites Christi (soldiers of Christ)

- Life expectancy was short during the 11th century - crusading offered a sure chance to go to heaven with the approval of God

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Why was the 1st Crusade launched? (2)

Pope Urban II:

- Without his influence, the crusade would not have been called - Council of Clermont 27th November 1095

- Hard to envisage the crusade occurring without his input

- Urban had been in exile for 5 years due to Henry IV (Holy Roman Emperor) opposing him

- When he received the letter from Alexius for help, he saw an opportunity to prove his strength as a leader by assembling forces to march to Jerusalem (needed the excuse from Alexius)

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Why was the 1st Crusade launched? (3)

Events in the East:

- Provided the trigger for the Pope to call the crusade

- The Byzantine Empire was in decline. The rapidly expanding group the Seljuk Turks were taking over the East.

- Alexius Comnenus (Byzantine Emperor) wanted help gaining back lands lost to the Seljuks.

- The Seljuk Turks had occupied Jerusalem since 1076 and were making it difficult for Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land. 

- Alexius appealed to the Pope on religious grounds, hoping that he would be able to send knights to help him gain back his lands.

- The Seljuks had become vulnerable after the death of Sultan Malik Shah led to a succession battle between his son Barkiyarak and his brother Tutush. This gave Alexius the perfect opportunity to gain lands while the Turks were fighting amongst themselves.

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Why was the 1st Crusade launched? (4)


- Feudal system in medieval Europe made people fundamentally obedient to their masters - the Pope, religion etc. Struggle for supremacy.

- When knights of the stature of Robert of Normandy and Raymond of Toulouse decided to go on crusade, many of their loyal and obedient followers were expected to go too.

- Crusading offered the chance to seize land and gain wealth - for some this meant there was nothing to lose.

- Knights could be simultaneously holy and military - morally they could kill on behalf of God and still have remission of their past sins.

- Some such as Bohemond saw a better life for them in the East. Bohemond's father had left his inheritance to his step brother, so this motivated him to go on crusade and get wealth and possessions of his own.

- Accounts of the Council of Clermont (Bolderic of Dol) say that Pope Urban said "possessions of the enemt, too, will become yours."

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Why was the 1st Crusade successful? (1)

Strong leadership:

- Without this, the crusade would have been annihilated like the People's Crusade and would have struuggled to reach Jerusalem.

- Bohemond - Antioch: without him, they would never have captured the city. He established the secret line of communication with Armenian resident Firuz allowing them to enter the city on 4th June 1098. Then they became trapped inside the city by Kerbogha's relief force. Bohemond then made the bold decision to attack Kerbogha rather than waiting to be attacked themselves. This was said to be the most outstanding military leadership of the entire crusade.

- Having high ranking knights ensured the crusaders had good men to follow into battle who set a good example. (e.g. Raymond, Godfrey, Bohemond)

- Dorylaeum - 1st July 1097: split into two groups and so when the Turks attacked the 1st group, the 2nd group came to rescue them and caused the Turks to panic and they therefore succeeded. 

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Why was the 1st Crusade successful? (2)

Muslim Disunity:

- Only crusade with Muslim disunity and only successful one. Without this, they would have failed like the generations that followed them

- Fundamental division of Islam: Sunnis and Shiites. Sunnis believed in the Prophet Muhammad and were based in Baghdad under the Abbasid dynasty whereas Shiites believed Ali was the ultimate leader and were based in Cairo under the Fatamid dynasty.

- The Seljuk Turks who had taken over much of the East were Sunni Muslims and they too became divided after the death of Sultan Malik Shah in 1092. This led to a bitter succession battle between his son Barkiyarak and brother Tutush, which led to the Battle of Rayy (1095) where Tutush was killed. But when Barkiyarak took over his Uncle's western provinces, they remained hostile to him and some preferred the invading crusaders to their Muslim enemies.

- Each city acted independently: had Ridwan of Aleppo, Kerbogha of Mosul and others such as Yaghi Siyan and Kilj Arslan allied together, they could have crushed the oncoming crusaders. Their disunity made it easy for the crusaders to pick of each city, one by one. 

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Why was the 1st Crusade successful? (3)

Religious Convictions:

- Antioch: after finally entering the city after months of siege, they became trapped in the city. At a low point, a pilgrim named Peter Bartholomew claimed to have had a vision where the position Holy Lance that pierced Christ's side at the crucifixion was revealed to be in Antioch. He was told that those who carry the lance into battle would never be overcome by the enemy. After discovering this lance on 14th June, the crusaders were inspired that God was on their side and charged into battle, taking Kerbogha's forces by surprise and defeating them. Without this, they would not have had the bravery or inspiration to go out and fight. 

