Essay: The Crusades (Holy Wars)

The Crusades (Holy Wars) were wars by the European Christians and the Muslims between the 11th and 14th century to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. There were nine crusades. The First Crusade began in 7th century. The Second Crusade began 1147 – 1149. The Third Crusade began in 1189 ‘ 1192. The Fourth Crusade began in 1202 ‘ 1204. The Fifth Crusade began in 1213 ‘ 1221. The Sixth Crusade began in 1228 ‘ 1229. The Seventh Crusade began in 1248 ‘ 1254. The Eighth Crusade began in 1270 ‘ 1271. The Ninth Crusade began in 1271 ‘ 1272. (
The Crusades were a group of military campaigns that fought against the Muslims of the Middle East. Jerusalem was captured in 1076 by the Muslims. Jerusalem was one of the most holy places out of all places. Jerusalem was the city where Jesus was crucified. That’s one of the reasons Jerusalem was the city that everyone called ‘The place of God’.
The First Crusade began in 7th century. It started in the years of 1096 to 1099 in Medieval England. It was an attempt for the Christians to re-capture Jerusalem from the Muslims in 1076. The first target was the fortress of Nicea. The Crusaders took it because the leader was away fighting. By taking over that fortress the crusaders could now send reinforcements and resources from Europe. The next target was a Turkish city named Antioch. It was difficult for the crusaders to take over because it had many supplies and lines of defense. The crusaders had many soldiers and supplies coming from Nicea and surrounding areas. It took the crusaders seven months to take over Antioch. Now the way to Jerusalem was open.
In 1099 the war between the Muslims and Christian for Jerusalem started. Jerusalem had high walls and many defenders. The crusaders needed a quick victory because they were running out of water and supplies which caused many deaths. They took apart their ships and used the wood to make siege engines. The breached the walls and the rest of the crusaders followed. Jews and Muslims were massacred filing the streets with blood. The crusaders now had the holy land but Jerusalem surrounding area was still not under their control and this created a need for more Crusades. (
The Second Crusade began 1147 ‘ 1149. The Second Crusade took place between 1147 and 1149. It was started by Pope Eugene III in an attempt to defeat the Muslims who were still threatening to retake control of the Holy Lands. A second crusade was necessary due to the capture of the County of Edessa in 1144. One launched an attack on Seljuk, Turks capital and the other attack was on a spot in Anatolia. One reason the Second Crusade failed was because of the lack of communication between the kings, Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany. (
The Third Crusade began in 1189 ‘ 1192. It was an attempt for the European Leaders to get back the holy land from Saladin which was a success but they failed at the main goal which was to get Jerusalem. The new pope Gregory VIII announced that the capture of Jerusalem was a disciplinary action for the Christians in Europe. Phillip II of France and Henry II of England ended war with each other and administered a ‘Saladin tithe’ (tax) on their citizen to fund their journey. The Holy Emperor Frederick Barbarossa answered to the call of arm and led an army across Anatolia, but drowned before reaching the holy land. The Muslims were driven away from Acre and the Christians powers argued over the ruins of war, they were disappointed in Richard who was Frederick’s successor Lepold V of Austria and Phillip left the Holy Land. Saladin couldn’t defeat Richard in any armed forces combat allowing Richard to secure more coastal areas. On September 2, 1192 Richard made a treaty with Saladin in which Jerusalem would remain under Muslim control. (
