Such was the setting in Mongolia when Genghis Khan (his given name was Temüjin) was born, about 1162 (the date accepted by contemporary Mongol scholars). Genghis was born into a clan that had a tradition of power and rule, being the great-grandson of Khabul (Qabul) Khan, who had been the greatest ruler of All the Mongols. Genghis inherited a feud against the Juchen-Chin dynasty and another against the Tatars, who had betrayed a collateral ancestor of his to the Juchen. His own father was poisoned by Tatars. He also inherited feuds among the ruling clans of All the Mongols and a feud with the powerful Merkit (Mergid) tribe, from whom his father had stolen his mother.
Genghis was even more deeply a political man than a warrior, and he resorted to war only as an extension of policy by other means. He was orphaned in his teens; his family fell on bad times, and power among the Mongols passed to other clans. Even in such apparently primitive practices as camp raiding and horse thieving, he skillfully used ancient customs: marriage alliances; putting himself under the patronage of a stronger prince; making an alliance with Jamuka (later his dangerous rival) by the oath of anda, under which men became as if blood brothers; and recruiting nökhör (the modern Mongol term for "comrade"). Unlike the institution of anda, which created a fictitious kinship and harboured the possibility of deadly rivalry, a man who became a nökhör forswore all loyalties of kinship and tribe and declared himself solely "the man" of his chosen leader. Genghis later fell out with his anda, but he was never betrayed by a nökhör, and his most brilliant generals were nökhör.
Genghis broke alliances and betrayed loyalties, but only when he could seem to be acting in "the common cause." By 1206 his success in tribal warfare caused him to be proclaimed ruler of All the Mongols with the rank of khan and the title of Genghis (Chinggis)--a word deriving probably ultimately from the Turkic tengiz, meaning "a large body of water, the ocean"; although this explanation has not convinced all Mongol scholars, it is consistent with the belief that the ocean symbolized breadth and depth of wisdom, and later the equivalent Mongol word of ta-le (Anglicized as "dalai") was applied to the supreme lama of Tibet. Previous nomads had invaded China, but none had yet ruled the whole of it, chiefly because they had invaded prematurely, leaving other nomads on their flanks and in their rear. Genghis, however, first united all the "dwellers in felt-walled tents" (tuurgatan), probing far back, away from China, to make sure that he controlled all potential nomadic rivals.
His first move was to bring under control the major tribal groups to the west of him in Mongolia, the Naiman and Kereit (Kerait) with whom he had been alternately in alliance and rivalry, as well as the tribes fringing the northern Mongolia-Siberia frontier. He then turned toward China, where at this time the eastern half of North China, south almost to the Yangtze, was ruled by the Juchen-Chin. In the northwest corner of China and the western extension of Inner Mongolia there was a small state, that of the Hsi Hsia: its rulers were Tangut from Tibet, and under them there were Turkish and Sogdian merchants who exploited the caravan trade, the cultivators of the oases being Turks and Chinese. China south of the Yangtze was ruled by the Southern Sung dynasty (1127-1279). Although they had lost North China, the Southern Sung were expanding southward toward Indochina, bringing rich new land under cultivation. Among all these states there was an interplay of diplomacy, alliances made and broken, and open warfare. The Mongols themselves, far from being ignorant barbarians, understood the game and played it skillfully.
Between 1207 and 1215 the armies of Genghis probed deep into North China. Genghis made good use of the Khitan in northern and northeastern China, whose Liao dynasty the Juchen-Chin had overthrown and who were now discontented subjects of the Chin. In 1215 the Chin capital Chung-tu (modern Peking), from which the Chin emperor had withdrawn southward, was taken and sacked. Realizing, however, that it was premature to commit his main strength to the conquest of China, Genghis withdrew to Mongolia, leaving one of his best generals, Mugali, to ravage and weaken the country. He himself turned westward. When he had defeated the Naiman, the last of the powerful tribes in Mongolia proper, the son of the last ruler of that tribe, Küchlüg, fled to Karakitai and married the daughter of its last ruler, whom he then overthrew. In that variegated kingdom, which included Semirechiya in Russian Turkistan and the Kashgarian Oases in Chinese Turkistan (Uighur Autonomous Region of Sinkiang), he favoured the Buddhist minority and persecuted Islam, the majority religion. This situation made it easy for the Mongols to defeat him. The Mongol general Jebe (Jeb) proclaimed freedom of religion and forbade massacre and plunder. This policy indicates that the Mongols did not massacre out of sheer savagery but only when they thought it necessary to break the power of an opponent.
Taking over the lands of the Karakitai opened the way for Genghis to Khwarezm, the land of the oases along the Syr Darya and Amu Darya in northern Iran. For drawing on the resources of a higher civilization this gave him an alternative to China, and it also secured him against the danger of any other nomadic power organizing, on his flank and rear, a military striking force backed by agricultural and urban resources. This done, he turned back toward China, leaving further campaigning into Russia and the eastern fringes of Europe to his generals and sons. He would not, however, commit his main forces in China until he had dealt with the wealthy Tangut state of Hsi Hsia; it was on this successful campaign in 1227 that he died.
The successor states of the Mongol Empire
Genghis had already dealt with the problem of succession. Each of his four sons was to hold a vassal kingdom: Jöchi, the eldest, was given the land from the Yenisey River and the Aral Sea westward "as far as the hooves of Mongol horses have reached"--a wording attributed to Genghis himself; the second son, Chagatai (Tsagadai), received Kashgaria (now the southern part of Sinkiang) and most of Mavrannakhar between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya; the third son, Ögödei (Ogadai), received western Mongolia and the region of Tarbagatai (now the northwestern corner of Sinkiang); the youngest, Tolui, inherited the ancient Mongol homeland of eastern Mongolia. Two years later, in 1229, a great Mongol assembly confirmed the succession of Ögödei as the great khan (khagan).
These dispositions made skillful use of ancient traditions. It was the custom among prosperous families that the eldest son, on reaching manhood, was given a wife and his share of the future inheritance; he then moved away and set up his own camp, independent but still allied to his family. The other brothers followed in due order, but each one nearer to the "home camp" than his next older brother. The youngest, as "guardian of the hearth and fire," remained with his parents until their death and received the residual heritage. It was convenient that Jöchi could in this way be placed at the greatest distance from the ancient homeland because he got on poorly with his brothers, who considered him illegitimate, conceived while his mother was the captive of a hostile tribe. The election of Ögödei as great khan over the head of his elder brother Chagatai (Jöchi had already died) did not do violence to nomadic tradition; it was quite acceptable in wartime for the dying ruler to nominate as his successor the son who was considered ablest and most acceptable to his brothers.
With this first division, further fission was inevitable. Under Batu, the successor of Jöchi, there began the formation of the Golden Horde, which ruled, or rather, drew tribute from the city-states of Russia. In this khanate the Mongols were greatly outnumbered by Turks; the Turkish language soon displaced Mongol, and Islam became the prevailing religion. Because its reservoir of nomad power was in the Kipchak Steppe, the Golden Horde is sometimes known as the Kipchak khanate. By its methods of collecting taxes and tribute it contributed to the rise of the grand dukes of Muscovy; and it was eventually a Moscow-led alliance that broke the power of the Mongols (by then more frequently called Tatars), at the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380. Partly by treachery and partly by guile the Golden Horde was still able to take and sack Moscow two years later, but its power soon disintegrated--an important factor being attacks by Timur (Tamerlane), coming from Turkistan.
To the east were the khanates of the House of Chagatai and the Il-Khans of Iran (Persia). Like the rulers of the Golden Horde, the rulers of the House of Chagatai considered themselves senior, in genealogy, to the House of Ögödei; they were frequently at odds with the great khan, with each other, and with the Il-Khans. On the other hand, the Il-Khans (the title itself implies subordination) accepted and supported the authority of the great khans. Like the Golden Horde, again, the House of Chagatai controlled wide pastures and therefore retained a strong nomadic base, while the Il-Khans, like the great khans (especially after Kublai [Khubilai] moved his capital into China), were directly affected by the urban influences of an old, highly developed civilization with a rich literary tradition. As in China, this situation led rather rapidly to the passage of real administrative control from Mongol hands into the hands of their subjects. The greatest of the Il-Khans was Hülegü (Khulagu, Hulagu), a brother of Kublai Khan of Mongolia and China, who began the Il-Khan tradition of supporting Peking against the House of Chagatai and the Golden Horde.
This brief review of the outer khanates helps to explain the subsequent history of the Mongols in Mongolia and the Mongol dynasty in China. As great khan, Ögödei authorized the continuation of Mongol campaigns in Russia and the west and also in China, where the disintegration of the Juchen-Chin dynasty in 1234 had brought the Mongols face to face with the surviving Sung dynasty in the Yangtze valley. Ögödei was also able to maintain a system of imperial representatives in the appanages of his imperial kinsmen in Central Asia and Iran but was less able to control the always insubordinate Golden Horde. He died in 1241 and was succeeded, after a stormy regency under his widow, Töregene, by his son Güyük (Kuyug) who had already quarreled with his cousin Batu of the Golden Horde. Güyük died at Samarkand in 1248, while preparing an attack on Batu.
A major change then occurred in the succession. At the next great assembly of the descendants of Genghis Khan, enlarged by the presence of powerful commanders and officials, the great khan chosen (again after much intrigue) was not a son of the House of Ögödei but Möngke (Mungke, Manga), a son of Tolui, the "guardian of the fire and hearth" of the Mongol homeland. This choice was favoured by Batu Khan, and Möngke responded by trying to stabilize and pacify relations among the khanates. Of his brothers he sent Kublai (later Great Khan) to continue the conquest of Sung China and Hülegü to subdue the Assassins (Nizari Isma'iliyun); on this campaign Hülegü also took Baghdad, a rich and powerful city and seat of the 'Abbasid caliphate. Möngke was aware of the desire of some of the crusaders for a Mongol alliance against the Saracens, but like Ögödei and Güyük he would not consider this except on terms of the submission of the European rulers and the pope. He himself campaigned deep into southwest China and there died of a fever in 1259.
The succession was then disputed between Möngke's second brother, Kublai, and his youngest brother, Arigböge (Ariböx, Arikböge). A third brother, Hülegü, supported Kublai. The dispute was more than a brawl over spoils among barbarian warriors; ideology was involved. Genghis Khan's concept of conquest and rule had been clear: the "people of the felt-walled tents" should remain in the steppes and continue their ancient warrior way of life, drawing tribute from the world of farms, cities, and caravan trade. Kublai and Hülegü, however, favoured moving into the conquered countries and there becoming the new ruling class--even if this meant mingling with the remnants of the conquered ruling class.
In this respect Arigböge was closer to the concept of Genghis than was Kublai, but Kublai prevailed and Arigböge died in honourable captivity. Kublai had himself proclaimed great khan in Mongolia in 1260. Kublai's reign has been romanticized in the West ever since Marco Polo. Kublai Khan moved the capital from Karakorum (Kharakhorum), which had been built by Ögödei (not Genghis Khan, as is often said), to a new city that he had built on the site of Chung-tu, naming it Ta-tu ("Great Capital"). He used Mongolia as his base for ascendancy over the other Mongol khanates, but drew his main revenue directly from China. He used foreigners (including Marco Polo and his family) to lessen his dependence on Chinese bureaucrats, but the administrative structure was essentially on the Chinese model; and consequently the Mongols, because they no longer held the real keys to power, lost the throne to the native Chinese Ming dynasty in 1368, only a century after the accession of Kublai and within a decade or two of the end of the Golden Horde and the Il-Khanate.
Although in the first vigour of reconquest the Chinese penetrated deeply into Mongolia and destroyed Karakorum, they never succeeded in establishing control. Mongol unity was shattered, but Mongols in different regions began to recover. Mongol fission followed several lines. In western Mongolia there arose new lines of chieftains who did not claim descent from Genghis Khan. As a group, these were the Oyrat (Oirat), but at times the names of subgroups or individual tribes, such as the Dzungar (Jüüngar) or the Dörbed (Dörböd), predominated. In the centre, both in Outer and Inner Mongolia, the ruling princes claimed descent from Genghis Khan. In northeastern China were princes whose ancestor was Khasar, a brother of Genghis Khan. Because there had been bad blood between the two, these princes and the Chingiside princes were always suspicious of each other.
What followed, in the renewed tribal wars and pressure on the frontiers of China in the 15th and 16th centuries, was much more than a resurgent "wave of barbarian invasions." A distinct new period was opening in which all concerned understood that in order to have real power outside the Great Wall of China it was necessary to coordinate nomadic military mobility with towns inhabited by productive artisans, capable of attracting trade from China, and supplied with food by local farming. The lead was first taken by the Oyrat, in the far west of Mongolia, who established control over some of the oases of Sinkiang and began to penetrate Tibet. This advance meant that in the regions where the Imperial power and economic ascendancy of China under the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) were weakest, the Oyrat drew on new resources. Both the Tibetans and the Turkic-speaking oasis people were active merchants, had a literate class whose thinking was independent of the Chinese model, and could keep the records without which a state more advanced than a tribal league was impossible. This stage initiated the long-enduring cleavage between the Oyrat and the Khalkha, the main body of what was later to be Outer Mongolia.
Ascendancy then passed to the Mongols of the Ordos, in the great loop of the Yellow River, under Altan Khan (reigned 1543-83). He exploited a geographic base that enabled him to develop agriculture and trade, to challenge the Oyrat in Tibet, and to pressure the Chinese. Meanwhile, the Mongols of the centre, Khalkhas in the north, and Chahars (Chakhars) in the south (there was as yet no "Outer" and "Inner" Mongolia) had lagged behind for lack of a suitably diversified geographic base. The best that they could achieve was a tribal league unification under Dayan Khan, a descendant of Kublai and grandfather of Altan Khan, who was proclaimed khan in 1470 at the age of five and died in 1543. After this, and after the death of Altan Khan, the supremacy over the Mongols of the centre passed to the south to another descendant of Dayan, Ligdan (Legdan, Lingdan) Khan of the Chahars. Using the geographic advantages of the modern Chinese frontier province of Chahar, close to the Great Wall, he tried during his reign (1604-34) to build up a power comparable to that which had been held by Altan Khan. He was too late, however, because of the rise of the Manchu.
byname ISABELLA OF ANJOU, French ISABELLE D'ANJOU, queen of Jerusalem (1192-1205).
Daughter of Almaric I of Jerusalem and Mary Comnenus, she succeeded to the throne of Jerusalem after the death of her sister, Sibyl (Sibylle), in 1190 and the deposition of Sibyl's husband and consort in 1192.
First married to Humphrey IV, lord of Toron, she was separated from her effeminate and irresponsible husband in order to be married to Conrad of Montferrat, lord of Tyre, and, after his assassination (1192), to Henry of Troyes (d. 1197). Her fourth husband was Almaric II, king of Cyprus.
Isabella's daughter Mary (Marie) of Montferrat, succeeded her as queen and was married to John of Brienne (1210).
Archbishop of Canterbury, papal legate, justiciar of King Richard I of England, and chancellor of King John of England. Hubert was an administrator whose position in church and state was unmatched until the time of Cardinal Wolsey in the 16th century.
Employed in the household of King Henry II of England by 1182, he became bishop of Salisbury in October 1189. The following year he traveled with Richard and Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury on the Third Crusade, in which his distinguished services included negotiating on Richard's behalf with the Muslim leader Saladin and directing the return of English forces.
Returning to England in April 1193 after visiting Richard in captivity at Dürnstein, Austria, he was elected archbishop of Canterbury on May 30. On becoming justiciar in the following December, he controlled England's highest ecclesiastical and secular offices. In 1193 he raised Richard's ransom and suppressed an attempt by Prince John to seize control of England. After Richard's return in March 1194 and departure for Normandy in the following May, Hubert became the effective governor of England for the rest of Richard's reign and was particularly prominent because of the king's prolonged absences. In March 1195 Pope Celestine III appointed him papal legate.
Hubert was mainly responsible for one of England's most remarkable periods of administrative development. Among his key accomplishments were: the first attempt to tax revenue and chattels for secular purposes, in the levy of 25 percent for Richard's ransom; the first general assize of weights and measures (1196); the reassessment of taxation on land (1198); and the modification of feudal military service. Maintaining order ruthlessly, he ordered the execution of William Fitz Osbert, the leader of a protest against the assessment of London taxes. Richard had Hubert's conduct investigated in 1196. After offering to resign, he continued his justiciarship until July 1198, when illness and remonstrations from Pope Innocent III led him to quit.
King John, Richard's successor, appointed him chancellor on May 27, 1199, a post in which Hubert exercised great political influence. He was instrumental in securing the throne for John and in one of his last acts (1205) advised the king against a campaign in France, which was at general war with England.
b. 1107?, Venice
d. 1205, Constantinople
Doge of the Republic of Venice from 1192 to 1205, noted for his promotion of the Fourth Crusade, which led to the overthrow of the Greek Byzantine Empire and the aggrandizement of Venice.
Dandolo's father, Vitale, had held important public positions; and during Enrico Dandolo's public life he was sent on many important missions for the Venetian government. He accompanied the doge Vitale II Michiel on an expedition to Constantinople in 1171. The following year, with the Byzantine ambassador, he went again to Constantinople, where, according to one account, he was so assiduous in defending the interests of the Venetians that the Emperor had him blinded. But the chronicler Geoffroi de Villehardouin, who wrote the history of the Fourth Crusade and knew Enrico Dandolo personally, stated merely that he did not see well because of an injury to his head. After his diplomatic mission to Constantinople, Dandolo went as ambassador to the King of Sicily (1174) and then to Ferrara (1191). When the doge Orio Mastropiero retired to a monastery, Dandolo was elected doge on June 1, 1192, at the age of 85.
