The Fourth Crusade

Essay by BigRayJunior High, 9th gradeA-, June 2004

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The Fourth Crusade started on November 10, 1202 by the wealthy merchants of Venice through April 11, 1204 when Constantinople was destroyed. The main cause of The Fourth Crusade was due to religious fanaticism. The Fourth Crusade was also significant to history because it had economic and religious effects on the world. The crusade increased commerce between the East and West. Mercantilism resulted with the trade between Syria and Europe. Though the Fourth Crusade increased commerce, it also established a tradition of hatred between the Roman catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

The Fourth Crusade started out as a mission of Pope Innocent III, to establish one unified Christian church as the leader of the world, having Jerusalem as its capital city. His plan did not turn out to be as successful as he intended. From attacking the city of Zara to attacking Constantinople, the Pope's crusaders did not follow his instructions at all! The French lords, who the pope placed in charge of the crusade, joined with the Venetians to attack ports and trade centers in the Byzantine empire instead of enemies of Christianity in Egypt.

By the time Constantinople was sacked by the crusaders, the Byzantine Empire which had stood for nine centuries fell apart, resulting in many consequences.

One of the economic effects which the Fourth crusade resulted in was the increased commerce between the East and the West. Town life in the west flourished due to the increased commerce. The increased commerce was a good thing to the Europeans who wanted wealth and a better economy but it was bad in the crusaders' eyes since they believed that money was evil.

Europeans learned from the Moslems about Mercantilism which is moving goods from a place of abundance to a place of scarcity. The European economy boomed...