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What Problems Did The Kingdom Of Jerusalem Face In The Period 1174-1187?

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Introduction

´╗┐Ben Jacques ________________ What Problems Did The Kingdom Of Jerusalem Face In The Period 1174-1187 From 1174 the Kingdom of Jerusalem waned until its eventual fall to Saladin. It faced a number of problems from Amalric?s death that saw that its demise was inescapable. It had a series of weak and distracted rulers that damaged political stability, it faced economic and military pressures, however most importantly it faced the threat of a united Muslim front under Saladin. A series of weak and short ruling kings weakened Jerusalem and wore away at political stability. Historians have argued that those who succeeded Amalric from his death in 1174 were weak and unworthy of Jerusalem?s throne. Runciman says Amalric was ?The last king of Jerusalem worthy of his throne?. ...read more.

Middle

Jerusalem also suffered from financial problems. The continued expansion of Crusader land in years before them had provided the Crusaders with an economic float on which to build their interests. For example the invasion of Egypt in 1167 provided both extra opportunities for tax and also the loot and plunder that came with such operations. Trade began to suffer also with the re-emergence of the Egyptian navy, Acre and Tripoli were targeted by Saladin and the Frank?s naval supremacy and trade monopoly began to fade across the Holy Land. Most attempts made during Baldwin?s reign to expand territory failed for example in 1179 his castle at Jacobs Ford was sacked and destroyed by Saladin after only being constructed months beforehand. The stagnant economic condition of the crusader states meant they could not afford to raise armies with mercenaries and reliance on patronage and coalition armies left ...read more.

Conclusion

Saladin used these attacks to opportunistically weaken Frank power and plunder their land. Even if Saladin was not engaged in harassing the Franks then he was strengthening his empire that already cast a shadow over Jerusalem. Saladin posed a major threat to Jerusalem who maintained an uneasy state of appeasement as they grew weaker and Saladin grew stronger. In conclusion from 1174 the Kingdom of Jerusalem faced a deadly combination of threats and problems that were weak leadership, financial and military incapability and the unopposed expansion of Saladin?s empire and military capabilities. I believe the biggest problem they faced was Saladin however this was clouded by their other issues and an illusion that split Crusader minds that appeasement would lead to co-existence or that attacking Saladin would lead to their prevail. Jerusalem saw its destruction and chose to concentrate on infighting and bitter arguments rather than face such a threat. ...read more.

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