Kings, Popes, and Crusades:

High Politics in the High Middle Ages

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William the Conqueror

Richard the Lionhearted Executes the The Saracens in the Holy Land, 2nd Crusade

Christian Crusaders Massacre

European Jews in Mainz, 1096



     How did royal power expand and become more centralized in England and France after 1100?  Why were the Holy Roman Emperors of Germany unable to do the same?

     How did papal power and political influence grow during the Middle Ages?

     What motivated the Crusades?  What was their historical legacy?


Key Terms

1) Henry II and Thomas Beckett                                    6) Pope Urban II

2) Holy Roman Empire                                                  7) First Crusade

3) Gregory VII                                                               8) Albigensian Crusade

4) Lay Investiture and the Investiture Controversy 9) Fourth Crusade

5) Canossa


I.  The Rise of Centralized States



     William the Conqueror (1066) and the Norman Kings

     Henry I (1100-1135) and Henry II (1154-1189)

     Counties, Sheriffs, and Common Law

     Thomas Beckett:  One Meddlesome Monk

     Constitutionalism and Centralization



     Louis VI The Fat (1081-1137)

     Phllip II (1180-1223)


     The Origins of Absolutism


Germany (Holy Roman Empire)

     Otto the Great (912-973)

     German Princes and Their Kingdoms (1380)



II. The Growth of Papal Power


     The Decline of the Papacy, 900-1050

     The Reforms of Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085)

     Secular Rulers, the Church, and Lay Investiture

     Henry IV (1084-1106) and the Investiture Controversy


     Pope Innocent III:  Master of Europe

     Frederick II, 1212-1250: Another Thwarted Emperor



III.  The Crusades and Western Identity


Rodney Starks, The Case for the Crusades


The Holy Land

     Seljuk Turks

     Pope Urban II and the First Crusade (1095)

     The Kings Get Involved:  The 2nd (1147-49) and 3rd Crusades (1189-92)

Richard the Lionhearted, Frederick Barbarossa, Philip II

     The 4th Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople (1204)


Internal Infidels

     The Slaughter and Expulsion of the Jews (1096-1200)

     The Albigensian Crusade  (1209-1229)

o  Bziers:  Kill them! For their God knows who they are."



     Opening Horizons

     Christian Unity

     State Power

     Religious Others Abroad, Others at Home

     Western Historical Consciousness and The Politics of History