The Crusades were Europe's version for "holy wars" during the Middle

Ages. The official First Crusade began in 1096-1099. The First Crusade conquered
a strip of land along the eastern coast of the Mediteranean about 500 miles long
and averaging 40 miles wide. This European foothold in the Middle East was
divided into four little kingdoms; the county of edessa, the Principality of

Antioch, the County of Tripoli and the kingdom of Jerusalem this kingdoms were
ruled by the Muslims soon recognized and began to reconquer this territory. The

Second Crusade started in 1147-1149. The Christian forces in the Holy Land grew
weak. In 1144, the Turks conquered the county of Edessa. The threat to the other

Christian states brought about the Second Crusade. The spirited preachings of
the French religious leader Bernard of Ccclairvaux inspired Western Europeans to
defend the Latin States agains the Muslims. King Louis VII of France and King

Conrad III of Germany led the armies of the Second Crusade into Asia Minor, but
their armies did not coperate, and the Muslims forces defeated them before they
reached Edessa. The Third Crusade sterted in 1189-1192. The Muslims continued to
attack the Christians in the Holy Land. By 1183, Saladin, the master of Egypt
and Syria, had united the Muslims areas around the Latin States. In 1887,

Saladin 1 easily defeated a Christian army at the Batlle of the Horns of Hattin,
and entered Jerusalem. Only the coastal cities of Tyre, Tripoli, and Antioch
remained in Christian hands. The loss of Jerusalem led to the Third Crusade. The
important European leaders of the Third Crusade included the German emperor Fre*censored*

I (called Barbara), King Richard I (the Lion-Hearted) of England, and King

Phillip II (Augustus) of France. Richard the Lionheart the English King known
for his love of Crusades to the Holy land. Richard's action earned him the name

Lion-Hearted. Richard actually spent only six months in England out of his ten
years as a King. In this absence the nobles grew in power, but thanks to the
stable goverment that Henry II ( his father), had established, England fared
well even without her crusading King. Some of the legends of Robin Hood, the
infamous outlaw of Sherwwod Forest, are set in the control of Richard I and his
brother John. The Third Crusade having failed in its importance objective of
recovering Jerusalem, the popes almost began preaching a new crusade. This
turned out to take longer than anyone wanted, for a variety of reasons. By the
time a new crusade was really under way,soon after the turn of the
century,events were preparation in Constantinople that would cause the Fourth

Crusade to take a dramatic turn away from Palestine. The Fourth Crusade did not
recover jerusalem in 2 fact, it never even made it to Outremer: rather, the

Crusdes ended by attacking Constantiple, driving out the Byzantine Emperor, and
installing one of their own in the ancient capital of constatinople.