In one of his first actions as doge, he swore the "ducal promise," spelling out the rights and duties of the office of doge. Dandolo also revised the penal code and published the first collection of civil statutes, setting the customary law of Venice on a firm juridical basis. He also revised the coinage, issuing a silver coin called the grosso, or matapan. This began a wide-ranging economic policy intended to promote trade with the East. Dandolo's image appears on the grosso coin; he is wearing a cloak and holding the "ducal promise" in his left hand while St. Mark presents him with the gonfalon (banner) in his right.
He also concluded treaties with Verona and Treviso (1192), with the Patriarch of Aquileia (1200), with the King of Armenia (1201), and with the Byzantine Empire (1199) and the Holy Roman Emperor (1201). He fought a victorious war against the Pisans in 1199.
But the prominent place Enrico Dandolo occupies in history must be attributed to the part he played in the Fourth Crusade: the arrangements made with the French barons for the transportation of their army; his provision of funds in exchange for their assistance in conquering Zara (Zadar), a Christian town on the Dalmatian coast then held by the King of Hungary; and his success in persuading the crusaders to help the Venetians conquer Constantinople. The personality of the Doge stands out vividly in the accounts of the chroniclers. Although quite old, he was always found in the front line. At the assault of Constantinople he stood in the bow of his galley, completely armed and with the gonfalon of St. Mark's in front of him, encouraging his men as they made their landing.
After the capture of Constantinople, Dandolo took for himself and the doges of Venice the title "lord of the fourth part and a half of the whole empire of Romania." The title corresponded exactly to that part of the territories of the Byzantine Empire apportioned to the Venetians in the division of spoils among the crusaders. Since he had been one of the most powerful leaders of the expedition, Dandolo remained in Constantinople to direct all the operations there and also to look out for the interests of Venice. It is said that he had some valuable marble shipped to his son Renier for the construction of the great palace of the Dandolos on the Grand Canal. Ruins of a building in Moorish style and an ancient column of green marble were discovered in an excavation performed during the 19th century in the San Luca section of Venice, where the Dandolo palace had been located.
Dandolo died in Constantinople in 1205 and was buried in the vestibule of the church of Sta. Sophia in a marble tomb, on top of which was sculptured the doge's cap and the coat of arms of St. Mark's. The tomb was probably destroyed when Sta. Sophia was converted to a mosque after the conquest by the Turks in 1453.
When Dandolo became doge, the Venetian republic faced considerable problems both internally and abroad. He resolved the internal problems by giving Venice an advanced civil code and constitutional system. In his pursuit of Venetian interests in the Adriatic and in the East, he was able, through shrewd commercial transactions, to acquire large territorial possessions. His burial at Constantinople was symbolic of that city's importance in the rise of Venice to wealth and power.
Ever since the loss of Normandy John had been building up a coalition of rulers in Germany and the Low Countries to assist him against the French king. His chief ally was Otto IV, king of Germany and Holy Roman emperor. Plans for a campaign in Poitou proved very unpopular in England, especially with the northern barons. In 1214 John's allies were defeated at Bouvines, and the king's own campaign in Poitou disintegrated. John had to withdraw and return home to face his disgruntled barons.
John's efforts had been very costly, and measures such as the tax of a 13th in 1207 (which raised about Ł60,000) were highly unpopular. In addition John levied massive reliefs (inheritance duties) on some barons: Nicholas de Stuteville, for example, was charged 10,000 marks (about Ł6,666) to inherit his brother's lands in 1205. The fact alone that John, unlike his predecessors on the throne, spent most of his time in England made his rule more oppressive. Resistance sprang chiefly from the northern barons who had opposed service in Poitou, but by the spring of 1215 many others had joined them in protest against John's abuse or disregard of law and custom.
On June 15, 1215, the rebellious barons met John at Runnymede on the Thames. The king was presented with a document known as the Articles of the Barons, on the basis of which Magna Carta was drawn up. For a document hallowed in history during more than 750 years and frequently cited as a forerunner of the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Magna Carta is a singularly undramatic document. It is thorny with problems of feudal law and custom that are largely untranslatable into modern idiom. Still, it was remarkable in many ways, not least because it was not written in a purely baronial interest but aimed to provide protection for all freemen. It was an attempt to provide guarantees against the sort of arbitrary disregard of feudal right that the three Angevin kings had made familiar. The level of reliefs, for example, was set at Ł100 for a barony. Some clauses derived from concessions already offered by the king in efforts to divide opposition. The celebrated clause 39, which promised judgment by peers or by the law of the land to all freemen, had its origins in a letter sent by Innocent III to the king. The barons, however, were not attempting to dismantle royal government; in fact, many of the legal reforms of Henry II's day were reinforced. Nor did they seek to legitimate rebellion but rather they tried to ensure that the king was beneath rather than above the law. In immediate terms Magna Carta was a failure, for it was no more than a stage in ineffective negotiations to prevent civil war. John was released by the pope from his obligations under it. The document was, however, reissued with some changes under John's son, with papal approval, and so it became, in its 1225 version, a part of the permanent law of the land. John himself died in October 1216, with the civil war still at an inconclusive stage.
Economy and society
From about 1180 the pace of economic change quickened, with a shift to what is known as "high farming." The direct management of estates began to replace a rentier system. There was a marked price and wage inflation. Daily wages for a knight rose from eight pence a day early in Henry II's day to two shillings under John. Landlords who relied upon fixed rents found times difficult, but most responded by taking manors into their own hands and by profiting from direct sales of demesne produce at market. A new class of professional estate managers, or stewards, began to appear. Towns continued to prosper, and many bought privileges of self-government from Richard I and John. The weaving industry was important, and England was noted as a producer of very high quality woolen cloth.
England, notably under Henry II, participated in the cosmopolitan movement that has come to be called the "12th-century Renaissance." Scholars frequented the court, and works on law and administration, especially the Dialogue of the Exchequer and the law book attributed to Ranulf de Glanville, show how modern ideas were being applied to the arts of government. In ecclesiastical architecture new methods of vaulting gave builders greater freedom, as may be seen, for example, in the construction of the choir at Canterbury, rebuilt after a fire in 1174 by William of Sens. In military architecture, the traditional rectangular plan was abandoned in keeps such as those at Orford and Conisborough. It was a self-confident, innovative, and assertive age.
The 13th century
The 13th century saw England develop a much clearer identity. The loss of continental possessions under King John focused the attention of the monarchy on England in a way that had not happened since 1066. Not only did the concept of the community of the realm develop--used both by the crown and its opponents--but the period was also notable in constitutional terms, seeing the beginning of Parliament.
The notion that the realm was a community and that it should be governed by representatives of that community perhaps found its first practical expression in the period following the issue of Magna Carta in which a council of regency ruled on behalf of a child king not yet able to govern in his own right. The phrase "community of the land" initially meant little more than the totality of the baronage. But the need to obtain a wider degree of consent to taxation, and perhaps also the impact of new ideas derived from Roman law, led to change. In addition the county communities exerted some pressure. Knights were being asked to play an increasingly important part in local government, and soon they made their voice heard at a national level. In the conflict that broke out between Henry III and the barons in the latter part of that king's reign, political terms acquired some sophistication, and under Edward I the concept of representation was further developed.
The years until his death in 1219 were dominated by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke. As regent in all but name he achieved success in the civil war and, assisted by the papal legate Guala, did much to restore royal government in its aftermath. After Marshal's death there was a struggle for political power between Hubert de Burgh, the justiciar, and Peter des Roches, bishop of Winchester. Despite factional disputes, by the time Henry III declared himself to be of age in 1227, the minority government had achieved much. To have retained control of royal castles was a notable achievement, while the seizure of Bedford Castle from Fawkes de Breauté, a former protégé of King John, was a spectacular triumph.
Henry came under increasing foreign dominance. His marriage in 1236 to Eleanor of Provence was followed by an influx of her Savoyard relations, while the other significant group of foreigners was headed by the king's half brothers, the Lusignans (children of his mother, Isabella, by her second marriage). Attempts to recover the lost lands in France with expeditions in 1230 and 1242 were unsuccessful. Only in Wales did he achieve limited military success. In the 1250s plans, backed by the papacy, were made to place Henry's second son Edmund on the Sicilian throne; by 1258 these plans had involved the crown in an impossibly heavy financial commitment of 135,000 marks. A lenient policy toward the magnates did not yield much support for the king, and after 1237 it proved impossible to negotiate the grant of direct taxes with unwilling subjects.
Henry, moreover, faced a series of political crises. A baronial revolt in 1233, led by Richard, son of William Marshal, ended in tragedy. Richard was killed in Ireland, to the king's great grief: there were allegations that the king had been tricked into agreeing to the earl's destruction. Further political crises in 1238 and 1244 did nothing to resolve tensions. In 1238 the king's brother, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, rebelled, and leading advisers such as William of Savoy left the royal council. In 1244 Henry III faced opposition in Parliament from both lay and ecclesiastical magnates. A draft proposal suggested a complex system for adding four men to the council, who were to be "conservators of liberties" as well as overseers of royal finance. The king was able, however, to exploit the differences between his opponents, and their campaign achieved little. Henry was naive; he was, on the one hand, overly trustful and, on the other, bitter against those who betrayed his trust. There was growing discontent at a local level with the conduct of royal government.
The county communities
The society of the period should not be seen solely in terms of the feudal hierarchy. There are indications that the community of the county, dominated by local knights and the stewards of the magnates, was of growing importance in this period. Although the crown could and did rely extensively on the knights in local government and administration, the knights were resentful of any intrusion of royal officers from outside and determined to defend local rights and privileges. Incidents such as that in Lincolnshire in 1226, when the county community protested against innovations in the holding of the county court and appealed to Magna Carta, show a new political awareness at a local level. The localities resented the increased burdens placed on them by Henry III's government, and tension between court and country was evident.
Simon de Montfort and the Barons' War
The main crisis of the reign came in 1258 and was brought on by a cluster of causes. The Savoyard and Lusignan court factions were divided; there were reverses in Wales; the costs of the Sicilian affair were mounting; and there was perceived to be a crisis in local government. In May 1258 the king was compelled to agree to a meeting of Parliament and to the appointment of a joint committee of dissident barons and his own supporters, 12 from each side, which was to recommend measures for the reform of the kingdom. In the Provisions of Oxford, drawn up in June, a scheme was set out for the creation of a council of 15 to supervise royal government. Parliament was to be held three times a year, at which the 15 would meet with 12 barons representing "the community" (le commun in the original French). The office of justiciar was to be revived, and he, with the chancellor and treasurer, was to account annually before the council. The new justiciar was to hear complaints throughout the country against royal officials. Sheriffs were to be local men, appointed for one year. The households of the king and queen were to be reformed. The drafting of further measures took time. In October 1259 a group calling itself the Community of Bachelors, which seems to have claimed to represent the lesser vassals and knights, petitioned for the fulfillment of the promises of the magnates and king to remedy its grievances. As a result the Provisions of Westminster were duly published, comprising detailed legal measures that in many cases were in the interests of the knightly class.
The Provisions of Oxford led to two years in which the king was under tutelage; he was less even than the first among equals because he was not free to choose his own councillors. The Oxford settlement, however, began to break down in 1260. There were divisions among the king's opponents, notably between the Earl of Gloucester and the ambitious Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, Henry's brother-in-law. The king's eldest son, Edward, at first backed the unpopular Lusignans, whose exile had been demanded, but then came to an agreement with Simon de Montfort before being reconciled to his father. In 1261, when a papal bull released Henry from his oath to support the Provisions of Oxford, he dismissed the baronial sheriffs, castellans, and other officials imposed on him. Simon de Montfort, by now the undisputed leader of the opposition, raised rebellion, but an agreement was reached to submit the dispute to the arbitration of Louis IX of France. The verdict of the Mise of Amiens in 1264, however, was so favourable to Henry III that Simon de Montfort could not accept it.
Civil war was inevitable. In May 1264 Simon won a resounding victory at Lewes, and a new form of government was set up. Representatives of the boroughs were summoned to Parliament for the first time early in 1265, along with knights of the shire. Simon's motive for summoning Parliament was undoubtedly political: he needed support from many elements of society. In May 1265 the young Edward, held hostage since 1264 to ensure fulfillment of the terms of the peace of Lewes, escaped and rallied the royalist forces, notably the Welsh marcher lords who played a decisive part throughout these conflicts. In August, Simon was defeated and slain at Evesham.
Henry spent the remainder of his reign settling the problems created by the rebellion. He deprived Simon's supporters of their lands, but "the Disinherited" fought back from redoubts in forests or fens. The garrison of Kenilworth Castle carried on a notable resistance. Terms were set in 1266 for former rebels to buy back their lands, and with the issue of the Statute of Marlborough, which renewed some of the reform measures of the Provisions of Westminster, the process of reconstruction began. By 1270 the country was sufficiently settled for Edward to be able to set off on crusade, from which he did not return until two years after his father's death. By then the community of the realm was ready to begin working with, not against, the crown.
Edward I (1272-1307)
Edward was in many ways the ideal medieval king. He went through a difficult apprenticeship, was a good fighter, and was a man who enjoyed both war and statecraft. His crusading reputation gave him prestige, and his chivalric qualities were admired. Although he had a gift for leadership, he lacked sympathy for others and had an obstinacy that led to inflexibility.
Law and government
In the 13th century the development of law became a dominant concern, as is shown by the great treatise On the Laws and Customs of England, attributed to the royal judge Bracton but probably put together in the 1220s and '30s under one of his predecessors on the King's Bench. Soon after Edward's return to England in 1274, a major inquiry into government in the localities took place that yielded the so-called Hundred Rolls, a heterogeneous group of records, and brought home the need for changes in the law. In 1275 the First Statute of Westminster was issued. A succession of other statutes followed in later years, providing a kind of supplement to the common law. Some measures protected the king's rights; others remedied the grievances of his subjects. In the quo warranto proceedings set up under the Statute of Gloucester of 1278 the magnates were asked by what warrant they claimed rights of jurisdiction and other franchises. This created much argument, which was resolved in the Statute of Quo Warranto of 1290. By the Statute of Mortmain of 1279 it was provided that no more land was to be given to the church without royal license. The Statute of Quia Emptores of 1290 had the effect of preventing further subinfeudation of land. In the first and second statutes of Westminster, of 1275 and 1285, many deficiencies in the law were corrected, such as those concerning the relationship between lords and tenants and the way in which the system of distraint was operated. Merchants benefited from the Statute of Acton Burnell of 1283 and the Statute of Merchants of 1285, which facilitated debt collection. Problems of law and order were tackled in the Statute of Winchester of 1285.
Edward began his reign with heavy debts incurred on crusade, and his various wars also were costly. In 1275 Edward gained a secure financial basis when he negotiated a grant of export duties on wool, woolfells, and hides that brought in an average of Ł10,000 a year. He borrowed extensively from Italian bankers on the security of these customs revenues. The system of levying taxes on an assessment of the value of movable goods was also of great value. Successive profitable taxes were granted, mostly in Parliament. It was partly in return for one such tax, in 1290, that Edward expelled the Jews from England. Their moneylending activities had made them unpopular, and royal exploitation had so impoverished the Jews that there was no longer an advantage for Edward in keeping them in England.
The growth of Parliament
Edward fostered the concept of the community of the realm and the practice of calling representative knights of the shire and burgesses from the towns to Parliament. Representatives were needed to give consent to taxation, as well as to enhance communication between the king and his subjects. The process of petitioning the king and his council in Parliament was greatly encouraged. Historians have argued much about the nature of Edward's Parliament, some seeing the dispensation of justice as the central element, others emphasizing the multifaceted character of an increasingly complex institution. Some see Edward as responding to the dictates of Roman law, while others interpret the development of Parliament in terms of the practical solution of financial and political problems. Historians used to refer to the 1295 assembly as the Model Parliament because it contained all the elements later associated with the word parliament, but in fact these can all be found earlier. The writs to the sheriffs asking them to call knights and burgesses did, however, reach a more or less final form in 1295. They were to be summoned "with full and sufficient authority on behalf of themselves and the community . . . to do whatever shall be ordained by common counsel." Representatives of the lower clergy were also summoned. This Parliament was fully representative of local communities and of the whole community of the realm, but many Parliaments were attended solely by the magnates with no representatives present.
In the first half of his reign Edward was thoroughly successful in Wales. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, prince of Gwynedd, had taken advantage of the Barons' War to try to expand his authority throughout Wales. He refused to do homage to Edward, and in 1277 the English king conducted a short and methodical campaign against him. Using a partly feudal, partly paid army, the core of which was provided by the royal household knights, and a fleet from the Cinque Ports, Edward won a quick victory and exacted from Llywelyn the Treaty of Conway. Llywelyn agreed to perform fealty and homage, to pay a large indemnity (from which he was soon excused), and to surrender certain districts of North Wales. There was considerable Welsh resentment after 1277 at the manner in which Edward imposed his jurisdiction in Wales.
David, Llywelyn's younger brother, was responsible for a renewal of war in 1282. He was soon joined by Llywelyn, who was killed in battle late in the year. David was captured and executed as a traitor in 1283. This second Welsh war proved much longer, more costly, and more difficult for the English than the first. In the succeeding peace North Wales was organized into counties, and law was revised along English lines. Major castles, notably Flint and Rhuddlan, had been built after the first Welsh war; now Conway, Caernarvon, and Harlech were started, designed by a Savoyard expert, Master James of St. George. Merchant settlements, colonized with English craftsmen and merchants, were founded. Archbishop Pecham reorganized the Welsh church and brought it more fully under the sway of Canterbury. A brief revolt in 1287 was soon quelled, but Edward faced a major rebellion in 1294-95, after which he founded the last of his Welsh castles, Beaumaris in Anglesey.
