World History Crusades Review Sheet
CHS 2011 / 2012
The Crusades were a series of religious expeditionary wars blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church, with the main goal of
restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem. The Crusades were originally launched in response to a call
from the leaders of the Byzantine Empire for help to fight the expansion into Anatolia of Muslim Seljuk Turks who had cut off
access to Jerusalem. The crusaders comprised military units of Roman Catholics from all over Western Europe, and were not
under unified command. The main series of Crusades, primarily against Muslims, occurred between 1095 and 1291. Historians
have given many of the earlier crusades numbers. After some early successes, the later crusades failed and the crusaders were
defeated and forced to return home.
Several hundred thousand soldiers became Crusaders by taking vows the Pope granted them plenary indulgence. Their emblem
was the cross—"crusade" is derived from the French term for taking up the cross. Many were from France and called
themselves "Franks," which became the common term used by Muslims.
At the time Christianity had not yet divided into the large number of geographically intermingled branches later formed, the
(western) Catholic and (eastern) Byzantine churches being the main groups; the Crusaders simply considered themselves to be
"Christian" rather than Muslim.
The term "crusade" is also used to describe religiously motivated campaigns conducted between 1100 and 1600 in territories
outside the Levant usually against pagans, heretics, and peoples under the ban of excommunication for a mixture of religious,
economic, and political reasons. Rivalries among both Christian and Muslim powers led also to alliances between religious
factions against their opponents, such as the Christian alliance with the Sultanate of Rûm during the Fifth Crusade.
The Crusades had major far-reaching political, economic, and social impacts on Western Europe, including causing the downfall
of the Christian Byzantine Empire.
The Reconquista, a long period of wars in Spain (Iberia) where Christian forces reconquered the peninsula from Muslims, is
closely tied to the Crusades.
The First Crusade (1096–1099) was a military expedition by Roman Catholic Europe to regain the Holy Lands taken in the
Muslim conquests of the Levant (632–661), ultimately resulting in the recapture of Jerusalem in 1099. It was launched on 27
November 1095 by Pope Urban II with the primary goal of responding to an appeal from Byzantine Emperor Alexios I
Komnenos, who requested that western volunteers come to his aid and help to repel the invading Seljuq Turks from Anatolia.
An additional goal soon became the principal objective—the Christian reconquest of the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy
Land and the freeing of the Eastern Christians from Islamic rule.
The Second Crusade (1145–1149) was the second major crusade launched from Europe. The Second Crusade was started in
response to the fall of the County of Edessa the previous year to the forces of Zengi. The county had been founded during the
First Crusade (1096–1099) by Baldwin of Boulogne in 1098. While it was the first Crusader state to be founded, it was also the
first to fall.
The Third Crusade (1189–1192), also known as the Kings' Crusade, was an attempt by European leaders to reconquer the Holy
Land from Saladin (Salāh ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb). It was largely successful, but fell short of its ultimate goal—the reconquest of
The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was originally intended to conquer Muslim-controlled Jerusalem by means of an invasion
through Egypt. Instead, in April 1204, the Crusaders of Western Europe invaded and conquered the Christian (Eastern
Orthodox) city of Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire). This is seen as one of the final acts
in the Great Schism between the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church. The crusaders established the Latin
Empire (1204–1261) and other "Latin" states in the Byzantine lands they conquered.
The Children's Crusade is the name given to a disastrous Crusade by Christian children to expel Muslims from the Holy Land
said to have taken place in 1212, now not believed to have occurred as chronicled. The traditional narrative is probably
conflated from some factual and mythical notions of the period including visions by a French or German boy, an intention to
peacefully convert Muslims in the Holy Land to Christianity, bands of children marching to Italy, and children being sold into
The Fifth Crusade (1213–1221) was an attempt to reacquire Jerusalem and the rest of the Holy Land by first conquering the
powerful Ayyubid state in Egypt. Pope Innocent III and his successor Pope Honorius III organized crusading armies led by the
king Andrew II of Hungary and the Duke Leopold VI of Austria, and a foray against Jerusalem ultimately left the city in Muslim
hands. Later in 1218, a German army led by Oliver of Cologne, and a mixed army of Dutch, Flemish and Frisian soldiers led by
William I, Count of Holland joined the crusade. In order to attack Damietta in Egypt, they allied in Anatolia with the Seljuk
Sultanate of Rûm which attacked the Ayyubids in Syria in an attempt to free the Crusaders from fighting on two fronts. After
occupying the port of Damietta, the Crusaders marched south towards Cairo in July 1221, but were turned back after their
dwindling supplies led to a forced retreat. A nighttime attack by Sultan Al-Kamil resulted in a great number of crusader losses,
and eventually in the surrender of the army. Al-Kamil agreed to an eight-year peace agreement with Europe.
The Sixth Crusade started in 1228 as an attempt to regain Jerusalem. It began seven years after the failure of the Fifth Crusade.
It involved very little actual fighting. The diplomatic maneuvering of the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II resulted in the
Kingdom of Jerusalem regaining control of Jerusalem and other areas for fifteen years.
The Seventh Crusade was a crusade led by Louis IX of France from 1248 to 1254. Approximately 800,000 bezants were paid in
ransom for King Louis who, along with thousands of his troops, was captured and defeated by the Egyptian army led by the
Ayyubid Sultan Turanshah supported by the Bahariyya Mamluks led by Faris ad-Din Aktai, Baibars al-Bunduqdari, Qutuz , Aybak
The Eighth Crusade was a crusade launched by Louis IX, King of France, in 1270. The Eighth Crusade is sometimes counted as
the Seventh, if the Fifth and Sixth Crusades of Frederick II are counted as a single crusade. The Ninth Crusade is sometimes also
counted as part of the Eighth.
The Ninth Crusade, which is sometimes grouped with the Eighth Crusade, is commonly considered to be the last major
medieval Crusade to the Holy Land. It took place in 1271–1272. Louis IX of France's failure to capture Tunis in the Eighth
Crusade led Prince Edward of England to sail to Acre in what is known as the Ninth Crusade. The Ninth Crusade saw several
impressive victories for Edward over Baibars. Ultimately the Crusade didn't so much fail as withdraw, since Edward had pressing
concerns at home and felt unable to resolve the internal conflicts within the remnant Outremer territories. It is arguable that
the Crusading spirit was nearly "extinct," by this period as well. It also foreshadowed the imminent collapse of the last
remaining crusader strongholds along the Mediterranean coast.