A great holy war over the city of Jerusalem became known word wide as the Crusades. These nine separate expeditions were all fought for religious purposes, and they began with the first crusade, initiated by Pope Urban II. He wished a reunification of eastern and western churches, as well as travel routes to and from holy lands. There was much fighting among landowners and feudal societies in Europe, and he wanted to assert power in the Roman Catholic Church to the near east. He began with a sermon in November 1095. The pope intended to take over land from the Muslims and re-claim it as Christian territory. He offered remission of sins for all crusaders who joined the force. Needless to say, when the first crusade headed for the holy land, it was a thing to be remembered.
As many as 30,000 crusaders left Western Europe around 1096. Led by French nobles, three armies marched across Europe and met up at Constantinople. They then headed to Asia Minor and there defeated a large group of Muslims. In June 1099 they attacked Jerusalem. After about 2 months, the city fell, and crusaders kill most of the Muslim and Jewish inhabitants. The first crusade was successful. The second crusade happened 50 years later, when the Seljuks conquered part of the states in Palestine. Pope Eugenius III called a crusade to capture the territory, but his efforts were unsuccessful due to bad leadership and ineffective military. The third crusade began when Saladin united Muslim forces and captured Jerusalem. This happened around 1187. Western Europeans were furious, so four kings banned together to carry out the third crusade. It was unfortunately not successful because Saladin's armies dropped out, and the battle became increasingly harder until King Richard was the only one left. Saladin had a very good army that could simply not be beat, so Richard signed a truce with the Muslims and failed at yet another request for the land to be returned to the Christians.