Edward devoted much attention to Gascony, the land he held in southwestern France. He went there prior to returning to England at the start of the reign and spent the period 1286-89 there. In 1294 he had to undertake a costly defense of his French lands, when war began with Philip IV, king of France. Open hostilities lasted until 1297. In this case the French were the aggressors. Following private naval warfare between Gascon and Norman sailors, Philip summoned Edward (who, as Duke of Aquitaine, was his vassal) to his court and, having deceived English negotiators, decreed Gascony confiscate. Edward built up a grand alliance against the French, but the war proved costly and inconclusive.
Edward intervened in Scotland in 1291, when he claimed jurisdiction over a complex succession dispute. King Alexander III had been killed when his horse fell one stormy night in 1286. His heiress was his three-year-old granddaughter, Margaret, the Maid of Norway. Arrangements were made for her to marry Edward's son Edward, but these plans were thwarted by Margaret's death in 1290. There were 13 claimants to the Scottish throne, the two main candidates being John de Balliol and Robert de Bruce, both descendants of David, 8th Earl of Huntingdon, brother of William I the Lion. Balliol was the grandson of David's eldest daughter, and Bruce was the son of his second daughter. A court of 104 auditors, of whom 40 were chosen by Balliol and 40 by Bruce, was set up. Balliol was designated king and performed fealty and homage to Edward.
Edward did all he could to emphasize his own claims to feudal suzerainty over Scotland, and his efforts to put these into effect provoked Scottish resistance. In 1295 the Scots, having imposed a baronial council on Balliol, made a treaty with the French. War was inevitable, and in a swift and successful campaign Edward defeated Balliol in 1296, forcing him to abdicate. The victory, however, had been too easy. Revolt against the inept officials Edward had appointed to rule in Scotland came in 1297, headed by William Wallace and Andrew Moray. Victory for Edward at the battle of Falkirk in 1298, however, did not win the war. A lengthy series of costly campaigns appeared to have brought success by 1304, and in the next year Edward set up a scheme for governing Scotland, by now termed by the English a land, not a kingdom. But in 1306 Robert de Bruce, grandson of the earlier claimant to the throne, a man who had fought on both sides in the war, seized the Scottish throne and reopened the conflict, which continued into the reign of Edward II, who succeeded his father in 1307.
It has been claimed that during his wars Edward I transformed the traditional feudal host into an efficient, paid army. In fact, feudal summonses continued throughout his reign, though only providing a proportion of the army. The paid forces of the royal household were a very important element, but it is clear that the magnates also provided substantial unpaid forces for campaigns of which they approved. The scale of infantry recruitment increased notably, enabling Edward to muster armies up to 30,000 strong. The king's military successes were primarily due to the skill of his government in mobilizing resources, in terms of men, money, and supplies, on an unprecedented scale.
The wars in the 1290s against the Welsh, French, and Scots imposed an immense burden on England. The character of the king's rule changed as the preoccupation with war put an end to further reform of government and law. Edward's subjects resented the heavy taxation, large-scale recruitment, and seizures of food supplies and wool crops. Pope Boniface VIII forbade the clergy to pay taxes to the king. A political crisis ensued in 1297, which was only partly resolved by the reissue of Magna Carta and some additional concessions. Argument continued for much of the rest of the reign, while the king's debts mounted. The Riccardi, Edward's bankers in the first part of the reign, were effectively bankrupted in 1294, and their eventual successors, the Frescobaldi, were unable to give the king the same level of support as their predecessors.
Social, economic, and cultural change
The population expanded rapidly in the 13th century, reaching a level of about five million. Great landlords prospered with the system of high farming, but the average size of small peasant holdings fell, with no compensating rise in productivity. There has been debate about the fate of the knightly class: some historians have argued that lesser landowners suffered a decline in wealth and numbers, while others have pointed to their increased political importance as evidence of their prosperity. Although there were probably both gainers and losers, the overall number of knights in England almost certainly fell to less than 2,000. Ties between magnates and their feudal tenants slackened as the relationship became increasingly a legal rather than a personal one. Lords began to adopt new methods of recruiting their retinues, using contracts demanding service either for life or for a short term, in exchange for fees, robes, and wages. Towns continued to grow, with many new ones being founded, but the weaving industry suffered a decline, in part because of competition from rural areas and in part as a result of restrictive guild practices. In trade, England became increasingly dependent on exports of raw wool.
The advent of the friars introduced a new element to the church. The universities of Oxford and Cambridge were developing rapidly, and in Robert Grosseteste and Roger Bacon, England produced two major, if somewhat eccentric, intellectual figures. Ecclesiastical architecture flourished, showing a strong French influence: Henry III's patronage of the new Westminster Abbey was particularly notable. Edward I's castles in North Wales rank high among the finest examples of medieval military architecture.
The later Crusades and the decline of the Latin enclaves
The Latin East after the Third Crusade
Saladin died on March 3, 1193, not long after the departure of the Third Crusade. One of the greatest of the Muslim leaders and a man devoutly religious and deeply committed to jihad against the infidel, he was, yet, respected by his opponents. His death led once again to divisions in the Muslim world, and his Ayyubid successors were willing to continue a state of truce with the crusaders, which lasted into the early years of the 13th century. The truce was politically and economically advantageous to both sides, and the Italians were quick to make profitable trade connections in Egypt. The Franks were able to adjust themselves to a new situation and to organize what in effect was a new titular kingdom of Jerusalem centring at Acre, generally known as the Second Kingdom.
In 1194 Amalric of Lusignan succeeded his brother Guy as ruler of Cyprus, where he later accepted investiture as king from the chancellor of the emperor Henry VI. In 1197, following the death of Henry of Champagne, Amalric succeeded to the throne of Jerusalem-Acre, and in 1198 he married the thrice-widowed Isabel. He chose, however, to govern his two domains separately, and in Acre he proved to be an excellent administrator. The Livre au roi ("Book of the King"), an important section of the Assises de Jérusalem, dates from his reign. He also dealt wisely with Saladin's brother, al-'Adil of Egypt. On Amalric's death in 1205 the kingdoms of Cyprus and Jerusalem-Acre were divided, and in 1210 the latter was given to John of Brienne, a French knight nominated by Philip Augustus, who came east and married Conrad's daughter, Mary.
There were also readjustments in the two now-reduced northern states. When Raymond III of Tripoli died (1187), his county passed to a son of Bohemond III of Antioch, thus uniting the two principalities. In general, Antioch-Tripoli continued to pursue the relatively independent course laid down by Bohemond III.
Armenia was more closely involved in Latin politics, partly as a result of marriage alliances with the house of Antioch-Tripoli. King Leo II of Armenia joined the crusaders at Cyprus and Acre. Desirous of a royal crown, he had approached both Pope and Emperor, and in 1198, with papal approval, royal insignia were bestowed by Archbishop Conrad of Mainz, in the name of Henry VI. At the same time, the Armenian Church officially accepted a union with Rome, which, however, was never popular with the lower clergy and general populace.
The Fifth Crusade
In Europe after the Fourth Crusade something of the original crusading fervour was still found in certain areas of society. Even children became the victims of mass hysteria; in 1212, in the so-called Children's Crusade, thousands of youngsters from France and Germany set out to free the Holy Land, only to be lost, shipwrecked, or sold into slavery. But there was considerable disillusionment among the nobility, especially when the same religious indulgence was promised in a "Crusade" against heretics in southern France and later against secular opponents of the popes. Innocent III, nevertheless, despite his preoccupation with the kings of England and France, a civil war in Germany, heresy, the advance of Islam in Spain, and his strenuous efforts to promote widespread ecclesiastical reform, renewed his efforts to organize another expedition. Preachers were designated; even troubadours contributed to the propaganda. The final canon promulgated by the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 was an elaborate Crusade plan repeating earlier prohibitions on the transport of military supplies to Muslims. Levies on clerical incomes were again authorized.
The young emperor Frederick II had promised Innocent to go, but Honorius III permitted him repeated postponements to settle the affairs of Germany. Thus, the first contingents of the Fifth Crusade left without him. Nor did they accomplish anything significant until the arrival of a Frisian fleet with more German crusaders enabled a force to set out for Egypt in May 1218 under the leadership of John of Brienne. An attack on Egypt had been in the planning since the time of the Third Crusade, not as the objective of permanent conquest but as a bargaining point for the recovery of Jerusalem. By August the crusaders had captured a strategic tower at Damietta (Dumyat).
In September the expedition organized under papal auspices and consisting mainly of French crusaders arrived under Cardinal Pelagius as legate. Since Pelagius regarded the crusaders as being under the jurisdiction of the church, he declined to accept the leadership of John of Brienne. Moreover, he was an imperious person who did not hesitate to interfere in military decisions.
By February 1219 the Muslims were seriously alarmed and offered peace terms that included the cession of Jerusalem. King John and many of the crusaders were eager to accept. But Pelagius, supported by the military orders and the Italians, refused. Damietta was finally taken on November 5, 1219. For over a year no progress was made, though Pelagius remained optimistic, still expecting the arrival of Frederick II and convinced, by rumour, of the imminent approach of a legendary oriental Christian "King David." In July 1221 he ordered an advance toward Cairo, but Nile floods forced him to retreat and to agree to a truce of eight years and an exchange of prisoners, terms far less favourable than those he had previously rejected.
The Fifth Crusade, the last in which the papacy took an active part, was an impressive effort against a divided Muslim opposition. Coming close to success, it failed largely because of divided leadership and the frequently unwise decisions of Pelagius. It might perhaps have succeeded if Frederick II had set out as promised, and it is significant that disillusioned critics blamed Emperor and Pope as well as Pelagius. All in all, it was a dreary episode, relieved only by the presence of Francis of Assisi, to whom Pelagius reluctantly gave permission to cross the lines, where he was courteously received by Sultan al-Kamil. Francis' visit to the East was a preliminary step in the establishment of a Franciscan province in the Holy Land, a step soon imitated by the Dominicans.
The Sixth Crusade
The failure of the Fifth Crusade placed a heavy responsibility on Frederick II. His motives as a crusader are difficult to assess. Always a controversial figure, he was to some the archenemy of the papacy, to others the greatest of emperors. His intellectual interests included Islam, and his attitude might seem to be more akin to that of the Eastern barons than the typical crusader from the West. Through his marriage with John of Brienne's daughter Isabella (Yolande), he had a claim first to the kingship and then, on her death in 1228, to the regency of Jerusalem (Acre) for his son Conrad. As emperor he could claim a suzerainty over Cyprus by virtue of the cession by his predecessor Henry VI. Frederick had finally agreed to terms that virtually placed his expedition under papal jurisdiction. Yet his entire Eastern policy was inextricably connected with his European concerns: Sicily, Italy and the papacy, and Germany. Cyprus-Jerusalem became, as a consequence, part of a greater imperial design.
Most of the fleet of the Sixth Crusade had left Italy in the late summer of 1227, but Frederick was delayed by illness. During the delay he received envoys from Sultan al-Kamil of Egypt, who, threatened by the ambitious designs of his Ayyubid brothers, was disposed to negotiate. Meanwhile, Pope Gregory IX, less patient than his predecessor, had rejected the Emperor's plea of illness and excommunicated him. Thus, when Frederick departed in the summer of 1228 with the remainder of his forces, he was in the equivocal position of a crusader under the ban of the church. He arrived in Cyprus on July 21.
In Cyprus, John of Ibelin, the leading member of the influential Ibelin family, had been named regent for the young Henry I. Along with most of the other barons, he was willing to recognize the Emperor's rights as suzerain in Cyprus. But in Acre, since news of Isabel's death had arrived, the Emperor could claim only a regency for his infant son. John obeyed the Emperor's summons to meet him in Cyprus but despite intimidation refused to surrender his lordship of Beirut and insisted that his case be brought before the High Court of barons. The matter was set aside, and Frederick left for Acre.
At Acre, Frederick met more opposition. News of his excommunication had arrived, and many refused to support him. Dependent, therefore, on the Teutonic Knights, an organization formed by Germans who remained in the east after an expedition in 1197 and now under the direction of Hermann of Salza, and his own small contingent of German crusaders, he was forced to attempt what he could by diplomacy. Negotiations, accordingly, were reopened with al-Kamil of Egypt.
The resulting treaty of 1229 is unique in the history of the Crusades. By diplomacy alone and without major military confrontation, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and a corridor running to the sea were ceded to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Exception was made for the Temple area, the Dome of the Rock, and the Aqsa Mosque, which the Muslims retained. The peace was to last for 10 years.
The benefits of the treaty of 1229 were more apparent than real. The areas ceded were not easily defensible, and Jerusalem soon became a prey to disorder. Furthermore, the treaty was denounced by the devout of both faiths. When Frederick, still under excommunication, entered the city, the Patriarch placed it under interdict. No priest was present, and Frederick placed a crown on his own head while one of the Teutonic Knights read the ceremony. Leaving agents in charge, he hastily returned to Europe and at San Germano made his peace with the Pope (July 23, 1230). Thereafter, his legal position was secure, and the Pope ordered the Patriarch to lift the interdict.
What followed in Jerusalem and Cyprus, however, was not orderly government by the Emperor's agents but civil war. For Frederick's imperial concept of government was totally opposed to the now well-established pre-eminence of the Jerusalem baronage. The barons of both Jerusalem and Cyprus, in alliance with the Genoese and a commune formed at Acre that elected John of Ibelin as mayor, resisted the imperial deputies, who had the support of the Pisans, the Teutonic Knights, Bohemond of Antioch, and a few nobles. The clergy, the other military orders, and the Venetians stood aloof.
The barons were able to win out in Cyprus, and in 1233 Henry I was recognized as king. Even after John of Ibelin, the "Old Lord of Beirut," died in 1236, the resistance continued. In 1243 a parliament at Acre refused homage to Frederick's son Conrad, unless he appeared in person, and named Alice, queen dowager of Cyprus, as regent.
Thus it was that baronial rule triumphed over imperial administration in the Levant. But the victory of the barons brought to the kingdom not strength but continued division, the more serious as new forces were appearing in the Muslim world. The Khwarezmian Turks, pushed south and west by the Mongols, had upset the power balance and gained the support of Egypt. After the 10 years' peace had expired in 1239, a poorly organized Crusade under Thibaut IV of Champagne and Richard of Cornwall accomplished little. In 1244 an alliance of Jerusalem and Damascus failed to prevent the capture and sack of Jerusalem by Khwarezmians with Egyptian aid. All the diplomatic gains of the preceding years were lost.
The Crusade of Louis IX of France
In June 1245, a year following the final loss of Jerusalem, Pope Innocent IV opened a great ecclesiastical council at Lyons. Although urgent appeals for help had come from the East, it is unlikely that the Crusade was uppermost in the Pope's mind for a combination of crises confronted the church: massive complaints of clerical abuses, increasing troubles with the emperor Frederick II in Italy, and the advance of the Mongols into eastern Europe. Nevertheless, when King Louis IX of France announced his intention to lead a new Crusade, the Pope gave it his support and authorized the customary levy on clerical incomes.
As a crusader, the saintly Louis was the antithesis of his predecessor, Frederick. Possessed of a rare combination of religious devotion with firmness as a ruler and bravery as a warrior, he seemed the very ideal of the crusader. He was beloved by his subjects and respected abroad. He ardently believed the Crusade to be God's work, and he was far from sympathetic with the Pope's using Crusade propaganda against the Emperor.
It was three years before Louis was ready to embark. Peace had to be arranged with England, transport had to be provided by Genoa and Marseilles, and funds had to be raised from the King's domain and from the towns. When the King embarked in August 1248 he was accompanied by his queen; his brothers Robert of Artois and Charles of Anjou; many distinguished French nobles, including John of Joinville, author of the Vie de St. Louis; and a small contingent of English. His army was a formidable one, numbering perhaps 15,000. France was left in the experienced hands of the queen mother, Blanche of Castile.
The Crusade arrived at Cyprus in September, and it was again decided to attack Egypt. Since a winter campaign was not feasible and Louis rejected the suggestion that he attempt negotiations--though he did exchange envoys with the Mongols--it was not until May 1249 that an expedition of some 120 large and many smaller vessels got under way. Fortune favoured them at first, and Damietta was again in Christian hands by June. Shortly afterward, the army was strengthened by the arrival of Louis's third brother, Alphonse of Poitiers. Sultan as-Salih-Ayyub's death was followed by confusion in Cairo, which, after some argument, had become the crusaders' objective. In February 1250 Robert of Artois led a surprise attack on the Egyptian camp two miles (three kilometres) from al-Mansurah and, rejecting the advice of more experienced campaigners, impetuously moved ahead, only to be trapped within the city. Many knights lost their lives. Louis soon arrived with the main army and won another victory, albeit a costly one, near al-Mansurah. It was the last crusader success.
Meanwhile, Turan-Shah, the Sultan's son, arrived and temporarily dominated dissident factions in Cairo. Frankish supply ships from Damietta were intercepted, and before long the crusaders were suffering from famine and disease. Louis, reluctant to abandon a work to which he had dedicated his very kingdom, perhaps delayed too long before ordering a retreat. But he refused the pleas of others to protect himself by moving out ahead. Instead, he led his soldiers and along with many of them was captured as the Muslim forces closed in.
The King and nobles were held for ransom, but many non-noble captives were killed. The Queen, who had just given birth to a son sorrowfully named John Tristan, managed with great courage to secure sufficient food and to persuade the Genoese and Pisans not to evacuate Damietta until it could be ceded formally by treaty and the King's ransom arranged. On May 6, 1250, the King was released and Damietta surrendered.
Despite the pleadings of his advisers, Louis did not return home immediately. He felt bound in conscience to negotiate the release of as many prisoners as possible, and he was able before he left in April 1254, four years later, to improve the defenses of the kingdom by strengthening a number of fortifications. Thus, he atoned in some small measure for the failure of the Crusade.
