• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent did the lack of Muslim unity assist the Crusaders in winning their victories?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent did the lack of Muslim unity assist the Crusaders in winning their victories? 24 Marks Muslim disunity certainly contributed to the success of the crusaders, however this was only a part of the overall reasons for their victories. By 1079, the overall object for the First Crusade, Jerusalem, was in control of the Christian Crusaders; which was in itself was a the major success of its time. The planning which all went into the First Crusade, the timely reinforcements, and the help of the Byzantine Empire were all major factors that contributed to the success. There was a divide within the Muslims, especially when involving politics, but also a religious element in Islam. This led to internal problems and wars, and the many leaders that this affected used their armies and power against each other. His was in itself a distraction from what could have been used as a strong, united Muslim army against the Christian crusaders. However because of the diffraction from within the power struggling Turks, this was prevented from happening and essentially helped the crusaders in their victories at strategic cities, such as Antioch and eventually Jerusalem. ...read more.


Ridwan of Aleppo brought his army to aid the city when surrounded by the crusaders, only for it to be ambushed by them in February 1098, as the army of his brother Kerbogha of Mosul approached. There was a disunity apparent within the siblings themselves, even within the intention of them travelling to Antioch. Kerbogha insisted on attempting a siege of the city, as it seemed that he believed if he conquered Antioch he'd have a chance of taking control of the throne of the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad, where the political system was in turmoil. It resulted in a full attack with the Franks who had by this time taken over the city, in which as it moved as an advantage to the crusaders, the Muslims abandoned the losing battle. Although Kerbogha's army was built up of an impressive size, it still had a very fatal weakness; a lack of one Muslim leader. It was built up of many Syrian amirs', which none of them wanted to see Mosul establish a somewhat control over them, which was the aim of Kerbogha, which resulted in there being many conspiracies against his leadership. ...read more.


Extracting oaths from the principal figures that any conquests would be handed over to him, he provided supplies, additional troops and targets. There is also a great importance in the strength and power of the Crusaders aiding success. An example of this was at the Damascus, where it was in fact the skill and underestimation of the crusaders that won the battle. The experienced leadership of some of the crusaders, such as that of Bohemond and Raymond of Toulouse also had an important impact on determining a great success. A combination of their skill and knowledge, and ability to inspire their men proved successful in their intentions. It seems that Muslim disunity and later the lack of preparation of the Fatimids when they had to defend Jerusalem, certainly contributed to the success' of the Crusade and was perhaps the most significant factor. However it seems crusading historiography has tended to overlook the part played by the crusaders in their own victory. That victory was achieved by a combination of determination, religious conviction and leadership which was crucial in holding the army together alongside intelligent strategy and skill in fighting. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. To what extent was the Third Crusade a defeat for the Latins?

    The conquest had as Gillingham writes "reaped tremendous awards. Richard was able to gain vast amounts of booty which the previous ruler Ducus Comenus had bee storing during his reign." In addition to this, Richard was further able to impose a fifty percent capital levy on every Cypriot. The conquest of Cyprus had thus been fiscally a tremendous success.

  2. Assess the factors that lead to the defeat of Boudica and the Iceni in ...

    Boudica's army fought to their own detriment in a unruly and unorganised fashion.12 At the beginning of the battle they charged forward in a wild rush relying on the impetus of their charge to break Roman lines. What little cohesion existed amongst Boudica's forces was broken before contact by a

  1. Why did Britain not establish an independant Palestine jointly ruled by Arabs and Jews ...

    is English", while for others this meant a Jewish protectorate or sanctuary located in Palestine. To further complicate matters , when the Sykes-Picot agreement surfaced at the end of WWI Arabs were outraged, since in essence it contradicted the Hussein-McMahon Letters as France and Britain agreed to carve up the recently liberated Arab lands.

  2. William's Victory

    Twice this ruse employed with the utmost success, and then they attacked those that remained with redoubled fury...'. This contemporary source is not entirely true as it is known that even after Harold was killed in battle, his fyrd carried on fighting so the statement that '...not one was left alive...'

  1. To what extent is Arrian's praise of Alexander's leadership justified?

    On inheriting the throne at the age of twenty, his father had already built up a strong and powerful state, with a readily trained and experienced army. Indeed, some historians consequently criticise Alexander on this point, arguing that Alexander's successes are much attributed to the work of his father, thus deterring from Alexander's greatness as a leader.

  2. Maos Leadership was the crucial factor in the Communists winning the 1945 Civil War. ...

    common belief was that ?apathy, defeatism and resentment are spreading fast in Nationalist ranks, causing surrenders and desertion.? The GMD?s army was fast losing soldiers, and with the party in this state it was only too easy for the CCP to take advantage of the situation.

  1. To what extent could the Crusades be described as failure within the years 1095-1195?

    and called to go into war against the infidel Muslims, in order to liberate the Holy Land. In his speech, Pope stressed the sanctity of Jerusalem and Christian relics of Palestine, spoke about the looting and shame that they are subjected by the Turks, and sketched a picture of many

  2. To What Extent Does History show that there is no such thing as absolute ...

    Further to this, Tutankhamen unintentionally limited his own power after restoring Ancient Egypt after his father?s reign. By restoring the Egyptian civilization, re-establishing temples his father had banned, Tutankhamen demanded more power from his great accomplishments, however this detracted his powers as he boosted Egyptian cultures, he created peace and alliances whilst changing the religious culture of Egypt.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work