- Crusaders might have deserted through the harsh winters and tough battles like Stephen of Blois did at Antioch, but the underlying aim of entering heaven with remission of their sins kept many crusaders on the road to Jerusalem.

- Dorylaeum: "Stand fast trusting in Christ"

- Through times of hardship, their religious devotion kept them going. 

- Religion alone didn't guarantee success (People's Crusade)

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Why was the 1st Crusade successful? (4)


- 17th June 1099: 6 Genoese ships docked at Jaffa bringing supplies. Also on board were skilled craftsmen and artisans, which meant they could build siege weapons and towers for the siege of Jerusalem. At the same time, Tancred discovered a nearby forest which allowed for more siege engines to be built.

- Cooperation with Byzantines after Nicaea in June 1097: Alexius supplied troops and able leaders, gave them supplies to continue on their journey. 

- While travelling down the Mediterranean coast, they made peace with local leaders in exchange for supplies which was very productive. 

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Why did the 2nd Crusade fail? (1)

Poor Leadership:

- Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany did not cooperate with each other although they were the two main leaders. Their armies travelled separately to Constantinople and Conrad did not wait for Louis' forces to arrive.

- Insistence on emulating the 1st Crusade: exhausted troops and led to unnecessary battles such as at Dorylaeum in October 1147 where Conrad's army stopped to rest as supplies were low and were attacked suddenly by the Seljuks losing the marjority of his men.

- Louis and his associates gathered a fleet at Adalia and sailed to Antioch leaving the rest of his men to march on foot to Antioch (most of whom were killed by sickness or the Turks). 

- Damascus: decision to attack the city in the first place was poor, plus shortly into the siege, the troops were moved to a part of the city where the walls were stronger and there was a lack of food and water. This led to the siege being called off just three days in, a complete disaster.

- Perhaps stemmed from the lack of clear aim...were they trying to retake Edessa? Or attack a major city such as Aleppo? 

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Why did the 2nd Crusade fail? (2)

Muslim Unity:

- Muslim leaders led them to direct their anger towards a common enemy in the Franks.

- Zengi began promoting jihad (holy war) and unifying the Muslims as he was originally the atabeg of Mosul and then became the emir of Aleppo which unified two strong cities. He besieged and gained Edessa while Count Jocelyn was absent in 1144 which gained him more support as a champion of Islam. 

- After Zengi was murdered, his second son Nureddin took over and unified the Muslims further. He emphasised that Muslims should fight the Franks until they left or died. Immediately after Zengi's death, Jocelyn attempted to retake Edessa but Nureddin defeated him and thousands of native Christians were massacred, gaining Nureddin yet more support.  Nureddin also organised the Muslim resistance by raising taxes to fund their army and an efficient administration and propaganda system helped him further. 

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Why did the 2nd Crusade fail? (3)

Internal politics of Outremer:

- The leaders of each crusader state wanted something different which caused a lack of cohesion in the crusade. 
- Raymond of Antioch wanted to attack Aleppo
- Raymond of Tripoli wanted capture the castle at Montferrand
- Joscelin II wanted to retake Edessa
- At the council of Acre (June 1148) the confusing decision was made to attack Damascus (which was one of their Muslim allies!) which forced the Muslims to unify as the emir of Damascus asked Nureddin for help. 

- When Louis and his wife Eleanor arrived at Antioch, Louis became suspicious of her relationship with Prince Raymond of Antioch and he therefore did not cooperate with Raymond who wanted to attack Nureddin's stronghold, Aleppo and Louis then forced Eleanor to go to Jerusalem with him. If this hadn't been preoccupying the leaders, they could have made better strategic decisions and thrown the Muslim resistance into disarray, while strengthening the Christan position in Outremer. 

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Why did the 2nd Crusade fail? (4)

Lack of Support:

- New Byzantine Emperor Manuel Comnenus was unwilling to cooperate with the crusaders, unlike his predecessor who had wanted help.

- Manuel had made peace with the Seljuks of Anatolia through a treaty with Turkish rebel leader Mas'ud so did not want to be seen helping the crusaders who were unwelcome invaders.

- He therefore ushered the crusaders across the Bosphorus without providing much help and support. In the 1st Crusade, extra guides and supplies received from the Byzantines were very important and the lack of these things hindered the 2nd crusade further. 