During these same years the southern wing of the Mongols under Hülegü overran Mesopotamia and in 1258 took Baghdad, thus ending the venerable 'Abbasid caliphate. But two years later (1260) the Mamluks of Egypt, a new dynasty that had arisen from the leaders of former slave bodyguards of the sultan, defeated the Mongols at 'Ain Jalud in Syria and halted their southward advance. The Muslim states of Syria were caught in the middle, and the Latin states were in grave danger. King Hethum (Hayton) of Armenia threw in his lot with the Mongols, and his son-in-law Bohemond VI of Antioch-Tripoli followed suit. But the barons at Acre were still more disposed to deal with the Muslims, whom they knew, than with the terrifying and unknown Mongols.
In 1260, after murdering his predecessor, Baybars became sultan of Egypt. Though this famous Mamluk sultan did not live to see the final fall of the Latin states, before his death in 1277 he had reduced them to a few coastal outposts. Baybars was ruthless and totally devoid of the generous chivalry that the crusaders had admired in Saladin. Most of his conquests were followed by massacre of the inhabitants, often including the native Christians, especially when they had been in league with the Mongols. In 1265 he took Caesarea, Haifa, and Arsuf. The following year he conquered Galilee and devastated Cilician Armenia. In 1268 Antioch was taken and all the inhabitants slaughtered. The great Hospitaller fortress of Krak des Chevaliers fell three years later.
These disasters again brought pleas for aid from the West. King Louis, who felt a heavy responsibility for the collapse of his first effort, began to make new preparations in 1267. But the French king's second venture, the Eighth Crusade, never reached the East. For reasons that are not entirely clear but probably owed something to the influence of Louis's brother Charles of Anjou, the expedition went instead to Tunis. Charles had recently been named by the papacy as the successor to the Hohenstaufens in Sicily. In 1268 he defeated Conradin, the last of the Hohenstaufen line, and was soon involved in grandiose Mediterranean projects, which ultimately included even Byzantium.
There was little support in Europe for Louis's Crusade, which embarked from southern France in July 1270. Moreover, soon after the French landed in North Africa, disease struck the troops and claimed the lives of both Louis and his son John Tristan. Charles arrived with the Sicilian fleet in time to bargain for an indemnity to evacuate the remnants of the army. Thus, the Crusade ended in tragedy and brought no help to the East. Moreover, except for the expedition of Prince Edward of England (1271-72), who had arrived in North Africa too late to be of assistance, Louis's Crusade was the last.
The final loss of the crusader states
Although Europe was aware of the gravity of the Eastern situation, it was both unwilling and unable to give substantial aid, as Pope Gregory X discovered following his pleas at the Council of Lyons in 1274. The sense of common endeavour that had produced the First Crusade was no longer to be found. Not only had political tensions increased, but the reforms of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 had not produced the results hoped for. Criticism of ecclesiastical policies was more outspoken.
Crusading had also become more expensive. The time had passed when a Crusade army was made up of knights serving under a lord and paying their own way. Economic pressures were causing many nobles to seek royal service. Royal armies, therefore, tended to become more professional, and many knights as well as foot soldiers served for pay. King Louis's crusades had necessitated complicated financing, causing his successors serious financial trouble.
Inevitably, Outremer was affected by the general malaise of the West, and the chronic divisions that were a major cause in Outremer's downfall paralleled those of Europe. From the time of Frederick II, the kingdom had been governed by absentee rulers, in theory the Hohenstaufens represented in the East by agents, followed after 1243 by regents of the Jerusalem dynasty chosen by the High Court of barons. Finally, in 1268, on the death of the last Hohenstaufen, the crown was given to Hugh III of Cyprus. But in 1276 he returned to Cyprus, thoroughly frustrated. Then in 1277 Charles of Anjou, with papal approval, bought the rights of the nearest claimant and sent his representative. But Charles's principal interests at the time lay in Byzantium. Finally, after Charles's death in 1285, the barons once again chose a native ruler, Henry II of Cyprus.
Successive regents had failed to dominate the Jerusalem baronage, ultimately resulting in the disintegration of the entire structure of Outremer into separate parts. Antioch-Tripoli before its fall had been increasingly aloof and through intermarriage closely tied to Armenia. In Acre, the seat of government of the kingdom, there was a commune of barons and bourgeois. Immigration had ceased, and the barons were now reduced in numbers as old families had died out. Some resided in Cyprus, and others were nominal lords in Palestine of fiefs of lands actually under Muslim control. The military orders, habitually in conflict, were virtually distinct entities with extensive connections in Europe. The bourgeois population had also considerably altered in composition during the 13th century. Many criminals and other undesirables had found their way to Acre. More important, the earlier homogeneity of a French character had given way to an Italian predominance. But the Italians of Outremer were as divided as they were in Italy. The Genoese-Venetian rivalry extended to the Levant and occasionally, as in Acre in 1256, resulted in outright war.
Papal concern for Outremer was not confined to efforts to enlist military aid. Its financial support was continuous. Popes took an active interest in diplomacy and exchanged envoys with Eastern rulers, both Muslim and Mongol. Further, the 13th-century patriarchs of Jerusalem, commonly named by the pope, were also papal legates. But neither absentee king nor pope nor patriarch-legate could bring to the Latin East the unity necessary for its survival.
Thus, to the crusaders, divided among themselves and isolated, the death of Baybars in 1277 brought only temporary respite. In 1280 they again failed to join the Mongols, whom Sultan Qala'un defeated in 1281. The ineffectiveness of the Jerusalem administration was becoming apparent even to Easterners, and the Il-Khan Abagha sent his deputy Rabban Sauma to the kings of Europe and the Pope to seek an alliance. The effort was fruitless. Tripoli fell in 1289, and Acre, the last crusader stronghold on the mainland, was besieged in 1291. After a desperate and heroic defense, the city was taken by the Mamluks, and the inhabitants who survived the massacre were enslaved. Acre and all the castles along the coast were systematically destroyed.
Perhaps because they sensed their greater isolation, the Franks of the 13th century seem not to have developed further the distinctive culture of their predecessors. The remarkable palace of the Ibelins at Beirut, built early in the century, did boast Byzantine mosaics. But, no doubt partly because of King Louis's four-year stay in the kingdom, existing remains of churches and castles indicate a close following of contemporary French Gothic, and manuscripts are more strongly French in style. Literary tastes were also distinctly French. At the coronation festivities for Henry II in 1286, in total disregard--or perhaps in chivalrous defiance--of the ruin surrounding them, the nobles amused themselves by acting out the romances of Lancelot and Tristan.
The greatest cultural achievement of the Second Kingdom was the famous collection of legal treatises, the Assises de Jérusalem. Those parts that were compiled in the middle years of the century and, therefore, in the atmosphere of the wars against the agents of Frederick II constitute a veritable charter of baronial rights. In fact, two of the authors were members of the Ibelin family, and a third, Philip of Novara, was a close associate. These sections indicate a shift from the earlier Livre au roi, which more nearly reflects the attitudes of the 12th century. Nevertheless, the Assises belong to medieval Europe's legal renaissance.
In many respects, therefore, the Franks of the last days of Outremer were what in a modern setting might be called colonials, but they were entirely on their own, for there was no mother country to come to their rescue.
The later Crusades and the Kingdom of Cyprus
Europe was dismayed by the disaster of 1291 but not surprised and shocked as it had been in 1187, for the end had been foreseen. Pope Nicholas IV had tried to organize aid before 1291, and he and his successors continued to do so afterward, but without success. France, which had always been the main bulwark of the Crusades, was in serious conflict with England, which eventually led to the Hundred Years' War in 1337. Moreover, although it could scarcely have been understood at the time, western Europe around 1300 was experiencing the first impact of a population decline and what proved to be a prolonged economic depression.
In the East, the military orders could no longer offer a standing nucleus of troops. In 1308 the Hospitallers took Rhodes and established their headquarters there. In 1344, with some assistance, they occupied Smyrna, which they held until 1402. Meanwhile, the Teutonic Knights had moved their operations to the Baltic area. The Templars were less fortunate. In 1308 the French Templars were arrested by Philip IV, and in 1312 the order was suppressed by Pope Clement V.
It is not surprising, therefore, that such response as did follow papal urgings was largely in the form of Crusade theories. For some years after 1291 various projects were elaborated, all designed to avoid previous mistakes and explore new tactics. The Franciscan missionary Ramon Llull (died 1315), for example, in his Liber de fine, suggested a campaign of informed preaching as well as military force. Pierre Dubois (c. 1305-07) submitted a detailed scheme for a Crusade to be directed by Philip IV of France, and in 1321 Marino Sanudo in his Secreta fidelium crucis produced an elaborate plan for an economic blockade of Egypt. But none of these or any other such schemes was put into effect.
King Peter I of Cyprus finally organized an expedition that in 1365 succeeded in a temporary occupation of Alexandria. After a horrible sack and massacre, the unruly crusaders returned to Cyprus with immense booty. Peter planned to return, but no European aid was forthcoming, and after his murder in 1369 a treaty of peace was signed. No further crusades set out with Jerusalem as the objective. What followed were not really crusades in the old sense but campaigns such as the crusades of Nicopolis in 1396 and Varna in 1444, whose purpose was to defend Europe against the Ottoman Turks, a new power in the East.
With the failure of all attempts to regain a foothold on the mainland, Cyprus remained the sole crusader outpost, and after 1291 the island kingdom was faced with a serious refugee problem. It was in Cyprus that many of the institutions established by the Franks survived. For, although Jerusalem and Cyprus normally had separate governments, through intermarriage and the exigencies of diplomacy the histories of the two had become interwoven. Regents of one were often chosen from among relatives in the other. It has been noted that many Jerusalem barons resided in Cyprus. With suitable modifications, the Assises de Jérusalem applied on the island. As on the mainland, the French character of the Cypriot Latins is evident in the remains of Gothic structures.
In one respect Cyprus did differ from the mainland. Whereas the First Kingdom had established a reasonable modus vivendi with its native population, such was not the case in the island kingdom. Many Greek landholders had fled, and those who remained apparently suffered a loss of status. All Greeks resisted the Latinizing efforts of the early 13th-century popes and their representatives. Innocent IV was more flexible, but tension persisted until the Turkish conquest in the 16th century.
The results of the Crusades
The entire structure of European society changed during the 12th and 13th centuries, and there was a time when this change was attributed largely to the Crusades. Historians now, however, tend to view the Crusades as only one, albeit a significant, factor in Europe's development. It is probable, for example, that the departure of unruly elements on the First Crusade aided the King of France and the great feudatories in preserving order and extending their authority. It is also likely that the disappearance of old families and the appearance of new ones can be traced in part to the Crusades, but generalizations must be made with caution. It must, moreover, be remembered that, while some crusaders sold or mortgaged their property, usually to ecclesiastical foundations, others made it over to relatives. The loss of life was without doubt considerable; many, however, did return to their homes.
The sectors acquired by burgeoning Italian cities in the crusader states enabled them to extend their trade with the Muslim world and led to the establishment of trade depots beyond the Crusade frontiers, some of which lasted well beyond 1291. The transportation they provided was significant in the development of shipbuilding techniques. Italian banking facilities became indispensable to popes and kings. Catalans and Provençals also profited, and, indirectly, so did all of Europe. Moreover, returning crusaders brought new tastes or increased the demand for spices, Oriental textiles, and other exotic fare. But such demands can also be attributed to changing life-styles and commercial growth in Europe itself.
The papacy launched the First Crusade, and Crusades remained a constant concern. While initial success undoubtedly served to enhance papal prestige, later failures had the opposite effect, and the diversion of Crusade propaganda to war against heretics or the emperor only served to arouse criticism. So also did the levies on clerical incomes, though it must be noted that papal Crusade financing played an important role in Europe's economic development.
The establishment of the Franciscan and Dominican friars in the East during the 13th century made possible the promotion of missions within the Crusade area and beyond. Papal bulls granted special facilities to missionary friars, and popes sent letters to Oriental rulers soliciting permission for the friars to carry on their work. Often the friars accompanied or followed Italian merchants, and, since the Mongols were generally tolerant of religious propaganda, missions were established in Iran, Inner Asia, and even China. But, since Islamic law rigidly prohibited propaganda and punished apostasy with death, conversions from Islam were few. The Dominican William of Tripoli had some success, presumably within the crusaders' area; he and his colleague, Ricoldus of Montecroce, both wrote perceptive treatises on Islamic faith and law. Other missionaries usually failed, and many suffered martyrdom. In the 14th century the Franciscans were finally permitted to reside in Palestine as caretakers for the holy places, but not as missionaries.
The Crusades, especially the Fourth, so embittered the Greeks that any real reunion of the Eastern and Western churches was, as a result, out of the question. Nonetheless, certain groups of Eastern Christians came to recognize the authority of the pope, and they were usually permitted to retain the use of their native liturgies. Although the majority of the missions that grew out of the Crusades collapsed with the advance of the Ottoman Turks in the Middle East in the mid-14th century, some of the contacts which the Western Church had made with its Eastern brethren remained.
The association of missions with Crusades posed a moral theological problem that troubled medieval thinkers. Thirteenth-century theologians held that conversion could not be forced, but most agreed that force could legitimately be used to preserve a situation in which peaceful propaganda was possible, and they continued to support the Crusade. Furthermore, Europe's fear of Muslim power was such that the Crusade idea persisted well into the 17th century, and the conviction that, in certain circumstances, war might be just became more deeply enrooted in the conscience of the West. Along with the now generally accepted use of the word crusade to denote any common endeavour in a worthy cause, this is one of the most enduring results of the movement.
Unlike Sicily and Spain, the Latin East did not, it seems, provide an avenue for the transmission of Arabic science and philosophy to the West. But the Crusades did have a marked impact on the development of Western historical literature. From the beginning there was a proliferation of chronicles, eyewitness accounts, and later more ambitious histories, in verse and in prose, in the vernacular as well as in Latin.
It must be emphasized that the Crusades should not be viewed too exclusively in terms of cause and effect. If they were sometimes a factor contributing to changes in the West, so also were they affected by those changes. Rather, the Crusades and the Latin Kingdom should be considered as an integral part of the diversified culture of Europe in the Middle Ages.
d. Sept. 23, 1253
King of Bohemia from 1230 who brought Austria under his dynasty while using the influence of German colonists and craftsmen to keep Bohemia strong, prosperous, and culturally progressive.
Succeeding his father, Premysl Otakar I, in 1230, Wenceslas prevented Mongol armies from attacking Bohemia (1241) but could not defend Moravia, which was subsequently ravished by the Mongols before they moved into Hungary. The King's main foreign policy objective then became the acquisition of Austria. On the death of the last Babenberg duke of Austria, Frederick II (1246), Wenceslas secured the hand of the Duke's niece for his son Vladislas. But Vladislas soon died, and Wenceslas lost Austria. After suppressing a Bohemian revolt in 1248-49, however, he finally forced the Austrian estates to accept his son Premysl Otakar II as their duke in 1251. Bohemia prospered under Wenceslas' reign. Towns grew and German merchants and colonists added considerably to the wealth of the country, while German influence at the court caused a rich flowering of the arts, especially literature and architecture.
After the death of Yoritomo in 1199, real power in the bakufu passed into the hands of the Hojo family, from which Yoritomo's wife, Masako, had come. In 1203 Hojo Tokimasa, Masako's father, assumed the position of regent (shikken) for the shogun, an office that was held until 1333 by nine successive members of the Hojo family. Taking advantage of disputes among Yoritomo's generals, the Hojo overthrew and outmaneuvered their rivals, and after three generations the direct line of descent from Yoritomo had become extinct. Though wielding actual power, the Hojo family was of low social rank, and its leaders could not aspire to become shoguns themselves. Kujo Yoritsune, a Fujiwara scion and distant relative of Yoritomo, was appointed shogun, while Tokimasa's son Hojo Yoshitoki (shikken 1205-24) handled most government business. Thereafter, the appointment and dismissal of the shogun followed the wishes of the Hojo family. Shoguns were selected only from the Fujiwara or imperial houses, out of concern for pedigree.
The increasing political power of the military led to a conflict with the aristocracy. Hence, the emperor Go-Toba, seeing in the demise of the Minamoto family a good opportunity to restore his political power, in 1221 issued a mandate to the country for the overthrow of Yoshitoki. Few warriors, however, responded to his call. Instead, the Hojo family dispatched a bakufu army that occupied Kyoto, and Go-Toba was arrested and banished to the island of Oki. This incident is known as the Jokyu Disturbance, named for the era name Jokyu (1219-22). The bakufu now set up a headquarters in Kyoto to supervise the court and to control the legal and administrative business of the western provinces. The several thousand estates of the civil aristocrats and warriors who had joined Go-Toba were confiscated, and Kamakura vassals were appointed to jito posts in them as rewards. The political power of the bakufu now extended over the whole country.
Meanwhile, the regent Hojo Yasutoki, to strengthen the base of his political power, reorganized the council of leading retainers into a Council of State (Hyojo-shu). In 1232 the council drew up a legal code known as the Joei Formulary (Joei Shikimoku). Its 51 articles set down in writing for the first time the legal precedents of the bakufu. Its purpose was simpler than that of the ritsuryo, the old legal and political system of the Nara and Heian civil aristocracy. In essence, it was a body of pragmatic law laid down for the proper conduct of the warriors in administering justice. In 1249 the regent Hojo Tokiyori also set up a judicial court, the Hikitsuke-shu, to secure greater impartiality and promptness in legal decisions.
