The First Four Crusades in the Middle Ages Essay

The First Four Crusades in the Middle Ages Essay

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The crusades in the middle ages were a long-lasting series of vigorous wars between Christians and Muslims over the Holy Land, Jerusalem. The crusades lasted for almost two hundred years. They began in 1099 and approximately ended in 1291. (What were the motives, and causes of these gruesome wars?) is the first question one might ask. To properly answer this question, I am about to analyze the first four crusades that had began in 1099 and ended in 1212.
“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” To understand the causes of the crusades, we must have a solid understanding of the Islamic world and Europe backgrounds – respectively. By the tenth century, the Islamic empire under Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad was divided. The Fatimid, Shiite dynasty established a Shiite Caliphate in Egypt, and Cairo was its capital. They had tried to unite the Islamic world under its caliphate and they had become enemies to the Sunni caliphate in Baghdad. As a result, the Islamic world was divided.
The Fatimid dynasty used its strategic geographical location to control trade activities. “The Fatimid dynasty prospered and surpassed the Abbasid Caliphate as the dynamic center of Islam… thy played a major role in the regional trade passing from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and beyond” (295, Spielvogel). They did not care for different religion beliefs and built a strong army. “They were tolarent in matters of religion and created a strong army by using nonnative peoples as mercenaries” (295, Spielvogel). Seljuk Turks were among these people, “the Seljuk Turks were nomadic people from Central Asia who had been converted to Islam and flourished as military mercenaries for the Abbasid caliphate” (295, Spielvogel).
The Turks numbers increased and gre...


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... incrementally, and the way opened for ‘barbarian’ people to supplant, mimic and finally extinguish Rome’s authority. Between the fifth and seventh centuries, groups like the Visigoths, Avars, and Lombards renewed the map of Europe, leaving a bewildering patchwork of divers. (4, Asbridge).
Charlemagne, a Frank decendent, had reunited parted of the empire including: France, Italy, and Germany. He restored law and stability in those regions along with his successor, the Carolingians until Viking invasions which returned unstability and disorder back to the region. By the eleventh century, Europe was divided, unstable, and lawless, especially France. France was divided into two parts with two different languages. “France was even divided linguistically with two distinct languages, Languedor, and Languedoc- prevailing in the north and south respectively” (5, Asbridge).

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