The context for the Crusades comes from a fragmented Islamic world. Fatimidball and Seljukball had been fighting each other for a while. The conflict between the two resulted in a period of instability throughout the region, which led to a high level of banditry and crime, which was reflected in the lack of security for Christianballs who made pilgrimage to Jerusalemcube, who ended up being attacked and victims of robbers. Seljukball was loyal to Abbasidball, which represented Sunni Islam, while Fatimidball was Ismaili Shia.
Despite the differences between Fatimidball and Abbasidball, both were allies of Byzantine Empireball, that used to also have good relations with Seljukball, having previously even employed them to defend its borders. However, Seljukball began to have problems from within with Nizari Ismaili Stateball, who exhausted it and assassinated its leaders, bringing to power a series of independent leaders who began to attack Byzantine Empireball without measuring the consequences.
Even though Byzantine Empireball was having problems in the East, in the West, the Christendom was in total expansion. As said before, the Islamic world was fragmented, but not only that, it was also in refraction. Emirate of Sicilyball had been completely surrendered by Normanballs who established File:County of Sicily-icon.png County of Sicilyball, that started to attack Byzantine Empireball. And in the Iberian peninsula, Alfonso VI of Kingdom of Castileball and Kingdom of Leonball had subjected all the Muslim Kingdomballs and Taifaballs.
Being then in serious problemas, having to deal with invasions from non-Muslim nomads from the Asian steppes, from the Normanballs File:County of Sicily-icon.png County of Sicilyball, and now, from Seljukball, Byzantine Empireball asked Papal Statesball and the Western Christianballs for help.
The First Crusade had its origins when Byzantine Empireball asked the Western Christianballs to send them mercenaries to help them fighting against Seljukball and Sultanate of Rumball. Nevertheless, the Western Europeans had plans that went ahead of just helping Byzantine Empireball. They decided to launch a holy war not only to face Seljukball in Anatolia, but to conquer the entirety of the Levant, which would give economic, political, and religious advantages to Western Europe, that was still suffering internally from poverty and other crisis effects dating back from a period of decentralization and fragmentation.
Even counting on their help to fight Seljukball, Byzantine Empireball was still skeptical of the Crusaders, mainly because a lot of them were Normanballs who before the Crusades were attempting to take over its territory. Byzantine Empireball also had no interest in participating in the Crusaders' campaign in the Levant, having stopped at Antioch as it was allied with Fatimidball. Meanwhile the Western Crusaders continued on to Jerusalemcube.
In this context of division and internal fights within Muslim countryballs, the First Crusade was a success both in Anatolia and the Levant, who conquered the holy city of Jerusalemcube and other territories. The enemies of the Crusaders had all been weakened significantly before, Fatimidball had retaken Jerusalemcube from Seljukball just a year before the Crusaders took the city, and Seljukball was devastated after dealing with Nizari Ismaili Stateball.
The aftermath of the First Crusade was a period of expansion attempts for the Western Christianball, while for the Muslimballs it was for reorganization. The successive Crusader expansions were mainly along the coast of modern-day Lebanonball, where they founded states such as the County of Tripoliball. But still, the Crusaders failed to win over Seljukball in Syriaball, which allowed Muslimballs forces to counterattack. Zengidball obtained a series of victories against the Crusaders, managing to destroy the County of Edessaball.
The Second Crusade was the European Christian response to the overthrown of the County of Edessaball by Zengidball during the Siege of Edessa. However, the crusade proved to be a complete failure for the European Christians, who failed to resurrect the County of Edessaball and still lost more territories and battles to the Muslims forces in Anatolia. In the Iberian peninsula, however, the Crusaders obtained some victories in the long war that was the Reconquest.
Byzantine Empireball was initially happy with the fall of County of Edessaball as Zengidball sold them some of its former territories. However, their joy was short-lived as Sultanate of Rumball later launched an attack, forcing Byzantine Empireball to negotiate and sign a truce with it.
In the Middle East still, to further worsen the situation for the European Christians, the Crusaders and Byzantines' defeats placed Jerusalemcube in an extremely vulnerable position, that would later make it an easy target for Sultan Saladin, who took control over Zengidball and founded Ayyubidball following the disintegration of Fatimidball and failed Crusader invasions of Egypt.
Ayyubidball launched in the aftermath of the Crusade a campaign against the Crusader states of the Levant, which culminated in the destruction of Principality of Galileeball and the Lordship of Oultrejordainball, also in a considerable reduction of the territory of the Kingdom of Jerusalemball. The bulk of the Crusader forces in the region were defeated during the Battle of Hattin, which its aftermath allowed the Muslims to retake Jerusalemcube, following the Siege of Jerusalem (1187).
The Third Crusade was the European response to the Muslim reconquest of the holy city of Jerusalemcube by Ayyubidball and weakening of the Crusader forces in the region. It was headed by Angevin Empireball under Richard the Lionheart. The main objective of the Crusade failed because the Crusaders were not able to recover Jerusalemcube, however, the European Christians were able to restore the power of the remaining weakened Crusader states in the region and prevent them from falling to Ayyubidball.