The Mongol invasions
The establishment of the regency government coincided with the rise of the Mongols under Genghis Khan in Central Asia. Beginning in 1206, in the space of barely half a century, they had established an empire extending from the Korean peninsula in the east to as far west as Russia and Poland. In 1260 Genghis Khan's successor, Kublai, became Great Khan in China and fixed his capital at present-day Peking (Beijing). In 1271 Kublai adopted the dynastic title of Yüan, and shortly thereafter the Mongols began preparations for an invasion of Japan. In the autumn of 1274 a Mongol and Korean army of some 40,000 men set out from present-day South Korea. On landing in Kyushu it occupied a portion of Hizen province (part of present-day Saga prefecture) and advanced to Chikuzen. The bakufu appointed Shoni Sukeyoshi as military commander, and the Kyushu military vassals were mobilized for defense. A Mongol army landed in Hakata Bay, forcing the Japanese defenders to retreat to Dazaifu; but a typhoon suddenly arose, destroying more than 200 ships of the invaders, and the survivors returned to southern Korea.
The bakufu took measures to better prepare for a renewed invasion. Coastal defenses were strengthened, and a stone wall was constructed extending for several miles around Hakata Bay to thwart the powerful Mongol cavalry. Apportioned among the Kyushu vassals, these public works took five years to complete and required considerable expenditure. Meanwhile, the Mongols made plans for a second expedition. In 1281 two separate armies were arrayed: an eastern army consisting of about 40,000 Mongol, northern Chinese, and Korean troops set out from South Korea, and a second army of about 100,000 troops from southern China under the command of the Mongol general Hung Ch'a-ch'iu. The two armies met at Hirado and in a combined assault breached the defenses at Hakata Bay. But again a fierce typhoon destroyed nearly all of the invading fleet, forcing Hung Ch'a-ch'iu to retreat precipitately. The remnants of the invading army were captured by the Japanese; it is said that of 140,000 invaders, fewer than one in five escaped.
The defeat of the Mongol invasions was of crucial importance in Japanese history. The military expenditure on preparations, continuous vigil, and actual fighting undermined the economic stability of the Kamakura government and led to the insolvency of many of the jito. The bond between the Hojo and the Kamakura vassals was strained to the breaking point. The invasions also led to another prolonged period of isolation from China that was to last until the 14th century. Moreover, the victory gave a great impetus to a feeling of national pride, and the kamikaze ("divine wind") that destroyed the invading hosts gave the Japanese the belief that they were a divinely protected people.
Samurai groups and farming villages
The Japanese feudal system began to take shape under the Kamakura bakufu, though it remained only inchoate during the Kamakura period. Warrior-landlords lived in farming villages and supervised peasant labour or themselves carried on agriculture, while the central civil aristocracy and the temples and shrines held huge public lands (kokugaryo) and private estates in various provinces and wielded power comparable to that of the bakufu. These shoen were managed by influential resident landlords who had become warriors. They were often the original developers of their districts who became officials of the provincial government and agents of the shoen. Under the Kamakura bakufu, many such individuals became gokenin and were appointed jito in lands where the bakufu were allowed access. As leaders of a large number of villagers, these jito laboured to develop the rice fields and irrigation works in the areas under their jurisdiction, and they and other influential landlords constructed spacious homes for themselves in the villages and hamlets where they lived.
Among these landlords, some were vassals of the shogun, while others were connected to the aristocracy or the temples and shrines. The jito owed their loyalty to the shogun, for whom they performed public services such as guard duty in Kyoto and Kamakura. In return, the shogun not only guaranteed these men security of tenure in their traditional landholdings but rewarded them with new holdings in confiscated lands--such as from the Taira or the supporters of Go-Toba. This connection between lord and vassal, on which grants of landownership or management were based, gave Japanese society a somewhat feudal character.
But these lands were by no means complete fiefs: the Kamakura bakufu did not possess large tracts of its own land that it could grant to its vassals as fiefs in return for service. Kamakura warriors could control traditional land types (shoen and kokugaryo) or be newly appointed into confiscated lands. In either case, there was a nominal absentee central proprietor--temple, shrine, or aristocratic or royal family--who maintained substantial control over the land. Thus, there was a limit on the degree to which the Kamakura warrior could exploit the land and people under his control. Conflict was endemic between central proprietor (usually a local representative of the proprietor) and jito: the former wished to maintain as much control and income as possible while the latter was concerned with expanding his share. Since the jito was entirely under the control of Kamakura, disputes flooded the warrior headquarters from landowners seeking to curtail jito encroachments. Thus, the primary focus of Kamakura activity became the dispensing of justice in legal cases involving land disputes. The Kamakura bakufu gained a reputation for fairness, issuing countless orders of admonition to its vassals to follow the precedents on the land in question. By various means, however, Kamakura warriors managed to whittle away significantly the absentee control of shoen proprietors.
Conflict also was endemic between the farming population and the warriors, stemming from the efforts of the former to increase personal and economic autonomy, as well as to enlarge their holdings within the shoen or kokugaryo. There were several different statuses among the peasantry, including myoshu, prominent farmers with taxable, named fields (myoden) of significant size and long standing; small cultivators with precarious and shifting tenures; and others who paid only labour services to the proprietor or jito. These groups, while distinct from one another, were also quite separate from transient agriculturalists present in many estates. The lowest peasant category, called genin ("low person"), was made up of people who were essentially household servants with no land rights.
The samurai, in theory, performed military service on the battlefield and during times of peace, in addition to managing agricultural holdings, engaging in hunting and training in the martial arts, and nourishing a rugged and practical character. Medieval texts speak of kyuba no michi ("the way of the bow and horse"), or yumiya toru mi no narai ("the practices of those who use the bow and arrow"), indicating that there was an emerging sense of ideal warrior behaviour that grew out of this daily training and the experience of actual warfare. Pride of family name was especially valued, and loyal service to one's overlord became the fundamental ethic. This was the origin of the more highly developed sense of a warrior code of later ages. Like his Heian predecessor, the Kamakura warrior was a mounted knight whose primary martial skill was equestrian archery. The status of women in warrior families was comparatively high; like their Heian predecessors, they were allowed to inherit a portion of the estates and even jito posts, a practice that gradually came to be restricted.
After the middle of the Kamakura period, the farming villages in which the warriors resided underwent changes as agricultural practices advanced; other aspects of society were changing as well. Artisans were frequently attached to the proprietors of the shoen and progressively became more specialized, responding to a specific growth of consumer demand. Centres for metal casting and metalworking, paper manufacture, and other skills appeared outside the capital, in various provincial localities, for the first time. The exchange of agricultural products, manufactured goods, and other products thrived; local markets, held on three fixed days a month, became common. Copper coins from Sung China circulated in these markets, while itinerant merchants increased their activity. Bills of exchange were also used for payments to distant localities. In the large ports along the Inland Sea and Lake Biwa, specialized wholesale merchants (toimaru) appeared who, as contractors, stored, transported, and sold goods. Further, it became common for many merchants and artisans to form guilds, known as za, organized under the temples, shrines, or civil aristocrats, from whom they gained special monopoly privileges and exemptions from customs duties.
Kamakura culture: the new Buddhism and its influence
During the Kamakura period the newly arisen samurai class began to supercede the ancient civil aristocracy, which nonetheless continued to maintain the classical culture. Vigorous overseas trade expanded contacts with the continent, fostering the introduction of Zen Buddhism (in Chinese, Ch'an) and Neo-Confucianism from Sung China. Chinese influences could be seen in monochrome painting style (suiboku-ga), architecture, certain skills in pottery manufacture, and the custom of tea drinking--all of which contributed to the formation of early medieval culture and exerted an enormous influence on everyday life in Japan.
In matters of religion, the great social changes that took place between the end of the Heian period and the early Kamakura period fostered a sense of crisis and religious awakening and caused the people to demand a simple standard of faith, in place of the complicated teachings and ceremonies of the ancient Buddhism. The warriors of the farming villages, in particular, demanded a religion that would suit their personal experience. Several new Buddhist sects sprang up that eschewed difficult ascetic practices and recondite scholarship. Among these may be included the Jodo, or Pure Land, sect mentioned earlier and its offshoot, the Shin (True) school, which sought reliance on the saving grace of Amida, and the sect established by the former Tendai priest Nichiren, which sought salvation in the Lotus Sutra. By contrast, the Zen school sought to open the way to insight by self-effort (jiriki); hence, it met with a ready response, satisfying the demands of many samurai. At the same time, scholarship and the arts were still deeply linked with the Tendai and Shingon sects of esoteric Buddhism, which was a vigorous influence even in Shinto circles. Nonetheless, the new forms of worship expanded popular participation in Buddhism tremendously.
In scholarly and literary circles, the Kyoto nobility confined themselves largely to the annotation and interpretation of the ancient classics and to the study of precedents and ceremonies. But at the beginning of the Kamakura period, a brilliant circle of waka poets around the retired emperor Go-Toba produced a new imperial selection of poems entitled the Shin kokin wakashu. The waka of this period is characterized by the term yugen, which may be described as a mood both profound and mysterious.
Just before the Jokyu Disturbance the Tendai monk Jien (a member of the Fujiwara family) completed his Gukansho ("Jottings of a Fool"). This is the first work of historical philosophy in Japan to incorporate a notion of historical causality, and it provides an interpretive picture of the rise and fall of political powers from a Buddhist viewpoint. Meanwhile, as warriors began to contend and mingle with court nobles, many warrior leaders developed a love of scholarship and a delight in waka poetry. One was Hojo Sanetoki, who collected Japanese and Chinese books and founded a famous library, the Kanazawa Bunko, in the Shomyo Temple (at what is now Yokohama). Reflecting the rise of the warrior class, military epics became popular. The most famous is the anonymously written The Tale of the Heike (Heike monogatari), the various tales of which were first recited throughout the country by Buddhist troubadours called biwa hoshi. After the middle Kamakura period, as Buddhist pessimism grew fainter, various kinds of instruction manuals and family injunctions were composed, while collections of essays such as Yoshida Kenko's Essays in Idleness (Tsurezuregusa) also made their appearance. The new nationalistic fervour aroused by the successful struggle against the Mongols found expression in Kokan Shiren's Genko shakusho (1332), a 30-volume history of Buddhism in Japan.
In the visual arts the carving of wooden images of famous monks flourished, and, after the middle of the Kamakura period, Chinese styles of the Sung dynasty also influenced Kamakura wood carving. In painting as well as sculpture, Buddhist themes began to give way to more secular works; especially popular were picture scrolls (emakimono), which took as their themes the history of temples and shrines, the biographies of founders of religious sects, and, increasingly, military epics and the secular life of both courtiers and warriors.
Decline of Kamakura society
During the troubled state of society at the end of the Kamakura period, the gokenin faced difficult times. They had borne virtually all the expense of military service against the Mongols, but their claims for reward went largely unanswered, since no lands or other wealth were confiscated from the invaders. Thus, they were financially pressed and often in debt. At the same time, important structural changes occurred in warrior houses. First, since warriors proliferated over generations while landholdings remained constant, the practice of dividing lands among heirs gave way to single inheritance, often entirely to the eldest son. The shift from divided to single inheritance was accelerated in the post-Mongol era and became the primary means of inheritance in warrior families. Power thus became concentrated in the head of the house, to whom other family members were of necessity subordinated. Second, deputies sent out by the heads of eastern warrior families to oversee their distant landholdings often broke with the main family. They formed strong ties with other local warrior houses, perhaps even becoming vassals of a shugo. Minimally, their ties to the Kamakura regime weakened.
General economic conditions began to undermine the position of the bakufu vassals. Yet, despite the social crises among the landholders, trade was flourishing. Coins came increasingly into circulation, and the urban lifestyle began to be imitated in the provinces. But landowners were often unable to meet their expenditures from the income of their limited holdings, even if they practiced single inheritance. Therefore, they borrowed money at high rates of interest from rich moneylenders, and many were forced to surrender their holdings when unable to repay their loans. The bakufu responded with debt-cancellation edicts, which gave temporary relief but neglected the long-term problem. Consequently, the gap between rich and poor became marked among the bakufu. In particular, some shugo, who had the right to raise troops, attempted to turn resident landlords into their vassals. Thus, the vassalage structure of the Kamakura regime began to unravel, and powerful local magnates, nominally Kamakura vassals, began to challenge the authority of the Hojo regents in the bakufu.
The Ashikaga, Sasaki, Shoni, and Shimazu families were among the most powerful among these. Buffeted by economic changes beyond its control, the bakufu began to totter, shaken also by the disputes between the Hojo family and the rival shugo. The Adachi family was forced into revolt and defeated by the Hojo in 1285, along with other warrior houses accused of plotting with them. Subsequently, the main Hojo house turned increasingly inward and autocratic, further alienating other vassal houses. When the Ando family raised a revolt in Mutsu province at the end of the Kamakura period, the bakufu found it difficult to suppress, partly because of the remoteness of the site of the uprising.
In addition, regional unions of small landlords developed in the Kinai (the five home provinces centered around Kyoto). Elsewhere as well, local warriors with grievances increasingly took the law into their own hands, seizing crops or otherwise disturbing local order. Termed akuto by the authorities, they included many different elements: frustrated local warriors, pirates, aggrieved peasants, and ordinary robbers. Cultivators as well took advantage of unsettled times to rise up against jito or shoen proprietors.
These accumulating weaknesses of the bakufu prompted a movement among the Kyoto nobility to regain political power from the military. The occasion was provided by the question of the imperial succession. In the mid-13th century two competing lines for the succession emerged--the senior line centred on the Jimyo Temple in Kyoto and the junior line centred on the Daikaku Temple on the western edge of the city. In the last half of the century, each side sought to win the support of the bakufu. In 1317 Kamakura proposed a compromise that would allow the two lines to alternate the succession. But the dispute did not cease. Finally, in 1318 Prince Takaharu of the junior line acceded to the throne as the emperor Go-Daigo.
Henry II died in 1189, an embittered old man. He was succeeded by his son Richard I, nicknamed the Lion-Heart. Richard, a renowned and skillful warrior, was mainly interested in the Crusade to recover Jerusalem and in the struggle to maintain his French holdings against Philip Augustus. He spent only about six months of his 10-year reign in England. During his frequent absences he left a committee in charge of the realm. The chancellor, William Longchamp, bishop of Ely, dominated the early part of the reign until forced into exile by baronial rebellion in 1191. Walter of Coutances, archbishop of Rouen, succeeded Longchamp, but the most important and able of Richard's ministers was Hubert Walter, archbishop of Canterbury, justiciar from 1193 to 1198, and chancellor from 1199 to 1205. With the king's mother, Eleanor, he put down a revolt by Richard's brother John in 1193 with strong and effective measures. But when Richard returned from abroad, he forgave John and promised him the succession.
This reign saw some important innovations in taxation and military organization. Warfare was expensive, and in addition Richard was captured on his return from the Crusade by Leopold V of Austria and held for a high ransom of 150,000 marks. Various methods of raising money were tried: an aid, or scutage; a carucage, or tax on plow lands; a general tax of a fourth of revenues and chattels (this was a development of the so-called Saladin Tithe raised earlier for the Crusade); and a seizure of the wool crop of Cistercian and Gilbertine houses. The ransom, although never paid in full, caused Richard's government to become highly unpopular. Richard also faced some unwillingness on the part of his English subjects to serve in France. A plan to raise a force of 300 knights who would serve for a whole year met with opposition led by the bishops of Lincoln and Salisbury. Richard was, however, remarkably successful in mustering the resources, financial and human, of his kingdom in support of his wars. It can also be argued that his demands on England weakened the realm unduly and that Richard left his successor a very difficult legacy.
Richard, mortally wounded at a siege in France in 1199, was succeeded by his brother John, one of the most detested of English kings. John's reign was characterized by failure. Yet while he must bear a heavy responsibility for his misfortunes, it is only fair to recognize that he inherited the resentment that had built up against his brother and father. Also, while his reign ended in disaster, some of his financial and military measures anticipated positive developments in Edward I's reign.
Loss of French possessions
John had nothing like the military ability or reputation of his brother. He could win a battle in a fit of energy, only to lose his advantage in a spell of indolence. After repudiating his first wife, Isabella of Gloucester, John married the fiancée of Hugh IX the Brown of the Lusignan family, one of his vassals in Poitou. For this offense he was summoned to answer to Philip II, his feudal overlord for his holdings in France. When John refused to attend, his lands in France were declared forfeit. In the subsequent war he succeeded in capturing his nephew Arthur of Brittany, whom many in Anjou and elsewhere regarded as Richard I's rightful heir. Arthur died in mysterious and suspicious circumstances. But once the great castle of Château Gaillard, Richard I's pride and joy, had fallen in March 1204, the collapse of Normandy followed swiftly. By 1206 all that was left of the inheritance of the Norman kings was the Channel Islands. John, however, was determined to recover his losses.
Struggle with the papacy
Upon his return to England John became involved in a conflict with Pope Innocent III over the choice of an archbishop. At Hubert Walter's death in 1205 the monks at Canterbury had secretly elected their subprior and sent him to Rome to receive the pallium from the pope. The secret got out, however, and John forced the election of one of his confidants, John de Grey, bishop of Norwich, who then was also sent to Rome. Innocent III was not a man to miss such a good opportunity to demonstrate the plenitude of papal power. He quashed both elections and engineered the election of the learned and talented cardinal Stephen Langton. John, however, refused to receive Stephen and seized the revenues of Canterbury. Since John had already quarreled with his half brother the archbishop of York, who had fled abroad, England was without either archbishop. In 1208 Innocent imposed an interdict on England, forbidding the administration of the sacraments and certain church rites. In the following year he excommunicated John. The bishops of Winchester and Norwich remained the sole support of John's power in the church. John made the most of the opportunity to collect the revenues of the sees vacated by bishops who had gone into exile.
