After William the Conqueror was crowned king of England in 1066, the cultures of the Normans and Anglo-Saxons mixed. The power of the English king increased during the rule of Henry II. King John's abuse of power led English nobles to draft the Magna Carta and set up a Parliament, which shared the king's powers. The French created their own parliament called the Estates-General.
After the Mongols destroyed the Kievan Rus, the Slavs rebuilt the city of Moscow and founded a new Russian state headed by a czar. The city became the headquarters of the Eastern Orthodox Church and grew wealthy from trade.
In 1071 Muslim Turks defeated the Byzantines. Europe responded to the Byzantine emperor's cries for help with a series of Crusades. European crusaders captured Jerusalem, but despite early victories, and more than 200 years of fighting, the last Christian city fell to the Muslims in 1291. The Crusades positively impacted Europe by breaking down feudalism and increasing trade.
Spotlight Video Transcripts
Male Narrator: In 1187, a Muslim army batted at the gates of
united behind Saladin, the most powerful commander they had ever had. For four
generations, the Jerusalem had been in the
hands of the Christian infidel. Now Saladin was poised to reclaim Holy
City for the Muslim
world. Inside the Jerusalem the Christian
population panicked. Monks hid their sacred icons. They had good reason to be
terrified. Saladin was driven on by the terrible events of the first crusade, eight-eight
years earlier. Following an appeal from the Catholic Church, the first
crusaders had ripped Holy
from the heart of the Islamic world, slaughtering every living thing in the
name of their Christian God. Jerusalem
Translation: The first crusader invasion of
was horrific. A
lot of blood was shed for no reason. The amount of bloodshed was not based on
military needs, but rather, to create terror. Jerusalem
Male Narrator: Now Saladin had gathered his own terrifying army. He believed that soon
and victory would be his. Islam
could take its revenge for the first crusade. Jerusalem was at Saladin’s mercy. The loss of
Jerusalem Jerusalem was a disaster for Richard and the
Christians in Europe. The Pope immediately
issued a decree.
was to be recaptured at all costs. In Christianity’s darkest hour, Richard
prepared to take on Saladin. Richard received a fabric cross that all crusaders
pledged to wear until Jerusalem
was back in Christian hands. After months at sea, in May 1191, Richard King of Jerusalem England sighted the Holy Land for the first
time, and he descended on Acre. He seemed
unstoppable. Christianity’s new holy warrior had brought his own brand of hell
to the Orient. It was at Acre that Richard King of earned the title Lion Heart.
Male Speaker: Victory at the siege of
Acre was a great breakthrough for Richard. It meant that
the Christians had been blessed by God. How else could they explain their
victory? It also, in strategic terms, he knew would be a big step forward; it would
help to break the power of Saladin; would help open the way to the Holy City of