How many Crusades were there and what was the defining characteristic of each one?

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jilllessa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Crusades began in 1095 with the launching of the First Crusade and continued for over two hundred and fifty years. There were many Crusades, but I do not think I could list them all with their defining characteristics in this small space. The major Crusades included the First Crusade whose defining characteristic was that they really believed in the Crusading Ideal. The wanted to take Jerusalem back into Christian hands. For centuries the Muslims had ruled Jerusalem, making it difficult for the Christians who lived there and for pilgrims to journey there. The First Crusade established the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem as well as other Crusader states. The Crusade of 1101 was mostly defined by its failure. The Second Crusade was also marked by failure and was defined by the weakness and poor judgement of Louis VII of France. The Third Crusade was defined by the unity of the Muslim world of Saladin and the diplomacy of Richard II in coming to an agreement with him. The Fourth Crusade never made it to Jerusalem because it began attacking fellow Christians in Greece. The Children's Crusade was a group of children who left Europe never to be heard from again. The Seventh and Eighth Crusades were led by Louis IX and barely held a foothold in the Levant against overwhelming odds.

As you see, there is a great deal of Crusading history. I have referred some web sites below.

revolution | Student

The Crusades are a series of religiously sanctioned military campaigns which was organized mostly by the Latin Christian Europe. This military fight was organized in support of restoring Christian control of the Holy Land and Jerusalem, away from Muslim rule during the 16th century.

There were many crusades organized during the long period of time, but I only named a few, mostly the first six one to the maximum.

The First Crusade, organized during the years of 1096-1099, with the Pope rallying all the Christians to join the war against the Turks, in reward of the cleansing of their sins. They fight to regain lost territories in their empire. They finally at the end of the campaign reclaimed Jerusalem.

In the Second Crusade, during the year 1101,  Edessa was retaken by the Muslims. It ended in failure due to the poor vision and judgment of Louis VII of France.

In the Third Crusade, Pope Clement was the organizer and the capture of Accra Town was completed

In the Forth Crusade, Pope Innocent organized the crusade, to invade the Holy Land through Egypt.

giorgiana1976 | Student

Definition of a Crusade - Christian Military Expedition against Mussulman states or heretics.

Display of Crusades - XI - XIII centuries, Europe and Asia.

Crusades Causes:

  • politics:  affirmation of Seljuk Turks and their conquering campaigns;
  • religious:  Seljuk Turks obstructed the pilgrimages to holy lands;

The Number of Crusades:

Crusade I (1096-1099): Preaching at the Council of Clermont,in 1095, Pope Urban II proclaimed the First Crusade to regain the Holy Land.

At the first Crusade participate forces from Germany, Italy and France.The First Crusade conquered a narrow strip of land stretching from Antioch to Jerusalem. It was created the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem.

Crusade II (1147-1149): Edessa is conquered by Muslims. In the Second Crusade, participate the king of France, Ludovic the VIIth and the german Emperor, Conrad the IIIrd. The Second Crusade ends with a failure.

Crusade III (1189-1192): Saladin, the Kurdish sultan of Egypt and Syria, conquers Jerusalem. Pope Clement IIIrd is the organizer of the Third Crusade. In the Third Crusade, participate the king of France,Filip IInd, the King of England,Richard the Lion-Heart, the german Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa. The Accra town is conquered.

Crusade IV (1202-1204): Pope Innocent III is the organizer.