In theory John's excommunication freed his vassals from their oaths of fealty to him, but there was no immediate rebellion. John was able to conduct highly successful expeditions to Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, and it was not until 1212 that a plot, involving Robert Fitzwalter and Eustace de Vesci, was first hatched against the king. John's brilliant solution to the problem of multiple threats was to effect a reconciliation with the papacy. He agreed to accept Stephen Langton as archbishop, to reinstate the exiled clergy, and to compensate the church for his exactions. In addition he surrendered his kingdom to the pope, receiving it back as a fief from the pope. He now had an able ally at no great cost in terms of concessions on his part.
In 1195 Isaac II was deposed and blinded by his brother Alexius III. The Westerners, who had again blamed the failure of their crusade on the Byzantines, saw ways of exploiting the situation. The emperor Henry VI had united the Norman Kingdom of Sicily with the Holy Roman Empire. He inherited the ambitions of both to master Constantinople, and his brother, Philip of Swabia, was married to a daughter of the dethroned Isaac II. Alexius bought off the danger by paying tribute to Henry, but Henry died in 1197. The idea had now gained ground in the West that the conquest of Constantinople would solve a number of problems and would be of benefit not only to trade but also to the future of the crusade and the church. In 1198 Innocent III was elected pope. The new rulers of Hungary, Serbia, and Bulgaria all turned to him for the recognition of the sovereignty that Byzantium would not give them.
It was under Innocent's inspiration that the Fourth Crusade was launched, and it was by the diversion of that crusade from its purpose and objective that the conquest and colonization of the Byzantine Empire by the West was realized. A multiplicity of causes and coincidences led up to the event, but the ambition of Venice, which supplied the ships, must rank high among them. A plausible excuse was offered by the cause of restoring Isaac II, whose son Alexius IV had escaped to the West to seek help, and who made lavish promises of reward to his benefactors. But when, in 1203, the crusaders drove Alexius III out of Constantinople, Isaac II and his son proved incapable either of fulfilling the promises or of stifling the anti-Latin prejudice of their people, who proclaimed an emperor of their own in the person of Alexius V. The Venetians and crusaders therefore felt justified in taking their own reward by conquering and dividing Constantinople and the Byzantine provinces among themselves. The city fell to them in April 1204. They worked off their resentment against the inhabitants in an unparalleled orgy of looting and destruction, which did irreparable damage to the city and immeasurable harm to East-West understanding.
The Venetians, led by their doge, Enrico Dandolo, gained most from the enterprise by appropriating the principal harbours and islands on the trade routes. The crusaders set about the conquest of the European and Asiatic provinces. The first Latin emperor, Baldwin I, was the suzerain of the feudal principalities that they established in Thrace, Thessalonica, Athens, and the Morea (Peloponnese). He soon came into conflict with the ruler of Bulgaria. Still more serious was the opposition offered by the three provincial centres of Byzantine resistance. At Trebizond (Trabzon) on the Black Sea, two brothers of the Comnenian family laid claim to the imperial title. In Epirus in northwestern Greece Michael Angelus Ducas, a relative of Alexius III, made his capital at Arta and harassed the crusader states in Thessaly. The third centre of resistance was based on the city of Nicaea in Anatolia, where Theodore I Lascaris, another relative of Alexius III, was crowned as emperor in 1208 by a patriarch of his own making. Of the three, Nicaea lay nearest to Constantinople, between the Latin Empire and the Seljuq sultanate of Rum; and its emperors proved worthy of the Byzantine traditions of fighting on two fronts at once and of skillful diplomacy. Theodore Lascaris and his son-in-law John III Vatatzes built up at Nicaea a microcosm of the Byzantine Empire and church in exile. The Latins were thus never able to gain a permanent foothold in Anatolia; and even in Europe their position was constantly threatened by the Byzantine rulers of northern Greece, though in the centre and south of the country their conquests were more lasting.
The most successful of the Latin emperors was Baldwin's brother, Henry of Flanders, after whose death in 1216 the Latin Empire lost the initiative and the recovery of Constantinople became a foreseeable goal for the Byzantines in exile. The Latin regime was prolonged less by its own vitality than by the inability of the successor states of Epirus and Nicaea to cooperate. In 1224 Theodore Ducas of Epirus, who had extended his territories across the north of Greece and far into Bulgaria, wrested Thessalonica from the Latins and was crowned emperor there in defiance of the Emperor in Nicaea. In 1230, however, he was defeated in battle against the Bulgars before reaching Constantinople; and his defeat gave John III Ducas Vatatzes the chance to extend his own empire into Europe, to ally with the Bulgars, and so to encircle Constantinople. Theodore's successor was made to renounce his imperial title, and Thessalonica surrendered to the empire of Nicaea in 1246. The Mongol invasion of Anatolia, which had meanwhile thrown the East into confusion, was of great benefit to Nicaea, for it weakened the Seljuq sultanate and isolated the rival empire of Trebizond.
John Vatatzes might well have crowned his achievements by taking Constantinople had he not died in 1254. When his son Theodore II Lascaris (1254-58) died in 1258, leaving an infant son, John IV, the regency and then the throne in Nicaea were taken over by Michael VIII Palaeologus (reigned 1259-82). Michael came from one of the aristocratic families of Nicaea whom Theodore II had mistrusted. But it was he who carried the work of the Lascarid emperors to its logical conclusion. The Byzantine state in Epirus had revived under Michael II Ducas, who set his sights on Thessalonica. Despite several efforts to reach a diplomatic settlement, the issue between the rival contenders had finally to be resolved in battle at Pelagonia in Macedonia in 1259. Michael II was supported by William of Villehardouin, the French prince of the Morea, and by Manfred, the Hohenstaufen king of Sicily. The victory went to the army of Nicaea. Two years later a general of that army entered Constantinople. The last of the Latin emperors, Baldwin II, fled to Italy; and the Venetians were dispossessed of their lucrative commercial centre. In August 1261 Michael VIII was crowned as emperor in Constantinople; the boy heir to the throne of Nicaea, John IV Lascaris, was blinded and imprisoned. In this way, the dynasty of Palaeologus, the last to reign in Constantinople, was inaugurated.
The empire under the Palaeologi: 1261-1453
The empire in exile at Nicaea had become a manageable and almost self-sufficient unit, with a thriving economy based on agriculture and, latterly, on trade with the Seljuqs. It had no navy but the land frontiers in Anatolia, policed by well-paid troops, were stronger than they had been since the 12th century. By stretching the frontiers into Europe the empire had not dissipated its strength; for the possession of Thessalonica balanced that of Nicaea. When the seat of government was moved from Nicaea to Constantinople, that balance was upset, the economy was re-oriented, and the defense system in Anatolia began to break down. Constantinople was still the New Jerusalem for the Byzantines. To leave it in foreign hands was unthinkable. But after the dismemberment of the empire by the Fourth Crusade, the city was no longer the focal point of an integrated structure. It was more like an immense city-state in the midst of a number of more or less independent provinces. Much of Greece and the islands remained in French or Italian hands. The Byzantine rulers of Epirus and Thessaly, like the emperors in Trebizond, refused to recognize Michael VIII as emperor. His treatment of the Lascarid heir of Nicaea, for which the patriarch Arsenius excommunicated him, appalled many of his own subjects and provoked what was known as the Arsenite schism in the Byzantine Church. Many in Anatolia, loyal to the memory of the Lascarid emperors who had enriched and protected them, condemned Michael VIII as a usurper.
The new dynasty was thus founded in an atmosphere of dissension, but its founder was determined that it should succeed. He took measures for the rehabilitation, repopulation, and defense of Constantinople. He stimulated a revival of trade by granting privileges to Italian merchants. The Genoese, who had agreed to lend him ships for the recovery of the city from their Venetian rivals, were especially favoured; and soon they had built their own commercial colony at Galata opposite Constantinople, and cornered most of what had long been a Venetian monopoly. Inevitably, this led to a conflict between Genoa and Venice, of which the Byzantines were the main victims. Some territory was taken back from the Latins, notably in the Morea and the Greek islands. But little was added to the imperial revenue; and Michael VIII's campaigns there and against Epirus and Thessaly ate up the resources that had been accumulated by the emperors at Nicaea.
The dominating influence on Byzantine policy for most of Michael's reign was the threat of reconquest by the Western powers. Charles of Anjou, the brother of the French king Louis IX, displaced Manfred of Sicily and inherited his title in 1266; he then organized a coalition of all parties interested in re-establishing the Latin empire, posing as the pope's champion to lead a crusade against the schismatic Greeks. Michael VIII countered this threat by offering to submit the Church of Constantinople to the see of Rome, thereby inviting the pope's protection and removing the only moral pretext for a repetition of the Fourth Crusade. The offer to reunite the churches had been made as a diplomatic ploy to previous popes by previous emperors, but never in such compelling circumstances. Pope Gregory X accepted it at its face value, and at the second Council of Lyon in 1274 a Byzantine delegation professed obedience to the Holy See in the name of their emperor. Michael's policy, sincere or not, was violently opposed by most of his people, and he had to persecute and imprison large numbers of them in order to persuade the papacy that the union of the churches was being implemented. Later popes were not convinced by the pretense. In 1281 Charles I (Charles of Anjou) invaded the empire. His army was beaten back in Albania, but he at once prepared a new invasion by sea, supported by Venice, Serbia, Bulgaria, and the separatist rulers of northern Greece. His plans, however, were wrecked in 1282 by a rebellion in Sicily called the Sicilian Vespers and by the intervention of Peter III of Aragon, which the Byzantines encouraged. Michael VIII died at the end of the same year. He had saved his empire from its most persistent enemy, but he died condemned by his church and people as a heretic and a traitor.
Whatever sins he may have committed in the eyes of the Orthodox Church, it is true that Michael VIII, by concentrating on the danger from the West, neglected, if he did not betray, the eastern provinces where he had come to power. Frontier defense troops in Anatolia were withdrawn to Europe or neglected, and bands of Turkish raiders, driven westward by the upheaval of the Mongol invasion, began to penetrate into Byzantine territory. Like the Seljuqs in the 11th century, the new arrivals found little organized opposition. Some of the local Byzantines even collaborated with them out of their own antipathy to the Emperor in Constantinople. By about 1280 the Turks were plundering the fertile valleys of western Anatolia, cutting communications between the Greek cities, and their emirs were beginning to carve out small principalities. Michael VIII's network of diplomacy covered the Mongols of Iran and the Golden Horde in Russia, as well as the Mamluks of Egypt. But diplomacy was ineffective against Muslim Ghazis (warriors inspired by the ideal of holy war); by the time the threat from Italy was removed in 1282, it was almost too late to save Byzantine Anatolia.
Nor was it possible to raise armies to fight in Europe and Asia simultaneously. The native recruitment fostered by the Comnenian emperors had fallen off since 1261. Estates held in pronoia had become hereditary possessions of their landlords, who ignored or were relieved of the obligation to render military service to the government. The knights of the Fourth Crusade had found many familiar elements of feudalism in the social structure of the Byzantine provinces. By the end of the 13th century the development had gone much further. The officers of the Byzantine army were still mostly drawn from the native aristocracy. But the troops were hired, and the cost of maintaining a large army in Europe, added to the lavish subsidies that Michael VIII paid to his friends and allies, crippled the economy.
Michael's son Andronicus II (reigned 1282-1328) unwisely attempted to economize by cutting down the size of the army and disbanding the navy. Unemployed Byzantine sailors sold their services to the new Turkish emirs, who were already raiding the Aegean islands. The Genoese became the suppliers and defenders of Constantinople by sea, which excited the jealousy of the Venetians to the pitch of war and led to the first of a series of naval battles off Constantinople in 1296. In reaction against his father's policy, Andronicus II pursued a line of almost total isolation from the papacy and the West. The union of Lyon was solemnly repudiated and Orthodoxy restored, to the deep satisfaction of most Byzantines. But there were still divisive conflicts in society. The Arsenite schism in the church was not healed until 1310; the rulers of Epirus and Thessaly remained defiant and kept contact with the successors of Charles I in Italy; and the people of Anatolia aired their grievances in rebellion. As the Turks encroached on their land, refugees in growing numbers fled to the coast or to Constantinople, bringing new problems for the government. In 1302 a band of Turkish warriors defeated the Byzantine army near Nicomedia in northwestern Anatolia. Its leader, Osman I, was the founder of the Osmanli, or Ottoman, people, who were soon to overrun the Byzantine Empire in Europe.
In 1303 Andronicus hired a professional army of mercenaries, the Grand Catalan Company. The Catalans made one successful counterattack against the Turks in Anatolia. But they were unruly and unpopular, and when their leader was murdered they turned against their employers. For some years they used the Gallipoli Peninsula as a base from which to ravage Thrace, inviting thousands of Turks to come over and help them. The Catalans finally moved west; in 1311 they conquered Athens from the French and established the Catalan Duchy of Athens and Thebes. The Turks whom they left behind were not ejected from Gallipoli until 1312. The cost of hiring the Catalans, and then of repairing the damage that they had done, had to be met by desperate measures. The face value of the Byzantine gold coin, the hyperpyron, was lowered when its gold content was reduced to a mere 50 percent; and the people had to bear still greater burdens of taxation--some payable in kind by farmers. Inflation and rising prices led to near famine in Constantinople, the population of which was swollen by vast numbers of refugees.
Materially, the empire seemed almost beyond hope of recovery in the early 14th century, but spiritually and culturally it showed a remarkable vitality. The church, no longer troubled over the question of union with Rome, grew in prestige and authority. The patriarchs of Constantinople commanded the respect of all the Orthodox churches, even beyond the imperial boundaries; and Andronicus II, himself a pious theologian, yielded to the patriarch the ancient right of imperial jurisdiction over the monastic settlement on Mt. Athos. There was a new flowering of the Byzantine mystical tradition in a movement known as Hesychasm, whose chief spokesman was Gregory Palamas, a monk from Athos. The theology of the Hesychasts was thought to be heterodox by some theologians, and a controversy arose in the second quarter of the 14th century that had political undertones and was as disruptive to the church and state as the Iconoclastic dispute had been in an earlier age. It was not resolved until 1351.
The revival of mystical speculation and the monastic life may have been in part a reaction against the contemporary revival of secular literature and learning. Scholarship of all kinds was patronized by Andronicus II. As in the 11th century, interest was mainly centred on a rediscovery of ancient Greek learning. The scholar Maximus Planudes compiled a famous anthology and translated a number of Latin works into Greek, though knowledge of Latin was rare and most of the Byzantine scholars prided themselves on having in their Hellenic heritage an exclusive possession that set them apart from the Latins. A notable exception was Demetrius Cydones who, like Michael Psellus, managed affairs of state for a number of emperors for close to 50 years. Cydones translated the works of Thomas Aquinas into Greek; he was the forerunner of a minority of Byzantine intellectuals who joined the Roman Church and looked to the West to save their empire from ruin. More typical of his class was Theodore Metochites, the Grand Logothete, or chancellor, of Andronicus II, whose encyclopaedic learning rivaled that of Psellus. His pupil Nicephorus Gregoras, in addition to his researches in philosophy, theology, mathematics, and astronomy, wrote a history of his age. The tradition of Byzantine historiography, maintained by George Acropolites, the historian of the Empire of Nicaea, was continued in the 14th century by George Pachymeres, by Gregoras, and finally by the emperor John VI Cantacuzenus, who wrote his memoirs after his abdication in 1354.
Andronicus III and John Cantacuzenus
The histories they wrote tell more of politics and personalities than of the underlying social and economic tensions in their society that were to find expression in a series of civil wars. Trouble broke out in 1320 when Andronicus II, purely for family reasons, disinherited his grandson Andronicus III. The cause of the young emperor was taken up by his friends, and there was periodic warfare from 1321 to 1328, when the older Andronicus had to yield the throne. It was in some ways a victory for the younger generation of the aristocracy, of whom the leading light was John Cantacuzenus. It was he who guided the empire's policies during the reign of Andronicus III (1328-41). They were men of greater drive and determination, but the years of fighting had made recovery still more difficult and had given new chances to their enemies. In 1329 they fought and lost a battle at Pelekanon (near Nicomedia) against Osman's son, Orhan, whose Turkish warriors went on to capture Nicaea in 1331 and Nicomedia in 1337. Northwestern Anatolia, once the heart of the empire, was now lost. There seemed no alternative but to accept the fact and to come to terms with the Ottomans and the other Turkish emirs. By so doing, Andronicus III and Cantacuzenus were able to call on the services of almost limitless numbers of Turkish soldiers to fight for them against their other enemies: the Italians in the Aegean islands and the Serbs and the Bulgars in Macedonia and Thrace.
The power of Serbia, which Andronicus II had managed to control by diplomatic means, grew alarmingly after the accession of Stefan Dusan to the Serbian throne in 1331. Dusan exploited to the full the numerous embarrassments of the Byzantines and in 1346 announced his ambitions by having himself crowned as emperor of the Serbs and Greeks. The greatest practical achievement of Andronicus III was the restoration to Byzantine rule of the long-separated provinces of Epirus and Thessaly. But only a few years later, in 1348, the whole of northern Greece was swallowed up in the Serbian Empire of Stefan Dusan.
When Andronicus III died in 1341, civil war broke out for a second time. The contestants on that occasion were John Cantacuzenus, who had expected to act as regent for the boy-heir John V, and his political rivals led by his former partisan Alexius Apocaucus, the patriarch John Calecas, and the empress mother Anne of Savoy, who held power in Constantinople. Cantacuzenus, befriended and then rejected by Dusan of Serbia, was crowned as Emperor John VI in Thrace in 1346; and, with the help of Turkish troops, he fought his way to victory in the following year. Like Romanus Lecapenus, he protested that he was no more than the protector of the legitimate heir to the throne, John V Palaeologus. His brief reign, from 1347 to 1354, might have turned the tide of Byzantine misfortunes had not the second civil war provoked unprecedented social and political consequences. In the cities of Thrace and Macedonia the people vented their dissatisfaction with the ruling aristocracy by revolution. It was directed mainly against Cantacuzenus and the class that he represented. The movement was most memorable and lasting in Thessalonica, where a faction known as the Zealots seized power in a coup d'état and governed the city as an almost independent commune until 1350.
