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The Crusades
What were they?
They were a series of religious wars
between Christians and Muslims
fought between the 11th to 13th
In the 11th century the holy city of Jerusalem
was controlled by the Muslims.
Pope Urban called for a religious war or
crusade to gain control of the Holy Lands.
Many Christian nobles and knights
(Crusaders) heeded Urban’s call.
The Fighting
The European knights were ill prepared to
fight in the scorching deserts of the Middle
One Crusading army decided to skip
fighting the Muslims and sacked (raided)
the Byzantine capital of Constantinople.
The two main leaders were Richard the
Lionhearted of England (Crusader) and
Saladin (Muslim).
The battles between the two forces were
exceptionally bloody.
The Crusaders briefly captured Jerusalem
and a few small kingdoms nearby which
became known as the Crusader states.
Eventually Saladin recaptured Jerusalem.
Both Saladin and Richard agreed to a
The Results
Jerusalem remained under Muslim control.
Eventually the Crusades sort of fizzled out
as fewer and fewer knights took up the
The death of so many nobles led to the
decline of local lords and the rise of
powerful monarchs.
It also weakened the power of the Pope.
BUT- Returning knights brought back
valuable spices and other goods from the
Middle East.
This led to an increase in trade between
Europe and Asia.
The Crusader’s attack on Constantinople
weakened the Byzantine Empire which the
Muslims finally captured in 1453.
The Crusades left a lasting legacy of
bitterness between Jews, Muslims, and
Today Jerusalem is still the scene of
religious violence.