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The Power
of the
and its
Kings but no real leaders – CHURCH
emerged as a powerful institution, much
involvement in political affairs
Middle Ages – time of power struggles
between popes and kings
To win in disagreements, Pope threatened
excommunication – no salvation
Smart kings ally with Pope
Christianity – Why Popular?
•Embraced all people – men, women, poor, nobles
– bonded people together
•Gave hope to powerless, promised eternal life
after death for all
•Provided stability among warfare and turmoil
•Middle Ages becomes known as the Age of
Problems and Reforms
Problems in Church:
•church officials are rich and corrupt
•priests illiterate
•Pope’s questionable morals
•priests had families
•sold church positions
•Monks try to restore purity of church
•Inquisition – church court who sought out and
punished heretics
No need for proof, used torture
Comes from the Latin word “crux” meaning
“cross” – those who fought were called
crusaders because they vowed to “take up
the cross”
Military expeditions by European
Christians to regain the Holy Land –
Deus Vult! – For God!!
Goals of the Crusades
• Christians want to regain Palestine (Holy Land)
• Reunite Christendom
• Send quarrelsome knights off to war
• Why go?
– Land
– Power
– Forgiveness of sins
– Adventure
– Expand markets
– Temporary release from peasantry
First Crusade
•3 armies traveled separately from W. Europe
•Ill-prepared for war, no strategy for capturing Jerusalem
•Many killed Jews along the way
•Met in Constantinople in 1097 – made way to Jerusalem
•1099 – Jerusalem fell to Crusaders after 2 months
•Many knights returned home, some set up homes
•Only Crusade that Christians won
Second Crusade (1147-1149)
•Muslims reconquered Holy Land
•Second Crusade to recapture fallen cities
•Christians unsuccessful due to fighting leaders
Third Crusade
•Muslim leader Saladin united forces & captured Jerusalem 1187
•“Crusade of Kings” – Philip II of France, Frederick I of Germany,
Richard the Lion-Hearted of England
•Only Richard made it
•Defeated Muslims in several battles, but couldn't’t win over
Saladin’s well-trained and dedicated forces
•Signed a truce – Muslims kept control of Jerusalem but allowed
Christians to visit holy sites
•Other Crusades unsuccessful in winning permanent Christian
control of Palestine
•Failure of Crusades lessened power of Pope
•Lords funded Crusades through loans, Crusades failed and
couldn’t pay off loans, had to forfeit fiefs and serfs/peasants
gave money to be free
•Feudalism declined, Power of kings increased
•Contact b/w Crusaders and other civilizations = broadened
world view & curiosity
•Increased trade – prosperous towns
•Contact with East – demand for luxury goods – spices, sugar,
silk, tapestries
•Improved technology – better built ships, more accurate maps,
magnetic compass, new military skills, siege techniques, improved
•Muslims remembered the intolerance and prejudice displayed
by Christians – led to bitterness and hatred
Why did Crusades end?
•People started to lose interest after all of
the failures
•They were curious about other areas of
the world = Exploration
•Church lost respect
Exit Question
• What do you think is the most compelling
reason for Christians to fight in the