The Crusades

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The First Crusade was from 1096 to 1099. They were Christian military

expeditions and religous wars proclaimed by the people. The purpose of the

Crusades was to gain and keep control over Palestine from the Muslims.

Palestine was also called the Holy Land because Jesus lived there. Alexius

Compenus was a new ruler that came into power in Byzantium in 1081.

Constentinople was in danger because the Seljuks threatened them, so Alexius

first called for help to Pope Urban ll who presented a ten-day meeting telling

people about Alexius's problem and that they needed to go to war with the

Turks, which led to the first Crusade.

The Crusades were organized mostly to recover or defend territories

that Christians strongly beleived belonged to them by right, such as "The Holy

Land." Palestine lay along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea, and Muslims

had taken control of it from the Christians. In the first Crusade, Christians

recaptured Palestine, but in the later Crusades, they fought to protect Palestine

or recover parts of it that had been lost to Muslim forces.

There is a traditional numbering scheme for the Crusades which

total 9 during the 11th and 13th centuries. Each Crusade has an important

event that took place during that time. During the first Crusade in March 1095,

ambassadors from the council of Piacenza called for others because they needed

help defending Byzantine against the Seljuk Turks. Later on, Pope Urban ll

asked the Christians to join a war against the Turks. He promised the people

who died would get released from their sins. The Crusade armies managed to

defeat the Turks at Dorylaeum and Antioch.

The second Crusade was from 1147 to 1149. After there was peace, the

Muslims took over Edessa. There was a new Crusade because Branard of

Clairvaux called for one. French and South German armies went to Jerusalem

but didn't win anything too big. On the other side of the Mediterranean, the

second Crusades met up with a group of Northern European Crusaders and

stopped in Portugal. They then allied with the Portugues, and got Lisbon back

from the muslims in 1147.

The third Crusade was from 1187 to 1192. In 1187 Sultan captured

Jerusalem again which led to the Battle of Hattin. Pope Gregory Vlll called for a

Crusade which was led by very important European leaders.

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