What were crusades in the middle ages?
The holy war … the crusades. Yes, sounds quite heavy right. This term makes a whole package for students to sail through several chapters in their respective history books. The crusades are known as a colossal phenomenal paradigm in the modern times.
But it had its own and very different significance in the then contemporary period, the middle ages. The eight consecutive wars fought have left their marks on the pages of history and acted as paradigmatic change in the medieval era in aspects of a changed society, changed culture, influence upon religion and language too.
The economic and political changes were quite evidently visible too.
The crux of crusades:
When geographic locations considered religious places and holy sites by both the Islams and the Christians, the lands became apple of discord and hence, to settle this matter of dispute, both the war blooded medieval religious groups waged war against each other to grasp over the lands and claim their ownership over those lands.
Yes this might just seem to all of us just a petty case of land and property tussle and conflict, but this series of wars, was definitely the cause of a greater reason that involved the medieval sentiments especially when entangled with religious dictums, societal protocols and the rigidity of those days when there was no democratic law and order established or no statue of Liberty to make law equal for all.
The impact of the successive wars was blood curdling, and jaw dropping. The bloody wars took away so many lives and decimated considerable portions of property and architecture too. The crusades are never seen as a battle lost or won, but it has its far reaching impact.
In fact termed as a mere battle is not sufficient for it as well , rather crusades is an umbrella term which included not only religious pandemonium but also cultural changes , language exchange , development in war techniques and much more .
Inter mingling of languages, thoughts, food, weapons took place and this enmeshing effect is really a constructive effect of the crusades. Starting from 1096 the wars dissolved around 1291. This huge span of time did make a whole lot of difference in the societal currents, socio economic, cultural and political domains.
The successive wars:
The first crusade ensured the fall of Jerusalem where as the second one added Damascus to the empire of Nur al-din. The third crusade ended with a truce that re-established the empire of Jerusalem. The fourth war brought about the fall of Constantinople.
The fifth, sixth and seventh crusade wars were consequential battles that led the Christians to wage war against Egypt but every time surrender to the Muslim army. The crumbing papal authority and the reformation ushering in led to the crusades comes to an end. This paved the way for the rise of the Mamluks in the region.