|Dr. Hartnell's Nutty the A.D.D. Squirrel||
The Crusades were a series of bloody wars between Christians and Muslims over the Holy Land that lasted 177 years (1095-1272). There were 9 total Crusades, as well as 3 smaller ones that occurred at the same time as the larger Crusades and therefore go unnumbered.
Two major events caused the Crusades. In 1009, Muslims destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which was built on Golgotha, the hill where Jesus Christ was crucified.
Then in 1071, Muslims crushed a Byzantine army at the Battle of Manzikert. Christians in the West saw this as a sign that the Byzantine Empire could no longer protect Eastern Christianity. In 1095, Pope Urban II called for an expedition to free Jerusalem and offered Crusaders a place in Heaven.
The Crusades got off to a bad start. A mob of 50,000 undisciplined soldiers descended on Constantinople as a general meeting place. On their way across Europe, these armies massacred Jews. When they did reach the Holy Land, they besieged Jerusalem, massacring its Muslim inhabitants. After retaking the Holy Land, the next step was creating Christian colonies called Crusader states. However, every time a Crusader state was attacked, another Crusade was launched. Things went from bad to worse.
When judged by military standards, the Crusades were a failure. What was gained was lost. In 1187, the Muslims re-recaptured Jerusalem, and all 4 of the Crusader states had collapsed.
Final Score: Muslims 8, Christians 1
The Crusades had a huge influence on the Middle Ages. They were an
early part of European
colonialism, marking the first time significant numbers of people left to
carry their culture and religion abroad.
Islamic science, medicine, and architecture was transferred to the West during the Crusades. Europeans copied the idea of stone castles from the
Muslim ones they fought against. (Europe used wooden buildings
The Crusades aided the start of the Renaissance, as Italian cities profited from transporting Crusaders and by trading with the Crusader
Hard feelings between Muslims and the West made travel along the Silk Road difficult, so Spain and Portugal looked for water routes... got lost... went 3,000 miles in the wrong direction... discovered the New World.... sneezed on a Native... gave two entire continents small pox... and lived happily ever after.
For many Muslims, the word "Crusade" still conjures up images of Western genocide. The 21st Century's "War on Terror" was, at one point, called a "Crusade" by U.S. President George W. Bush until the meaning was pointed out.
The 4 Crusader states
1. Edessa (1098-1149)
2. Antioch (1098-1268)
3. Jerusalem (1099-1291)
4. Tripoli (1102-1289)