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Why did the Byzantine Empire finally fall?

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megan-westerf... | Salutatorian

Posted March 6, 2012 at 6:48 AM via web

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Why did the Byzantine Empire finally fall?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 6, 2012 at 7:02 AM (Answer #1)

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The Byzantine Empire fell in 1453.  The immediate cause of its fall was pressure by the Ottoman Turks.  The Ottomans had been fighting the Byzantines for over 100 years by this time.  In 1454, Constantinople finally fell to them and their conquest of the Byzantine Empire was complete.

Ironically enough, the major cause of the decline of the Byzantine Empire (what made it weak enough to fall to the Ottomans) was the Crusades.  The Crusades were supposed to be Christian wars against Muslims.  But the Western Europeans could not resist getting involved in the Byzantine Empire.  In 1204, the Fourth Crusade conquered Constantinople, partly because the Venetians wanted to eliminate the Byzantines as competition in trading matters.  Constantinople did not return to Byzantine hands until 1264.  This weakened the empire significantly and helped cause its eventual fall.

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