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The First Crusade was called by Pope Urban II, who granted indulgences to anyone who would take up arms to drive the Turks from Jerusalem and, ostensibly, to relieve the Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus from pressure from Turkish invaders. The Crusade occurred in several waves beginning in 1096. The first wave, the so-called "Peasant's Crusade" met disaster at the hands of the Turks in 1096. The second wave, led by nobles from Normandy, Lorraine, Italy, and Flanders, had more success. They drove the Turks from Anatolia and captured the stronghold of Antioch before invading and capturing Palestine and Jerusalem itself in 1099. The result of this Crusade was that several Crusader principalities were set up in the upper Levant, including Jerusalem. These Crusader states would become prime targets for resurgent Turkish forces in the years that followed, leading to the Second and Third Crusades.

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