The Fourth Crusade began in 1202 ‘ 1204. In 1200 A.D Pope Innocent asked European leaders to participate in a fourth crusade to take Jerusalem from the Ayyubids who ruled there after Saladin died. The crusaders thought the he was weaker and easier to beat. The Europeans would sail south to Egypt and then up to Jerusalem from there. They didn’t have enough ships to take everyone to Egypt, they need help from Venice. The crusaders didn’t have enough money to pay for the ships so in exchange they help the Venetians fight to get back the city of Zara. The pope didn’t like that and excommunicated all the crusaders because Zara was a Christian city. The crusaders successfully took Zara and were about to go to Egypt with their ships when Alexius Commenus, who had been thrown out of Constantinople asked the crusaders to help him get his power back, he offered to pay for the rest of the crusade when he was back on his throne. The crusaders agreed and they took Constantinople and put Alexius back on his throne but he tried raising taxes to pay the money he promised he became unpopular and killed. The crusaders attacked the Constantinople and a lot of the islands that belonged to the empire now belonged to the Venetians. The crusaders never went to Jerusalem or fought the Ayyubids, they took all the money, jewels, and gold they got in the attack of Constantinople and went home where the pope accepted them back in the church. (
The Fifth Crusade began in 1213 ‘ 1221. The fifth crusade proved that Europeans still wanted to get Jerusalem. Pope Innocent III called a new crusade but most Christians were fighting each other. He found another way to launch a new crusade; he got idle Christians by offering indulgence. The crusaders left for Acre in 1217 and joined the ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the ruler of the Kingdom of Antioch to fight against the Ayyubids state of Egypt. A large army from Germany and Holland prepared to retake the Holy Land and take Jerusalem. They allied with Seljuk Sultan of Rum, would help them attack the Egyptians. The crusaders attacked Damietta an important Egyptian settlement. It took them several months and thousands of lives to the settlement. The sultan captured the army and demanded Damietta back. The fifth crusade was the last crusade organized by the church where different nations fought to get back the Holy Land. (
The Sixth Crusade began in 1228 ‘ 1229. It managed to do with the other crusades before failed to do, it recaptured the Holy Land. Frederich II decided to try another crusade because he wasn’t allowed on the other one. He marched in Acre, Syria which was under Islamic Mamluks control. Frederich got an offer from al-Kamil Ayyubid sultan of Egypt who wanted to put his brother in control of Syria. In exchange he would give him Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem for help from Frederich’s army. He agreed to the exchange and crowned himself King of Jerusalem. He left Jerusalem without an army to protect it, the Ayyubids got weaker and the Mamluks rose in power in West Asia and took Jerusalem. (
The Seventh Crusade began in 1248 ‘ 1254. It was started by King Louis IX of France. He announced his crusade after the Mamluks took Jerusalem. He raised money from church taxes and sailed to Cyprus. He attacked and took Damietta in Egypt from the now very weak Ayyubids. He used Damietta as a base then went to attack Cairo but the Mamluks arrived and defeated him. He was then taken prisoner, to get him back the French had to pay a large amount of gold and give back Damietta. (
The Eighth Crusade began in 1270 ‘ 1271. It was started by King Louis IX of France. He was persuaded by his brother Charles of Anjou to attack Tunis to command the ports and make way to Egypt. When landing in Africa much of his army died from the water. Louis died also leaving full command of his army to Charles. (
The Ninth Crusade began in 1271 ‘ 1272. This crusade was started by Edward I of England. He was forced to negotiate with the Mamluk Sultan Baybar who wanted him assassinated. The assassination failed but Edward went back to England after hearing King Henry III became ill and never went back to the Holy Land. The last Christians in the Holy Land fell while attempting to organize a crusade against the Ottoman Turks in the 14th century. It failed because conflict between the Europeans powers and decline of chivalry and knighthood. (

Source: Essay UK -

Not what you're looking for?

Search our thousands of essays:


About this resource

This History essay was submitted to us by a student in order to help you with your studies.

  • Order a custom essay
  • Print this page
  • Search again

Word count:

This page has approximately words.



If you use part of this page in your own work, you need to provide a citation, as follows:

Essay UK, Essay: The Crusades (Holy Wars). Available from: <> [21-03-18].

More information:

If you are the original author of this content and no longer wish to have it published on our website then please click on the link below to request removal:

Essay and dissertation help

Latest essays in this category:

Our free essays: