The Fourth Crusade Essay Research Paper The

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The Fourth Crusade Essay, Research Paper The Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade is one of the most important of all the major crusades. It is thought to be one of the simpler crusades and to not be very important. It is easily misunderstood, and is actually a very complex and important crusade.After failing to recover Jerusalem by the end of the Third Crusade, the pope began to talk about a new crusade, the Fourth Crusade. Several events happened in Constantinople would then cause the Fourth Crusade to take a turn away from Palestine. The Fourth Crusade did not recover Jerusalem or Palestine. The Crusaders ended by attacking Constantinople, driving out the Byzantine Emperor, and placing one of their own in the capital of Constantine. Emperors were a large part of the cause of

the Fourth Crusade. The Comnenus family ruled Byzantium. The last emperor of that family was Andronicus Comnenus. He took the throne, in 1182. He was a bad ruler and the people of Constantinople rioted and killed Andronicus. He was succeeded by Isaac II Angelus. (Bradford, 38)Isaac had his hands full and a few years later Frederick Hohenstaufen of France marched through his lands with a huge army; Isaac was too weak of an Emperor to stop Frederick from taking Adrianople and Philippopolis. In the end, Frederick continued on, but only after Isaac granted him everything he wanted. In April of 1195, his brother Alexius III seized the throne and had Isaac blinded. (Bradford, 39) To continue on with the Crusades, Henry VI of Germany was then thinking about asking for a new crusade.

Henry wanted to take over Constantinople and then attack Jerusalem. This scheme never got off the ground because Henry died in 1197. (Bradford, 38)In 1197, however, the Holy Roman Empire was in no position to do much of anything. Henry VI had been important but he was now deceased and his son was only an infant. Since his son was in no position to rule, in Germany there promptly rose two rivals: Philip of Swabia and Otto of Brunswick. Neither of them considered on going on a Crusade. They might lend support but not much more. The Pope, Innocent III suggested that Otto should start the crusade and that he would support him. (Bradford, 38)Innocent III decided instead of Otto that he should control the next Crusade because everyone else who had been chosen for the crusades had

failed to recover Jerusalem. He issued his crusading letter in August of 1198, sending it to all the archbishops of the West. He asked for recruits not only from kings and emperors but also from cities. The archbishops and bishops also contributed soldiers, or an equivalent amount in money.Innocent set the original date for the Crusade for March 1199, but no one left. Preachers preached, Innocent wrote more letters and tried to raise money, but still nothing much happened. Only in November of 1199 did the first significant lords take the cross and get enough men for it to be considered an army. (Knox, 4) Almost immediately, Innocent began to lose control of the Crusade. The Crusaders from all over Europe were supposed to assemble at Venice. The Venetians said they would provide

the ships to transport the Crusaders to the Holy Land. The ships would not be free. The crusaders had to use Venice because they were the only ones capable of building enough ships to carry the Crusaders. From that moment on, the course of events were affected far more by Venice than by the Pope. To create a strong army for the Crusades a tournament was held in Champagne in November 1199 to see who should become a Crusader. The tournament was held by count Theobald. As part of the festivities, Count Theobald and Count Louis of Blois took the cross, to symbolize Christianity and the men from the tournament, and became the first Crusader army. As word spread of their deed, other lords took crosses. Theobald’s older brother, Henry, had participated in the Third Crusade and had