In my opinion, the crusades affected Medieval Europe in a way that unified the power figures of the nation. There were so many crusades that it made the unification of leaders necessary. From signing peace treaties to asking other leaders for aid, the unification amongst the power figures was inevitable.

  • During this week’s lectures, one of the topics that we covered were the crusades. From 1096 to 1271, there were a significant number of crusades had occurred. In fact, five crusades happened amongst the span of almost 200 years. However, I want cover every crusade besides the fifth one because of its lack in specificity.

A graphic of the crusades


First Crusade: This crusade is referred to as the “Peter the Hermit and the People’s Crusade.” According to the lecture, “Four armies had departed for Byzantium, Pogroms were in the Rhineland, and the Antioch were captured.” The end result was Jerusalem being besieged and taken with thousands being slaughtered.

Second Crusade: This crusade involved “four crusader states” which consisted of Jerusalem, Edessa, Antioch, and Tripoli. Similar to the situation with Antioch in the first crusade, Edessa was captured by Seljuk general Zangi. Fortunately, the crusaders were defeated at Damascus.

Third Crusade: During this crusade, what it was compromised of was the occurrence of Saladin seizing a significant amount of the crusader state of Jerusalem. Being led by Barbossa, King Philip II of France, and King Richard of England, the crusade of Richard’s forces “recaptured Jaffa and approached Jerusalem.” Unlike the second crusade that united four states, this crusade resulted in a peace treaty being signed which was the best representation of unity between power structures.

Fourth Crusade: What compromised of this crusade was the crusader diverting to Constantinople “to topple Alexius II and install his nephew, Alexius IV.” Constantinople’s power structure was affected by the appointment of a “Western-controlled patriarch.” The end result was Alexius IV, the nephew of Alexius II, being assassinated.

A graphic of crusades in the Middle Ages.