The second civil war was consequently even more destructive of property and ruinous to the economy than the first. At the same time, in 1347, the Black Death decimated the population of Constantinople and other parts of the empire. John VI Cantacuzenus, nevertheless, did what he could to restore the economy and stability of the empire. To coordinate the scattered fragments of its territory he assigned them as appanages to individual members of the imperial family. His son Manuel took over the province of the Morea in 1349 with the rank of despot and governed it with growing success until his death in 1380; his eldest son, Matthew, was given a principality in Thrace; while the junior emperor John V, who had married a daughter of Cantacuzenus, ruled in Thessalonica after 1351.
Cantacuzenus also tried but failed to weaken the economic stranglehold of the Genoese by rebuilding a Byzantine war fleet and merchant navy. The effort involved him in warfare, first on his own and then as an unwilling partner of the Venetians against the Genoese, from which Byzantium emerged as the loser. The revenue of the Genoese colony at Galata, derived from custom dues, was now far greater than that of Constantinople. The empire's poverty was reflected in dilapidated buildings and falling standards of luxury. The crown jewels had been pawned to Venice during the civil war, and the Byzantine gold coin, hopelessly devalued, had given place in international trade to the Venetian ducat. More and more, Byzantium was at the mercy of its foreign competitors and enemies, who promoted and exploited the political and family rivalries among the ruling class. John Cantacuzenus was never popular as an emperor, and feeling against him came to a head when some of his Ottoman mercenaries took the occasion of the destruction of Gallipoli by earthquake to occupy and fortify the city in March 1354. It was their first permanent establishment in Europe, at the key point of the crossing from Asia. In November of the same year John V Palaeologus, encouraged by the Anti-Cantacuzenist Party, forced his way into Constantinople. In December Cantacuzenus abdicated and became a monk. Though his son Matthew, who had by then been crowned as coemperor, fought on for a few years, the dynasty of Cantacuzenus was not perpetuated.
John Cantacuzenus' relationship with the Turks had been based on personal friendship with their leaders, among them Orhan, to whom he gave his daughter in marriage. But once the Turks had set up a base on European soil and had seen the possibilities of further conquest, such relationships were no longer practicable. Stefan Dusan, who very nearly realized his ambition to found a new Serbo-Byzantine empire, was the only man who might have prevented the subsequent rapid expansion of the Turks into the Balkans, but he died in 1355 and his empire split up. The new emperor, John V, hoped that the Western world would sense the danger, and in 1355 he addressed an appeal for help to the Pope. The popes were concerned for the fate of the Christian East but guarded in their offers to Constantinople so long as the Byzantine Church remained in schism from Rome. In 1366 John V visited Hungary to beg for help, but in vain. In the same year his cousin Amadeo, count of Savoy, brought a small force to Constantinople and recaptured Gallipoli from the Turks, who had by then advanced far into Thrace. Amadeo persuaded the Emperor to go to Rome and make his personal submission to the Holy See in 1369. On his way home, John was detained at Venice as an insolvent debtor; during his absence the Turks scored their first victory over the successors of Stefan Dusan on the Marica River near Adrianople in 1371. The whole of Macedonia was open to them. The remaining Serbian princes and the ruler of Bulgaria became their vassals, and in 1373 the Emperor was forced to do the same.
Byzantium became a vassal state of the Turks, pledged to pay tribute and to provide military assistance to the Ottoman sultan. The possession of Constantinople thereafter was disputed by the Emperor's sons and grandsons in a series of revolutions, which were encouraged and sometimes instigated by the Turks, the Genoese, or the Venetians. John V's son Andronicus IV, aided by the Genoese and the sultan Murad I, mastered the city for three years (1376-79). He rewarded the Turks by giving back Gallipoli to them, and Murad made his first European capital at Adrianople. The Venetians helped John V to regain his throne in 1379, and the empire was once again divided into appanages under his sons. Only his second son, Manuel, showed any independence of action. For nearly five years, from 1382 to 1387, Manuel reigned as emperor at Thessalonica and laboured to make it a rallying point for resistance against the encroaching Turks. But the city fell to Murad's army in April 1387. When the Turks then drove deeper into Macedonia, the Serbs again organized a counteroffensive but were overwhelmed at Kossovo in 1389.
Pope Innocent III, despite manifold problems in the West, was the first pope since Urban II to be both anxious and able to consider the Crusade a major papal concern. In 1198 he broached the subject of a new expedition through legates and encyclical letters. In 1199 a tax was levied on all clerical incomes--later to become a precedent for systematic papal income taxes--and Fulk of Neuilly, a popular orator, was commissioned to preach. At a tournament held by Thibaut III of Champagne, several prominent French nobles took the cross, and others joined later. Among them was Geoffrey of Villehardouin, who was to write one of the principal accounts of the Crusade. Contact was made with Venice to provide transport.
The involvement of Venice proved to be fateful. The republic had acquired considerable trading privileges within the Byzantine Empire, and the growing number of Venetian merchants had long incurred the hostility of the Greeks. In 1171 Manuel Comnenus had ordered the arrest of Venetians, and 11 years later an aroused citizenry massacred a large number of Latins in Constantinople and insulted a papal legate. Further, following the advice of recently returned crusaders, the new Crusade was to be directed against Egypt, now the centre of Muslim power in the Levant but a government with which Venice was closely related commercially. Venetian policy under the aging and blind but ambitious Doge Enrico Dandolo was therefore potentially at variance with that of the Pope and the crusaders. Nevertheless, an agreement was made providing for payments to the Venetians for transportation and an equal division of conquests.
The crusader army that arrived at Venice in the summer of 1202 was somewhat smaller than had been anticipated, since some of the crusaders were travelling directly from France. Even so, there were not sufficient funds to pay the Venetians. Accordingly, the crusaders accepted the suggestion that in lieu of payment they assist the Venetians in the capture of the Hungarian city of Zara. This was done despite the opposition of many crusaders both to the diversion of the enterprise and to the attack on a Christian city. Innocent was informed of the plan, but his veto was disregarded. Reluctant to jeopardize the Crusade, Innocent gave conditional absolution to the crusaders--not, however, to the Venetians.
The fall of Zara (November 1202) added to the Pope's already considerable misgivings over the transformation of the whole undertaking from a Crusade under papal auspices to one under lay direction. After the death of Thibaut of Champagne, the leadership of the Crusade passed to Boniface of Montferrat, a friend of the Hohenstaufen Philip of Swabia. Both Boniface and Philip had married into the Byzantine imperial family. In fact, Philip's brother-in-law, Alexius, son of the deposed and blinded emperor Isaac Angelus, had appeared in Europe seeking aid and had made contacts with the crusaders.
Innocent was aware of a plan to divert the Crusade to Constantinople in order to gain the throne for Alexius, who promised subsidies to the crusaders. Accordingly, Innocent ordered Boniface of Montferrat to publish immediately his original letter excommunicating the Venetians, which he had refused to do, and forbade any attack on Constantinople. But the papal letter arrived after the fleets had left Zara, and in the summer of 1203 Constantinople fell, Alexius III was deposed, and "Alexius IV" was crowned as coemperor with his father. All Innocent could do was reprimand the leaders and order them to proceed forthwith to the Holy Land. No doubt he hoped that a union of the churches would result and the Crusade thereby promoted. A few crusaders left, but most did not.
Following the assassination of the new "emperor" by a resentful Greek population, the Venetians and crusaders themselves took over the city and the government of the empire. It was decided that 12 electors (six Venetians and six crusaders) should choose an emperor who would have one-quarter of the imperial domain. The other three-quarters were to be divided. The clergy of the party not belonging to the emperor elect were to have Hagia Sophia and choose a patriarch. A small amount of property was specifically designated to support the clergy. The rest was to be considered booty and divided. On April 13, 1204, the great city fell and was subjected by the rank and file to pillage and massacre for three days. Many priceless icons, relics, and other objects later turned up in western Europe, a large number in Venice.
However much Innocent III may have hoped that a friendly Constantinople would aid the Crusade and promote the reunion of Eastern and Western churches, he was aghast at the sack of Constantinople and castigated the crusaders and Venetians in no uncertain terms. But the situation was beyond his control, especially after his legate, on his own initiative, had absolved the crusaders from their vow to proceed to the Holy Land.
When order had been restored, the crusaders and the Venetians proceeded to implement their agreement; Baldwin of Flanders was elected emperor and the Venetian Thomas Morosini chosen patriarch. But the lands parcelled out among the leaders did not include all the former Byzantine possessions. The imperial government continued in Nicaea, and an offshoot empire of Trebizond, at the eastern end of the Black Sea, lasted until 1461. There was also established a Byzantine Despotate of Epirus, and the Bulgarians remained hostile. Various Latin-French lordships throughout Greece--in particular, the duchy of Athens and the Principality of the Morea--did provide cultural contacts with western Europe and promoted the study of Greek. There was also a French impact on Greece. A collection of laws, the Assises de Romanie, was edited. The Chronicle of the Morea appeared in both French and Greek (and later Aragonese) versions. Impressive remains of crusader castles and Gothic churches can still be seen. Nevertheless, the Latin Empire always rested on shaky foundations, and in 1261 a sadly diminished domain was reconquered from the Latins by Michael Paleologus with the aid of the Genoese, the traditional rivals of Venice.
It is difficult to see in the Fourth Crusade anything but unmitigated disaster to the cause of either Christianity or the Crusade. Not only had a promising Crusade been diverted, but the new Latin principalities proved to be more attractive to Westerners who might otherwise have gone to the Levant and even to a number of former residents of the states of Syria. The rift between the Eastern and Western churches widened, and Greek popular resistance to any schemes of reunion with the empire intensified. The Byzantine Empire, for centuries a bulwark against invasion from the East, was damaged beyond repair.
The Mongol invasion: the last Árpád kings
Andrew's successor, Béla IV (1235-70), began his reign with a series of measures designed to reestablish royal authority, but his work was soon interrupted by the frightful disaster of the Mongol invasion. In the spring of 1241 the Mongols quickly overran the country and, before they left it, a year later, had inflicted ghastly devastation. Only a few fortified places and the impenetrable swamps and forests escaped their ravages. The country lost about half its population, the incidence ranging from 60 percent in the Alfold (100 percent in parts of it) to 20 percent in Transdanubia; only parts of Transylvania and the northwest came off fairly lightly. Returned from Dalmatia, where he had taken refuge, Béla, whom his country not unjustly dubbed its second founder, reorganized the army, built a chain of fortresses, and called in new settlers to repopulate the country. He paid special attention to the towns. But he was forced to give some of the magnates practically a free hand on their own estates, and a few families rose to near-sovereign local status. Further, one group of immigrants, a body of Cumans who had fled into Hungary before the Mongols, proved so powerful and so turbulent that to ensure their loyalty Béla had to marry his son, Stephen V, to a Cuman princess. The king attempted to counterbalance the power of the magnates by creating his own army, partly from the Cumans. A newly created "conditional" nobility comprising enobled soldiers and settlers who gained land for military service strengthened the ranks of the lesser nobility. The system of royal estates and judicial power was thereafter transformed in an assembly in which nobles represented their counties.
Stephen died two years after his father's death, after which the country passed under the regency of his widow, the "Cumanian woman," whom the Hungarians detested. Her son, who grew up wild and undisciplined, was assassinated and left no legitimate heir, and claims to the throne were made through the female line of the Árpáds. A male heir was found in Italy, and, although the young man's claim to the throne was impugned, Andrew III proved a wise, capable king. With his death in 1301, however, the national dynasty became extinct.
A new Western-style feudal socioeconomic system had emerged in Hungary but it had yet to take root. During the last third of the 13th century Hungarian assimilation into Europe was threatened by the ongoing conflicts between various baronial factions. Moreover, Hungary was still the destination of migrating pagan tribes and the focus of barbarian attacks, and it continued to exhibit the features of a country on the borders of Christian feudal Europe.
Hungary under foreign kings
The extinction of the old dynasty entitled the nation to choose its successor; but the principle of the blood tie was still generally regarded as determinant, and all the candidates for the throne--Wenceslas of Bohemia, Otto of Bavaria, and Charles Robert of the Angevin house of Naples--based their claims on descent from an Árpád in the female line. But all three claimants were foreigners; one of them and the father of another were actually seated on foreign thrones. From that time until its extinction, the kingship of Hungary was in fact invariably--with two exceptions, one of them disputed--held by a foreigner, nearly always by one occupying simultaneously at least one foreign throne. This could be to the advantage of Hungary if the king used the resources of those thrones in its service, but he could, alternatively, neglect and exploit Hungary in his other interests and use his power to crush its national freedoms and institutions. Securing the advantages of foreign rule while escaping its dangers was the abiding dilemma--seldom successfully resolved--of Hungarian history.
The Angevin kings
The problem did not pose itself at first, for Charles Robert of Anjou (1308-42), still a child when his supporters won out, had no foreign throne and grew up a true Hungarian. He was also a capable man. After reaching manhood, he crushed the most rebellious of the "kinglets" and won over the rest; after this his rule was unquestioned and peaceful at home. The international situation, with Germany distraught by the power struggle between empire and papacy, the Mongolian Tatars grown passive, and the power of Byzantium in full decay, was again favourable to the states of the "middle zone" of eastern Europe and the Balkans; it is no accident that Poland, Hungary, Bohemia, and Serbia all look on the 14th century as their golden age. As this situation favoured Hungary's neighbours, as well as itself, Charles Robert's attempts at expansion were only moderately successful. In the Balkans he made Bosnia his friend and client but lost Dalmatia to Venice and other territories to Serbia and the newly emerged vaivody (province) of Walachia. But he drove Czech and Austrian marauders out of the land and on the whole preserved friendly relations with Austria, Bohemia, and Poland.
Charles's son, Louis (Lajos) I (1342-82), the only Hungarian king on whom his country has bestowed the name "Great," built on his father's foundations. Keeping peace with the West, he repaired his father's losses in the south and surrounded his kingdom with a ring of dependencies over which Hungary presided as archiregnum (chief kingdom) in the Balkans, on the lower Danube, and in Galicia. In 1370 he also ascended the throne of Poland, by virtue of an earlier family compact.
Both Angevin kings owed much to the wealth they derived from the gold mines of Transylvania and northern Hungary, some 35 to 40 percent of which went to the king, enabling him to maintain a splendid court. Spared for two generations from serious invasion or civil war, the rest of the country blossomed materially as never before. The population rose to three million and the country contained 49 royal free boroughs, more than 500 smaller towns, and some 26,000 villages. The economy was still mainly rural, but the crafts prospered, trade expanded, and the arts flourished.
The life of the court and the daily life of cities borrowed from western European societies. German settlers and burghers in the cities and the clergy became the main agents of Western culture. The Dominicans built 25 monasteries by the early 14th century and established a theological school in Buda. The Franciscans also established monasteries, as did the Cistercians, Premontstratensians, and Paulines. Romanesque style dominated architecture in Hungary until the ascendancy of Gothic design in the late 13th century. Cities built impressive churches, such as the Church of Our Blessed Lady (now better known as the Matthias Church) in Buda. The palace of Visegrád, the royal castles of Zólyom and Diósgyör, the miniatures of the Illuminated Chronicle (1360) and the St. George statue in Kolozsvár (1373), together with the earliest codex predominantly in Hungarian (1370) and the finest example of Hungarian poetry, Omagyar Mária-siralom ("Old Hungarian Lament of the Virgin Mary," about 1300), testify to the spread of western European culture. The first universities were established in Pécs (1367) and Obuda (1395), though they were short-lived. Yet, in spite of its advancement Hungary remained a less-developed borderland of Europe.
The rule of the two Angevin kings was essentially despotic, although enlightened. They introduced elements of feudalism into the political, and especially the military, system: each lord was responsible for maintaining his own armed contingent (banderium). But the magnates were held firmly in check, and Louis reaffirmed the rights and privileges of the common nobles and carried further a process, begun in the previous century, under which the counties were developing from "royal" into "noble" institutions, each still under a royal official but administered with a wide measure of autonomy by elected representatives of the local nobility. He also standardized the obligations of the peasants at the figure of one-ninth of their produce to the lord, a tithe to the church, and a house tax (porta) that went directly to the state.
also spelled TIMOUR, byname TIMUR LENK, OR TIMURLENK (Turkish: "Timur the Lame"), English Tamerlane, or Tamburlaine (b. 1336, Kesh, near Samarkand, Transoxania [now in Uzbekistan]--d. Feb. 19, 1405, Otrar, near Chimkent [now Shymkent, Kazakstan]), Turkic conqueror of Islamic faith, chiefly remembered for the barbarity of his conquests from India and Russia to the Mediterranean Sea and for the cultural achievements of his dynasty.
Timur was a member of the Turkicized Barlas tribe, a Mongol subgroup that had settled in Transoxania (now roughly corresponding to Uzbekistan) after taking part in Genghis Khan's son Chagatai's campaigns in that region. Timur thus grew up in what was known as the Chagatai khanate. After the death in 1357 of Transoxania's current ruler, Amir Kazgan, Timur declared his fealty to the khan of nearby Kashgar, Tughluq Temür, who had overrun Transoxania's chief city, Samarkand, in 1361. Tughluq Temür appointed his son Ilyas Khoja as governor of Transoxania, with Timur as his minister. But shortly afterward Timur fled and rejoined his brother-in-law Amir Husayn, the grandson of Amir Kazgan. They defeated Ilyas Khoja (1364) and set out to conquer Transoxania, achieving firm possession of the region around 1366. About 1370 Timur turned against Husayn, besieged him in Balkh, and, after Husayn's assassination, proclaimed himself at Samarkand sovereign of the Chagatai line of khans and restorer of the Mongol empire.