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How successful was the 3rd Crusade? (1)


- Preparation: Richard and Philip brought in Saladin tithe (tax) which raised considerable funds, with which they bought supplies and equipment. Put lands and castles up for sale to fund the expedition. 

- Military victories:

- Acre July 1191, Richard, Philip and Leopold supplied troops and Guy managed to succeed. With the success of Acre they gained a wealthy port on the Syrian coast, boosted morale, a large sum of gold, the return of the relic of the True Cross and assurances that 1500 prisoners would be released. 

- Arsuf September 1191: Richard's tactics ensured a victory. Marched south from Acre to Jaffa using the sea and fleet to protect the right flank of the army (and carry heavy equipment) , making sure attack could only come from one side. Well disciplined and led by Richard; when Saladin's forces attempted to harass his forces, they kept ranks and didn't break formation until the Muslims were exhausted and then a charge of the knights was ordered. 

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How successful was the 3rd Crusade? (2)


- Failure to recapture Jerusalem which was the primary aim

- Not enough men to defeat Saladin 

- Can partly be blamed on death of Frederick Barbarossa (Holy Roman Emperor who drowned in the river Saleph in June 1190) because it caused complete disintegration of the army - most of the 100,000 men went home, greatly reducing the size of the crusading army. These men could have been used to mount a serious challenge on Jerusalem rather than only getting 12 miles from the city.

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How successful was the 3rd Crusade? (3)


- Legacy left behind opened the door for future crusading. 

- Capture of Cyprus 1191

- Capture of 100 mile coastal strip from Acre to Jaffa. 

- Maintain a considerable kingdom in the East along the Syrian coast and Cyprus. 

- Safe passageway to Jerusalem for pilgrims and merchants was secured. 

- Treaty between Richard and Saladin on September 2nd 1192 (3 year truce) 

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How successful was the 3rd Crusade? (4)


- Lack of unified leaders. 

- Vast amount you of Kings and Princes didn't listen to each other and there was little in the way of coordinated strategy or unity. 

- Philip left the Crusade in August 1191 which caused significant worry to Richard as their rivalry meant that he worried that Philip would take over his kingdom in his absence. Changed Richard's priorities so he wasn't focused on the Crusade. 

- Argument between Leopold of Austria and Richard when Leopold's banners were torn off the walls.

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Why did the crusader states survive? (1)

Military strength:

- Castles: for protection, domination, presence and defence. Couldn't take a city without taking its castle. Examples: Krak des Chavaliers and Montreal (built 1187) and held out for over a year against Saladin. 

- Military orders: offered protection, stability and increased manpower. 

Templars: founded in 1099 to protect pilgrims on journey to Jerusalem. Became immensely rich and powerful organisation.

Hospitallers: originated when a small Christian hospital fell into crusader hands. More monks were recruited and they ran a hostel for pilgrims. From 1119 offered protection to pilgrims and included soldiers in their ranks. 

Recruits attracted by semi monastic and semi military values. 

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Why did the crusader states survive? (2)


- Each state developed autonomously so each leader (a knight of the 1st Crusade) could focus their attention on 1 state. 

- Kings of Jerusalem: Baldwin I consolidated the Franks's position by leading invasions of Arsuf and Caesura in 1101, Acre in 1104 and Beruit and Sidon in 1110. Also successfully defended against Fatalism and Seljuk invasion attempts. 

- Baldwin II regained control of Antioch after the Battle of the Field of Blood and drove out the Seljuks in late 1119. He also succeeded in the Battle of Azaz in 1125 defeating a Muslim army much larger than his own. 

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Why did the crusader states survive? (3)

Government and society/trade and administration:

- Feudal monarchies of the West were replicated - where the king could enfeoff land to vassals - leading to familiarity and stability. 

- Cooperation with local barons which led to them providing knights to assist with the manpower problem - over 300 between 1185 & 6

- Cooperation with Muslims by not taxing too heavily and being treated equally, sometimes better than Muslim powers. 

- Each crusader state had own legal system, highlighting its independence.

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Why did the crusader states survive? (4)

Establishment of the Church:

- Church of the Holy Sepulchre was developed 

- Holy relics, such as the relic of the True Cross were imported

- Signal that they wanted to stay for a long time 

- Created stability at a difficult time 

- Helped them to build for the future, inspiring people to remain in the area

- Good connections with the Pope in Rome which strengthened ties between East and West 

- Church offered financial and other support e.g. Manpower 

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