The Fourth Crusade was a Crusade and invasion with the original purpose of invading Jerusalemcube, which was under the possession of Ayyubidball. After several events had occurred the Crusaders ended in sacking the capital of the Orthodox Christian-controlled Byzantine Empireball and Zadarball. Constantinopleball was sacked by the Crusaders, and Byzantine Empireball was divided, with the creation of the Latin Empireball in Constantinopleball. Even though Papal Statesball condemned the Sack of Constantinople, it was complicit with the new status quo thinking that this would favor the reunification of the Catholic and Orthodox churches, but it couldn't be more wrong, as this only consolidated the separation..
The Fifth Crusade was launched by the Papal Statesball in order to take Egyptball, where Ayyubidball was based in. However, the Crusade's objective failed, first the Crusaders refused to negotiate terms with Ayyubidball, then when they attacked Egyptian cities, after being for a while in the advantage, they ended up suffering one massive defeat that forced them to surrender. An agreement was made, so the Crusaders could be withdrawn from Egyptball alive, an eight-year truce was also signed on account of the defeat. The emperor Frederick II of the Holy Roman Empireball ended up excommunicated by the Papal Statesball for not having sent reinforcements.
The Sixth Crusade was launched by the Holy Roman Empireball, which claimed its rights over Cyprusball and Jerusalemcube, but had no support from Papal Statesball, as it was still angry with Holy Roman Empireball since the last Crusade, in which Papal Statesball blamed Holy Roman Empireball for its failure. Papal Statesball then began to attack the lands of Holy Roman Empireball. The European Christians would not gain anything militarily, Emperor Frederick || of Holy Roman Empireball gained popularity with Ayyubidball and the entire of the Islamic world as well for strengthening discourse with them, which caused Jerusalemcube to return to Christian command through diplomatic agreements, in return the Muslims would be tolerated and have their freedom of worship guaranteed in the holy city.
However, this agreement didn't please Papal Statesball that excommunicated Frederick again. Which had effects in the leadership of Kingdom of Jerusalemball, that returned with the enmity between Crusaders and Muslims. Ayyubidball then invited the remnants of Khwarazmianball, that had been defeated by Mongol Empireball, to retake Jerusalemcube. After a siege, the holy city returned to Muslim control in 1244.
Kingdom of Jerusalemball would try to fight back against Ayyubidball and their allied Khwarazmianball by calling Templar Orderball and Hospitaller Orderball to war. The hustle led to the Battle of La Forbie, where the Crusaders were ultimately defeated by the joint Ayyubid-Khwarazmian forces. This would led Papal Statesball to call for a new Crusade.
The Seventh Crusade was launched by the Kingdom of Franceball, being motivated by Ayyubidball and Khwarazmianball reclaiming the holy city of Jerusalemcube and defeating Crusader forces in Gazaball. Kingdom of Franceball took advantage of Mongol Empireball inflicting several damages on the Eastern Muslims to attack. The target of the Crusader's attacks was Egyptball, which would serve as the basis for the conquest of the whole Levant. The Crusade was going well until when they tried to take Cairoball, a flood of the Nile resulted in many casualties to the Crusader forces, which were followed by a series of Crusader defeats and Ayyubidball victories. After the Crusaders of Kingdom of Franceball suffered several casualties, their king was captured and made prisoner along with many others, with a high quantity of money being demanded to be paid so he and other Crusader prisoners could be released. The release was paid, but the war had already been lost, as well as everything they had conquered in Egyptball.
The Eighth Crusade was another Crusade launched by the Kingdom of Franceball that as well as the previous one, ended up in a complete failure. Kingdom of Franceball intended to convert Hafsidball Sultan and followers to Christianity, then Hafsidball said they didn't want them there and prepared themselves for war. When Kingdom of Franceball arrived in Tunisiaball, the battles didn't even begin and the army of Kingdom of Franceball was devastated by a plague that took over the region, among the many who died, the Kingdom of Franceball king and his sons were among the casualties. The Crusaders were then forced to left the region. Meanwhile, trade with Tunisball was opened.
The Ninth Crusade was launched by the Crusaders to try to contain Mamlukball advances. After defeating the Ilkhanateball of the Mongol Empireball at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, Mamlukball focused all of its forces on fighting the Crusader states of the region. Mamlukball was really putting a lot of effort into the anti-Crusader struggle, they had considerably reduced the territory of Kingdom of Jerusalemball, massacred Templar Orderball in Safed, and after a siege, had the Principality of Antiochball destroyed in 1268. Kingdom of Englandball was the one commanding the Crusade against Mamlukball, but after many battles and clashes that achieved limited victories, Kingdom of Englandball realized it was only wasting time, and so a ten-year truce between Mamlukball and the Crusaders were signed.
Nevertheless, Mamlukball would continue advancing and taking Crusaders territories in the following years, which would result in the fall of all of the remaining Crusader states of the Levant. The County of Tripoliball fell in siege in 1289, and the Kingdom of Jerusalemball in 1291 respectively after the Siege of Acre.
Fourth Crusade part one
Fourth Crusade part two
Fourth Crusade part three
The Crusades in a nutshell