What orders did the Crusaders establish in the conquered countries? Horror and terror of holy expansion
The history of the Crusaders is a series of bloody events that have become a nightmare both for the knights themselves and for the peoples conquered by them. To blame for all - exorbitant cruelty and barbarism. After all, the gallant image of the conquerors of the East is just a fiction, sung in adventure novels and films. But the real actions of the Crusaders make you think about how sincere their faith was.
Army of the Lord
In the spring of 1095, the Roman Catholic Church, led by Pope Urban II, announced the start of the Crusades. Thanks to this war, the clergy and aristocracy hoped to get the rich lands of the East. As for the common people, they were presented with the version that the main goal of expansion is the return of Christian shrines.
Since the campaigns of the Crusaders demanded large human resources, they took in all those who wished to join them. It did not pay attention to age, strength or moral convictions. It was quite enough that a person is able to hold a shield and a spear in his hand. In addition, active campaigning was carried out during the training period. They promised all the crusaders salary, food, clothing and retirement. For many, it was the only chance not to stretch their legs with hunger and provide for their family.
Therefore, by 1096, the army of holy knights consisted of thousands of fighters. But most of them were led not by faith, but by greed and hopelessness. And it is precisely this fact that played a decisive role in what order the crusaders established in the conquered countries. And why their actions did not have a drop of Christian compassion.
Crusader States in the East
The first crusade, which lasted three years, was very successful for Europeans. They were able to capture not only Jerusalem, but many other eastern lands. Ultimately, four new Crusader states were formed on the territory of the Levant:
- Kingdom of Jerusalem.
- Edessa County
- County Tripoli.
- Principality of Antioch.
They all obeyed different rulers, but equally depended on the Roman Catholic Church. In addition, the territorial boundaries practically did not affect in any way what orders the Crusaders established. In the conquered countries, dictatorship reigned everywhere in relation to the local population — this was the main policy of the usurpers.
Looking ahead, we say that the county of Edessa fell in 1146. The last was the kingdom of Jerusalem, which existed until 1291. Throughout this time, battles constantly broke out between the crusaders and the Muslims. However, the final victory in the end will go to the “soldiers of the crescent”.
What orders did the Crusaders establish in the conquered countries?
As mentioned above, a rigid form of dictatorship was established in all the occupied territories. That is, any disobedience was punished either by prison or by death. In this case, the last option was more likely, since the costs of maintaining the prisoners were not included in the plans of the Crusaders.
It should also be noted that not only Muslims and Jews, but also local Christians were subjected to harassment.And all because the Catholic Church ranked them among the lowest caste of people. Therefore, their killing or becoming slaves was not punishable by law, and for the Crusaders was not at all considered sinful.
If we consider the policy of the invaders in general, we can distinguish the following points:
- Almost all indigenous people were expelled from the cities. Their housing, belongings, etc., were distributed among the crusaders.
- Part of the Muslims was forcibly assigned to farms and gardens. They were supposed to supply the troops of the church. In fact, the entire civilian population gave half of the harvest, regardless of religion.
- All executive power passed to the Crusaders. They could execute anyone who somehow challenged their rights and authority.
- All subjects of the new kingdoms were taxed churchly. If someone could not pay the debt to the "god", then it was sold into slavery.
Consequences of the Crusaders
Of course, there were some advantages to the board of Europeans. First of all, they concluded that the East became the center of trade. Merchants from all lands came here hoping to get their ticket to a happy life.And this trend has not changed even after the Christian invaders were overthrown by the army of Saladin.
However, the order that the crusaders established in the conquered countries is directly related to their future. Their brutality and cruelty led to the fact that they lost absolutely all their allies. Therefore, when the liberation army of Muslims appeared on the horizon, almost the entire civilian population of the East took the side of the “crescent”. Subsequently, the Crusaders were defeated and driven out of the Muslim lands.