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Old June 12th, 2018, 09:05 PM   #1

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Crusader States


I'd like to see what each of you has to say, if you find the crusades interesting, on what would have made the crusades overall successful?

What I've found is that it seems that the crusader states were plagued by the same divisive strife that plagued Europe. Would they have been successful if they would have found a leader to give them a new identity? Or was it that they were overall unsuccessful due to environment and lack of adaptability?
I'm interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.
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Old June 12th, 2018, 11:52 PM   #2

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Regarding the so called "Crusader States", it would be better to consider them in their own historical context.

First of all, it was a period of migrations of aggressive settlers who travelled through the seas to conquer far lands. Before of the Normans, also Arabs did it in the Mediterranean Sea. And we should note that among the leaders of the Crusades there were Normans … so they did in Canaan what they did in many other coastal regions.

The second contextual aspect to keep in mind is that in that period “states” didn’t last so long [this is important when we ponder if the Crusader States were successful or not].

The Kingdom of Jerusalem lasted about 190 years and the Princedom of Antioch lasted about 170 years. The Arab domain in Sicily [just before that Normans arrived] lasted about 260 years, to make a comparison. And btw, in the period of the Crusades Normans were creating a Kingdom in Sicily where they had settled in XI century.

I tend to think that when the Crusade had announced Normans saw an occasion to settle in other lands, to get power, to gain richness … they probably considered it natural to take part to that “adventure”.

As for the main goal of the Crusades they were indeed successful: Jerusalem became Christian and crusaders kept it for decades and decades. Evidently it was improbable to keep it when the local Muslim powers found a way to organize a wide effort to conquer it again. It was the division of the Arab world which allowed the crusaders to succeed.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 01:10 AM   #3

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Have you read the thread currently 4 tiles down about how successful they were?
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Old June 13th, 2018, 01:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
Regarding the so called "Crusader States", it would be better to consider them in their own historical context.

First of all, it was a period of migrations of aggressive settlers who travelled through the seas to conquer far lands. Before of the Normans, also Arabs did it in the Mediterranean Sea. And we should note that among the leaders of the Crusades there were Normans … so they did in Canaan what they did in many other coastal regions.

The second contextual aspect to keep in mind is that in that period “states” didn’t last so long [this is important when we ponder if the Crusader States were successful or not].

The Kingdom of Jerusalem lasted about 190 years and the Princedom of Antioch lasted about 170 years. The Arab domain in Sicily [just before that Normans arrived] lasted about 260 years, to make a comparison. And btw, in the period of the Crusades Normans were creating a Kingdom in Sicily where they had settled in XI century.

I tend to think that when the Crusade had announced Normans saw an occasion to settle in other lands, to get power, to gain richness … they probably considered it natural to take part to that “adventure”.

As for the main goal of the Crusades they were indeed successful: Jerusalem became Christian and crusaders kept it for decades and decades. Evidently it was improbable to keep it when the local Muslim powers found a way to organize a wide effort to conquer it again. It was the division of the Arab world which allowed the crusaders to succeed.
The Crusaders weren't really accompanied by that many settlers. The main reason they failed is because they just didn't have enough knights that settled the new kingdoms.
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Old June 13th, 2018, 02:58 AM   #5

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The Crusaders weren't really accompanied by that many settlers. The main reason they failed is because they just didn't have enough knights that settled the new kingdoms.

We can say that there were temporary crusaders, that is to say warriors who left for a crusade and then they came back home as soon as the military expedition ended.


in any case [always thinking to the context], for example, also in Sicily Normans weren't numerous [or Arabs before of them]. It was the social system of that time to allow to get the control of a territory just conquering the main cities and towns.


Crusaders settled in common numbers. To imagine a real colonization is a bit too much for Middle Ages [in fact colonialism was a later phenomenon].
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Old June 14th, 2018, 02:09 AM   #6

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We can say that there were temporary crusaders, that is to say warriors who left for a crusade and then they came back home as soon as the military expedition ended.
And had a whole different perception of muslims and jews, upsetting the status quo of the interaction between the resident Christians and their neighbours.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 04:07 AM   #7

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And had a whole different perception of muslims and jews, upsetting the status quo of the interaction between the resident Christians and their neighbours.

Indeed.

And among the less or more permanent settlers, some decades after the creation of the Christian States in Middle East, the phenomenon of the religious Knight Orders introduced an other factor of disturb in that already problematic social environment. The geopolitical strategies of the religious orders have been seen more as causes of troubles for the secular authorities in that land than an aid to the survival of the Crusader States.

