Why weren't Crusaders Kingdoms under the Germanic and French crown?


Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
Royal authority in the west was weak. The German emperors were embattled from the Investiture Contest and in any case constantly faced major challenges from their own nobles. Royal authority in western Frankia was on the ascent, but the Capetians had only been on the throne for a century and had to contend with powerful nobles in Champagne, Aquitaine, and the south who could present a serious block on royal power. Only from the second half of the twelfth century does their authority became more solid, especially under the reign of Philip II. Worth checking out is Baldwin, The Government of Philip II Augustus (University of California Press, 1986).


Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
Most of the time it seems a Royal family was quite happy so see ambitious and capable men using their wealth to attack some far off land- it brought prestige to the land the conqueror hailed from with success and often ruined the noble who failed, leaving a political vacuum a capable King could find quite useful. Also very often the family houses which found success sought legitimacy in a high status political marriage often bringing their lands back into the orbit if rarely the outright authority of a royal family's lesser lineages.

There is also the idea that the Byzantine Emperor had authority over the lands the Crusaders conquered- afterall that was why the Crusades were organized- specifically to protect the holy places for Christian pilgrims and restore the rule of a Christian Emperor. The first important split in the Crusader ranks was over how far to swear obedience to the Byzantine Emperor and how the spoils won should be partitioned between the victorious army and the Byzantine's who did in fact manage a lot of logistical support even if it was less than the Crusaders wanted.
Jul 2017
This isn't CK2, is basically the answer here. How could you expect the French king to manage and rule over a crusader state in the Middle-East? The Romans found it extremely difficult, let alone a fuedal state in the middle-ages.
Likes: Gvelion


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
Godfrey de Bouillon refused the crown of Jerusalem , stating that Christ was the only one king in Jerusalem
Tancred was a Normand pirate from Soth Italy , so was Bohemont , while Raymond of Toulouse had left forever his rich duchy
with the firm intention to make his own crusading kingdom out of religious duty

the crusades were not organised by the kings or Emperor ,
it was essentially a private volunteers adventure under the nebulous authority of the Pope who had the prerogative to grant the tittle of King


Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
Technicaly they were sort of under the Pope. (at least in Papel eyes)

IIRC (thugh vague ) though late in the peice they was some sort of scheme to offer the crown top the German Emperor (who then nominate a proxy) but I think it ws refused. But vague memeory from long ago.


Ad Honorem
Sep 2011

Did the Crusader nobles simply break off and form their own kingdom? Could they do such a thing?
Yes. They controlled the town, the land and the people on it eventually. Sure they could declare themselves kingdom, and appoint whom they thought most deserving/appropriate king.

The open question was less what some king or another back home might say about it, but rather what the Holy Mother Church in Rome would take as its view?Considering they had just liberated the holiest place in Christendom from the non-Christians, that wasn't really a hard sell though.

Eventually the Kingdom of Jerusalem DID pass to the Holy Roman Emperor (of the German Nation) Fredrick II Hohenstaufen in 1229. It was one of weirder crusades. Fredrick II had taken ill while preparing to sail from Bari in southern Italy (he was king of that too), and for his troubles he had then been excommunicated by the Pope (who didn't trust him). On arriving in Palestine he managed to convince the military orders to still back his crusade, but since he was excommunicated they had to follow half a day's march behind Fredrick's retinue. Which wasn't really a proper army, since Fredrick in advance had negotiated with the Egyptian Sultan than Jerusalem and twelve villages would be ceded peacefully to him (one of the villages being Bethlehem too). So Fredrick took possession of Jerusalem, in the capacity of husband of the heiress to the throne of Jerusalem, Yolande de Brienne. But she had recently died. And he was still excommunicated by the Pope. So in the end Fredrick ended up crowning himself King of Jerusalem in the Church of the Nativity. That wasn't popular with the Papacy, and so what next happened was that papal legate in Palestine turned up and placed the Church of the Nativity under Interdict – which rather shocked contemporaries since it was and action ending up damn close to excommunicating Christ himself...

At that point Fredrick had to hastily depart back to his kingdom in southern Italy. It turned out his estranged father-in-law, Jean de Brienne, former king of Jerusalem AND emperor of the Byzantine Empire of the West (after a crusading army captured Constantinopolis and the Byzantine Empire in 1204), had allied himself with the Pope was in command of a Papal army was busy laying waste to Fredrick's kingdom. So he had to get back home and stop that. Jerusalem and the twelve villages however remained in the hands of the Holy Roman Empire for fifteen years, until captured by a Muslim offensive in 1244.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
There also were the crusading orders , who were a law unto themselves
the knights of the Hospital protected hashishin villages and used them as suicidal hit-men
while the Templars were the trusted bankers of the whole middle East from Mosul to Damascus
their political treachery the exact opposite from their unimpeachable business reputation