Darius H. Cornejo World History: Module Two, Lesson Three
02.03 Travel Journal Directions: Answer the questions with notes from your reading as you complete the lesson.
What role might location have played in the competition for the Holy Land?
Well, like it said on the beginning of the lesson, when it comes to land and resources, people will fight for as much as they can get because resources are limited. They simply can’t just get half and half. For some reason, the Holy Land was very important to everyone.
So now that I am finished reading the lesson, I can see that this land was in the middle of three continents. It was also a holy land to the three monotheistic religions (Christianity, Jewish, and Muslim).
For what religious groups is Jerusalem considered a holy city?
It seems that Jerusalem is a holy city to the three major monotheistic religions, Christianity, Jewish, and Muslim.
The first Crusade was led by Godfrey of Bouillon and other French Lords. They traveled from Constantinople to Antioch. During the trip, they battled Turkic forces, and Godfrey’s brother, Baldwin, stopped to establish the first Crusader state in Edessa. After a long siege, when you surround all exits and force surrender, the Crusaders captured Antioch. There was discussion on who would rule Antioch. This slowed down the progress and slipt forces, but they finally reached Jerusalem in August 1098. By that time, Jerusalem had become under the rule of Muslim Arabs (Fatimids). The Crusaders did a long siege and the Fatimids surrendered. Since Godfrey died, Baldwin left Edessa and became the first king of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Years after the first Crusade, European lords worked to secure their rule over the Crusader states. Meanwhile, in Europe, the Holy Orders (also known as military orders, Christian societies of knights founded to support the Crusades and defend Christian lands and pilgrims and for which members took religious vows) of knights had begun to rise. When Muslim forces regrouped and attacked Edessa, three orders (the Teutonic Knights, the Knights Hospitaller, and the Knights Templar) rode forth under the banner of the Second Crusade. This time, the fervor of the Crusades reached to the highest levels of Europe. Two monarchs (King Louis VII of France and Emperor Conrad III of Germany) pledged themselves to cause and led armies to the Holy Land. But the Crusaders turned their sights on Damascus, rather than Edessa, and their poorly organized attack resulted in failure. Many of the Crusaders returned home, while those who remained focused on defending the Kingdom of Jerusalem while Muslim forces became more powerful and encircled them.
In the mid-12th century, the Turkic ruler Saladin rose to lead the Seljuks and succeeded in uniting the fragmented Muslim armies of Southwest Asia and North Africa. To Saladin, the Christian armies were the infidels that had to be evicted. When Saladin’s forces took Jerusalem, the call went out across Europe to launch another crusade. Three kings came forward-Emperor Frederick Barbarossa of Germany, King Phillip II of France, and King Richard I, later known as Richard the Lionheart, of England. However, this crusade achieved little. Frederick Barbarossa died along the way, and Phillip returned to Europe after the capture of Acre in 1191. Only Richard the Lionheart remained to lead the Christian armies. Richard led many campaigns against Jerusalem and struck up a curious relationship with his foe, Saladin, in the process. However, he failed to retake the city. In 1192, Richard and Saladin reached a truce. According to this peace treaty, Saladin’s Muslim empire kept control of Jerusalem but granted Christians the right to visit the city and their shrines. The Crusaders kept control of their lands north of the city of Jaffa.
After the Third Crusade, the Crusaders never really captured the momentum-or the power-that they had had before. In 1198, Pope Innocent III called for a new Crusade, more out of a desire to elevate the papacy than in response to events in the Holy Land. This Crusade failed to rouse any monarchs. Led largely by French knights, the Crusade set out for the Holy Land in 1202 only to be distracted by Venetian lords who convinced them to capture the wealth and splendor of Eastern Orthodox Constantinople instead. So, rather than retake the Holy Land from Muslim rule, the Fourth Crusade sacked the capital of the Byzantine Empire, a Christian city. However, the Crusaders’ control of Constantinople lasted less than a century. The major accomplishment of this Crusade proved to be weakening the Byzantines enough that they could no longer hold off Muslim expansion.
The Crusades that took place after the Fourth Crusade were disorganized military efforts with limited support. In addition to several more attempts on the Holy Land, the Holy Orders of Europe had gained in power and launched several military campaigns within Europe itself. The Fifth Crusade, led by King Andrew II of Hungary, went first to the Holy Land and then to Egypt, but failed. Angry at the outcome of the Fifth Crusade,
Frederick II of the Holy Roman Empire led the Sixth Crusade, which succeeded in reclaiming the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1228. However, the kingdom was plagued by civil war that made it vulnerable to Muslim attack. After 1244, Jerusalem would never again fall under Christian rule-but that did not stop the Crusaders from trying. King Louis IX of France led two more expeditions, grouped together as the Seventh Crusade, which failed to make any territorial gains. The last stronghold of Christendom in the Holy Land, Acre, fell to the Mamluk Empire in 1291.
How were the goals of Saladin and Richard both alike and different?
How do the events of the Crusades relate or compare to world events today?
What modern circumstances or events can you trace back to the Crusades?
What does each author’s account reveal about his perspective on the events of the Crusades?