Even if their outstanding military contribution helped, but probably in singular situations, without a real policy to ensure the existence of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the long term. Overall the impression is that the religious orders wanted to control the area, influencing the authorities and not avoiding to play dirty.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 04:42 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
Regarding the so called "Crusader States", it would be better to consider them in their own historical context.

First of all, it was a period of migrations of aggressive settlers who travelled through the seas to conquer far lands. Before of the Normans, also Arabs did it in the Mediterranean Sea. And we should note that among the leaders of the Crusades there were Normans … so they did in Canaan what they did in many other coastal regions.

The second contextual aspect to keep in mind is that in that period “states” didn’t last so long [this is important when we ponder if the Crusader States were successful or not].

The Kingdom of Jerusalem lasted about 190 years and the Princedom of Antioch lasted about 170 years. The Arab domain in Sicily [just before that Normans arrived] lasted about 260 years, to make a comparison. And btw, in the period of the Crusades Normans were creating a Kingdom in Sicily where they had settled in XI century.

I tend to think that when the Crusade had announced Normans saw an occasion to settle in other lands, to get power, to gain richness … they probably considered it natural to take part to that “adventure”.

As for the main goal of the Crusades they were indeed successful: Jerusalem became Christian and crusaders kept it for decades and decades. Evidently it was improbable to keep it when the local Muslim powers found a way to organize a wide effort to conquer it again. It was the division of the Arab world which allowed the crusaders to succeed.
Those lands were Christian before being Muslim.
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Old June 14th, 2018, 05:39 PM   #9

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The Crusaders weren't really accompanied by that many settlers. The main reason they failed is because they just didn't have enough knights that settled the new kingdoms.
I somewhat agree on the basis that the feudal system seemed to hurt the occupation and pacification of the Levant. The auxiliaries which were normally made up of lower class peasants, even some serfs had grown to look to the nobility and knights for leadership. So when that leadership crumbled or was defeated, ones military and even society would be easily conquered. In my opinion.

A good source of evidence supporting your supposition would be when Bailan knighted anyone he could to defend Jerusalem. [A great read if you get a chance is Saladin by John Man]. Yet was it just because they did not have enough persons in the higher military/societal aspects i.e. knights or was it that enough people did not move to the crusades permanently from Europe? I have to admit I believe what you stated is a key factor to the overall failure.

Quote:
Crusaders settled in common numbers. To imagine a real colonization is a bit too much for Middle Ages [in fact colonialism was a later phenomenon].
I would have to agree here and say that colonization was not out of the realm for those in medieval Europe. If one looks to the Norse, they colonized and in fact early English and Frank monarchies pacified the Vikings by providing them with land and settlements. The Normans, who you have quoted as being one if not the main influencers in the crusades would have been well aware of the Norse settlements.

So I'll pose a question to you. Was it do to a lack of Europeans that the crusader states ultimately failed i.e. colonies?

Last edited by Wrierhans; June 14th, 2018 at 05:44 PM.
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Old June 15th, 2018, 12:24 AM   #10

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Originally Posted by Wrierhans View Post
I somewhat agree on the basis that the feudal system seemed to hurt the occupation and pacification of the Levant. The auxiliaries which were normally made up of lower class peasants, even some serfs had grown to look to the nobility and knights for leadership. So when that leadership crumbled or was defeated, ones military and even society would be easily conquered. In my opinion.

A good source of evidence supporting your supposition would be when Bailan knighted anyone he could to defend Jerusalem. [A great read if you get a chance is Saladin by John Man]. Yet was it just because they did not have enough persons in the higher military/societal aspects i.e. knights or was it that enough people did not move to the crusades permanently from Europe? I have to admit I believe what you stated is a key factor to the overall failure.



I would have to agree here and say that colonization was not out of the realm for those in medieval Europe. If one looks to the Norse, they colonized and in fact early English and Frank monarchies pacified the Vikings by providing them with land and settlements. The Normans, who you have quoted as being one if not the main influencers in the crusades would have been well aware of the Norse settlements.

So I'll pose a question to you. Was it do to a lack of Europeans that the crusader states ultimately failed i.e. colonies?

Well, technically [a part the numbers involved] those moves of populations were invasions, not colonizations yet. The difference is simple: proper colonization happens when a power of any kind conquers a far land and send citizens to settle there. When the Normans conquered Sicily they didn't declare Sicily a colony of a Norman power in the North.


Anyway, it's correct to see something similar to colonialism in what happened in that historical period [a part the institutional aspects]. And regarding the Christian States in Middle Easts matters of kin connected them with the powers in Europe.


And focusing the attention on Norman clans ... this map shows where they dominated around 1130 CE [England, Normandy and some Crusader States] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman...century-fr.png.
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