For the next 10 years Timur fought against the khans of Jatah (eastern Turkistan) and Khorezm, finally occupying Kashgar in 1380. He gave armed support to Tokhtamysh, who was the Mongol khan of the Crimea and a refugee at his court, against the Russians (who had risen against the khan of the Golden Horde, Mamai); and his troops occupied Moscow and defeated the Lithuanians near Poltava.
In 1383 Timur began his conquests in Persia with the capture of Herat. The Persian political and economic situation was extremely precarious. The signs of recovery visible under the later Mongol rulers known as the Il-Khanid dynasty had been followed by a setback after the death of the last Il-Khanid, Abu Said (1335). The vacuum of power was filled by rival dynasties, torn by internal dissensions and unable to put up joint or effective resistance. Khorasan and all eastern Persia fell to him in 1383-85; Fars, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Mesopotamia, and Georgia all fell between 1386 and 1394. In the intervals, he was engaged with Tokhtamysh, then khan of the Golden Horde, whose forces invaded Azerbaijan in 1385 and Transoxania in 1388, defeating Timur's generals. In 1391 Timur pursued Tokhtamysh into the Russian steppes and defeated and dethroned him; but Tokhtamysh raised a new army and invaded the Caucasus in 1395. After his final defeat on the Kur River, Tokhtamysh gave up the struggle; Timur occupied Moscow for a year. The revolts that broke out all over Persia while Timur was away on these campaigns were repressed with ruthless vigour; whole cities were destroyed, their populations massacred, and towers built of their skulls.
In 1398 Timur invaded India on the pretext that the Muslim sultans of Delhi were showing excessive tolerance to their Hindu subjects. He crossed the Indus River on September 24 and, leaving a trail of carnage, marched on Delhi. The army of the Delhi sultan Mahmud Tughluq was destroyed at Panipat on December 17, and Delhi was reduced to a mass of ruins, from which it took more than a century to emerge. By April 1399 Timur was back in his own capital. An immense quantity of spoil was conveyed away; according to Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo, 90 captured elephants were employed to carry stones from quarries to erect a mosque at Samarkand.
Timur set out before the end of 1399 on his last great expedition, in order to punish the Mamluk sultan of Egypt and the Ottoman sultan Bayazid I for their seizures of certain of his territories. After restoring his control over Azerbaijan, he marched on Syria; Aleppo was stormed and sacked, the Mamluk army defeated, and Damascus occupied (1401), the deportation of its artisans to Samarkand being a fatal blow to its prosperity. In 1401 Baghdad was also taken by storm, 20,000 of its citizens were massacred, and all its monuments were destroyed. After wintering in Georgia, Timur invaded Anatolia, destroyed Bayazid's army near Ankara (July 20, 1402), and captured Smyrna from the Knights of Rhodes. Having received offers of submission from the sultan of Egypt and from John VII (then coemperor of the Byzantine Empire with Manuel II Palaeologus), Timur returned to Samarkand (1404) and prepared for an expedition to China. He set out at the end of December, fell ill at Otrar on the Syr Darya west of Chimkent, and died in February 1405. His body was embalmed, laid in an ebony coffin, and sent to Samarkand, where it was buried in the sumptuous tomb called Gur-e Amir. Before his death he had divided his territories among his two surviving sons and his grandsons, and, after years of intestine struggles, the lands were reunited by his youngest son, Shah Rokh.
Timur began his rise as leader of a small nomad band and by guile and force of arms established dominion over the lands between the Oxus and Jaxartes rivers (Transoxania) by the 1360s. He then, for three decades, led his mounted archers to subdue each state from Mongolia to the Mediterranean. He was the last of the mighty conquerors of Central Asia to achieve such military successes as leader of the nomad warrior lords, ruling both agricultural and pastoral peoples on an imperial scale. The poverty, bloodshed, and desolation caused by his campaigns gave rise to many legends, which in turn inspired such works as Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great.
The name Timur Lenk signified Timur the Lame, a title of contempt used by his Persian enemies, which became Tamburlaine, or Tamerlane, in Europe. Timur was heir to a political, economic, and cultural heritage rooted in the pastoral peoples and nomad traditions of Central Asia. He and his compatriots cultivated the military arts and discipline of Genghis Khan and, as mounted archers and swordsmen, scorned the settled peasants. Timur never took up a permanent abode. He personally led his almost constantly campaigning forces, enduring extremes of desert heat and lacerating cold. When not campaigning he moved with his army according to season and grazing facilities. His court traveled with him, including his household of one or more of his nine wives and concubines. He strove to make his capital, Samarkand, the most splendid city in Asia, but when he visited it he stayed only a few days and then moved back to the pavilions of his encampment in the plains beyond the city.
Timur was, above all, master of the military techniques developed by Genghis Khan, using every weapon in the military and diplomatic armory of the day. He never missed an opportunity to exploit the weakness (political, economic, or military) of the adversary or to use intrigue, treachery, and alliance to serve his purposes. The seeds of victory were sown among the ranks of the enemy by his agents before an engagement. He conducted sophisticated negotiations with both neighbouring and distant powers, which are recorded in diplomatic archives from England to China. In battle, the nomadic tactics of mobility and surprise were his major weapons of attack.
Timur's most lasting memorials are the Timurid architectural monuments of Samarkand, covered in azure, turquoise, gold, and alabaster mosaics; these are dominated by the great cathedral mosque, ruined by an earthquake but still soaring to an immense fragment of dome. His mausoleum, the Gur-e Amir, is one of the gems of Islamic art. Within the sepulchre he lies under a huge, broken slab of jade. The tomb was opened in 1941, having remained intact for half a millennium. The Soviet Archaeological Commission found the skeleton of a man who, though lame in both right limbs, must have been of powerful physique and tall for a Tatar.
Timur's sons and grandsons fought over the succession when the Chinese expedition disbanded, but his dynasty (see Timurid dynasty) survived in Central Asia for a century in spite of fratricidal strife. Samarkand became a centre of scholarship and science. It was here that Ulugh Beg, his grandson, set up an observatory and drew up the astronomical tables that were later used by the English royal astronomer in the 17th century. During the Timurid renaissance of the 15th century, Herat, southeast of Samarkand, became the home of the brilliant school of Persian miniaturists. At the beginning of the 16th century, when the dynasty ended in Central Asia, his descendant Babur established himself in Kabul and then conquered Delhi, to found the Muslim line of Indian emperors known as the Great Mughals.
b. Feb. 15, 1483, principality of Fergana [now in Uzbekistan]
d. Dec. 26, 1530, Agra, India
(Arabic: Tiger), also spelled BABAR, OR BABER, original name ZAHIR-UD-DIN MUHAMMAD emperor (1526-30) and founder of the Mughal dynasty of India, a descendant of the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan and also of Timur (Tamerlane). He was a military adventurer and soldier of distinction and a poet and diarist of genius, as well as a statesman.
Babur came from the Barlas tribe of Mongol origin, but isolated members of the tribe had become Turks in language and manners through long residence in Turkish regions. Hence Babur, though called a Mughal, drew most of his support from Turks, and the empire he founded was Turkish in character. His family had become members of the Chagatai clan, by which name they are known. He was fifth in direct male descent from Timur and 13th, through the female line, from Genghis Khan, the first of the great Mongol conquerors. Babur's father, 'Umar Shaykh Mirza, ruled the small principality of Fergana to the north of the Hindu Kush (mountains). Because there was no fixed law of succession among the Turks, every prince of the Timurids--the dynasty founded by Timur--considered it his right to rule the whole of Timur's dominions. These territories were vast, and, hence, the princes' claims led to unending wars. The Timurid princes, moreover, considered themselves kings by profession, their business being to rule others without observing too precisely whether any particular region had actually formed a part of Timur's empire. Babur's father, true to this tradition, spent his life trying to recover Timur's old capital of Samarkand, and Babur followed in his footsteps. The qualities needed in this jungle of dynastic warfare were the abilities to inspire loyalty and devotion, to manage the turbulent factions often rent by family feuds, and to draw revenue from the trading and agricultural classes. Babur eventually mastered them all, but he was also a commander of genius.
For 10 years (1494-1504) Babur sought to recover Samarkand and twice occupied it briefly (1497 and 1501). But, in Muhammad Shaybani Khan, a descendant of Genghis Khan and ruler of the Uzbeks beyond the Syr Darya (Jaxartes River), he had an opponent more powerful than even his close relatives. In 1501 Babur was decisively defeated at Sar-e Pol and within three years had lost both Samarkand and his principality of Fergana. There was always hope at that time, however, for a prince of ability with engaging qualities and powers of leadership. In 1504 Babur seized Kabul with his personal followers, maintaining himself there against all rebellions and intrigues. His last unsuccessful attempt on Samarkand (1511-12) induced him to give up a hopeless quest and to concentrate on expansion elsewhere. In 1522, when he was already turning his attention to Sind and India, he finally secured Qandahar, a strategic site on the road to Sind.
When Babur made his first raid into India in 1519, the Punjab was part of the dominions of Sultan Ibrahim Lodi of Delhi, but the governor, Dawlat Khan Lodi, resented Ibrahim's attempts to diminish his authority. By 1524 Babur had invaded the Punjab three more times but was unable to master the tangled course of Punjab and Delhi politics sufficiently to achieve a firm foothold. Yet it was clear that the Delhi sultanate was rent with dissension and ripe for overthrow. After mounting a full-scale attack there, Babur was recalled by an Uzbek attack on his Kabul kingdom, but a joint request for help from 'Alam Khan, Ibrahim's uncle, and Dawlat Khan encouraged Babur to attempt his fifth, and first successful, raid.
First victory in India
Setting out in November 1525, Babur met Ibrahim at Panipat, 50 miles (80 kilometres) north of Delhi, on April 21, 1526. Babur's army was estimated at no more than 12,000, but they were seasoned followers, adept at cavalry tactics, and were aided by new artillery acquired from the Ottoman Turks. Ibrahim's army was said to number 100,000 with 100 elephants, but its tactics were antiquated, and it was rent with dissension. Babur won the battle by coolness under fire, his use of artillery, and effective Turkish wheeling tactics on a divided, dispirited enemy. Ibrahim was killed. With his usual speed Babur occupied Delhi three days later and reached Agra on May 4. His first action there was to lay out a garden by the Yamuna River, now known as the Ram Bagh.
This brilliant success must have seemed at the time to be little different from one of his former forays on Samarkand. His small force, with the unaccustomed hot Indian weather upon them and 800 miles (1,300 km) from their base at Kabul, was surrounded by powerful foes. All down the Ganges River valley were militant Afghan chiefs, in disarray at the moment but with a formidable military potential. To the south were the kingdoms of Malwa and Gujarat, both with large resources, while in Rajasthan, Rana Sanga of Mewar (Udaipur) was head of a powerful confederacy threatening the whole Muslim position in northern India. Babur's first problem was that his own followers, suffering from the heat and disheartened by the hostile surroundings, wished to return home as Timur had done. By employing threats, reproaches, promises, and appeals, vividly described in his memoirs, Babur diverted them. He then dealt with Rana Sanga, who, when he found that Babur was not retiring as his Turkish ancestor had done, advanced to the attack with an estimated 100,000 horses and 500 elephants. With most of the neighbouring strongholds still held by his foes, Babur was virtually surrounded. He sought divine favour by abjuring liquor, breaking the wine vessels, and pouring the wine down a well. His followers responded both to this act and his stirring exhortations and stood their ground at Khanua, 37 miles (60 km) west of Agra, on March 16, 1527. Babur used his customary tactics--a barrier of wagons for his centre, with gaps for the artillery and for cavalry sallies, and wheeling cavalry charges on the wings. The artillery stampeded the elephants, and the flank charges bewildered the Rajputs, who, after 10 hours, broke, never to rally under a single leader again.
Babur had now to deal with the defiant Afghans to the east, who had captured Lucknow while he was facing Rana Sanga. Other Afghans had rallied to Sultan Ibrahim's brother Mahmud Lodi, who had occupied Bihar. There were also Rajput chiefs still defying him, principally the ruler of Chanderi. After capturing that fortress in January 1528, Babur turned to the east. Crossing the Ganges, he drove the Afghan captor of Lucknow into Bengal. He then turned on Mahmud Lodi, whose army was scattered in Babur's third great victory, that of the Ghaghara, where that river joins the Ganges, on May 6, 1529. Artillery was again decisive, helped by the skillful handling of boats.
The Mughal Empire. Babur's dominions were now secure from Qandahar to the borders of Bengal, with a southern limit marked by the Rajput desert and the forts of Ranthambhor, Gwalior, and Chanderi. Within this great area, however, there was no settled administration, only a congeries of quarreling chiefs. An empire had been gained but had still to be pacified and organized. It was thus a precarious heritage that Babur passed on to his son Humayun.
In 1530, when Humayun became so ill that his life was despaired of, Babur is said to have offered his life to God in exchange for Humayun's, walking seven times around the bed to complete the vow. Humayun recovered, and, from that time, Babur declined, dying within the same year.
Babur is rightly considered the founder of the Indian Mughal Empire, even though the work of consolidating the empire was performed by his grandson Akbar. Babur, moreover, provided the glamour of magnetic leadership that inspired the next two generations.
Babur was a military adventurer of genius, an empire builder of good fortune, and an engaging personality. He was also a Turki poet of considerable gifts that would have won him distinction apart from his political career. He was a lover of nature who constructed gardens wherever he went and complemented beautiful spots by holding convivial parties. Finally, his prose memoirs, the Babur-nameh, have become a world classic of autobiography. They were translated from Turki into Persian in Akbar's reign (1589) and were translated into English in two volumes in 1921-22 with the title Memoirs of Babur. They portray a ruler unusually magnanimous for his age, cultured, witty, convivial, and full of good fellowship and adventurous spirit, with a sensitive eye for natural beauty.
The postmythic history of Ulster dates from the 7th century, when it begins to be available from Latin documents and chronicles created by churchmen. By that time the 100 or more tuatha (clans) of the island had loosely grouped themselves into the five provinces of Ulster (Ulaidh), Meath (Midhe, which later dissolved), Leinster (Laighin), Munster (Mumhain), and Connaught (Connacht). By the 8th century Ulster was dominated by a dynasty called the Uí Néill (O'Neill), which claimed descent from a shadowy figure of the 5th century known as Niall of the Nine Hostages. Divided into a northern and southern branch, the Uí Néill asserted hegemony as high kings, to whom all other Irish kings owed deference. In the early 11th century the king of Munster, Brian Boru, effectively challenged the high kings of the Uí Néill dynasty, thereby ending Ulster's political dominance in early Irish history.
The dominance of Munster was short-lived. In the mid-12th century an incursion of Norman adventurers from England, South Wales, and the Continent greatly complicated the island's political pattern. The Norman beachhead was in Waterford in the southeast, but from there they struck out both north and west. By 1177 a force of several hundred men under John de Courci, advancing north from Dublin, had established itself in northern County Down and southern Antrim. They built formidable castles at Downpatrick and Carrickfergus and established the northeast coast as the heart of Norman Ulster. De Courci became so threateningly independent that the English king, John Plantagenet, created an earldom of Ulster in 1205 and conferred it upon the more submissive Hugh de Lacy. The title passed to the Norman family of de Burgo, which was joined in the coastal sections of Down and Antrim in the later 13th century by Anglo-Norman families with names such as Mandeville, Savage, Logan, and Bisset. The hinterland of Ulster remained imperviously Gaelic. (For the subsequent fortunes of the Norman colony and the resurgence of Gaelic society in the 14th and 15th centuries, see Ireland, history of: First centuries of English rule [c. 1166-c. 1600].)
English and Scottish plantations
In the course of the 16th and 17th centuries, the most isolated and undisturbed part of Ireland was transformed by immigration from Britain. The narrow North Channel separates northeastern Ulster from southwestern Scotland. Whereas in the early Middle Ages there had been significant eastward migration of Ulstermen to Scotland, in the late 16th century there began a pronounced westward flow of Scots to Ulster. The crucial preconditions of Ulster's transformation were expansion of English ambitions in Ireland from the 1530s, the defeat of Hugh O'Neill and the lords of the north in the opening years of the 17th century, and the determination of James I to "plant" six of Ulster's nine counties with immigrant English and Scottish colonists.
A few years after the defeat of the northern earls an excuse was found to plant the six counties of Ulster, which were judged to have escheated to the Crown. Only Monaghan, Down, and Antrim were excepted, the first because it had been subjected to a "native" plantation in the 1590s, the latter two because neither was held by the rebel earls and both were already areas of extensive de facto Scottish settlement. The plantation formalized and encouraged an immigration that had begun before the 17th century and that continued throughout and after it.
Religion and social structure
Religious differences accentuated the transforming effect of immigration. A half-hearted attempt to propagate Protestantism in Ireland had largely failed by the 1590s among both the Gaelic Irish and the so-called Old English (descendants of the Anglo-Normans). Despite its nominal proscription, the Roman Catholic church claimed the allegiance of almost the entire population, except for the British-born newcomers. English-born settlers gravitated to the Protestant Church of Ireland, modeled on the Church of England. Scottish settlers brought with them the ardent Calvinism that had recently established itself in their homeland. Any affinity that Gaelic Irish and Gaelic Scots might once have shared was offset, in an age of doctrinal extremism and intolerance, by the polarities of their respective religions.
Ulster became a province dominated by Protestant English and Scottish planters. Its landholding aristocracy was largely English, but beneath it lay a yeomanry of substantial tenant farmers drawn from both Scottish and English immigrants. The native Irish became a largely landless, displaced population for whom only menial vocations were available. The most violent reaction to this subjection was the rebellion of 1641, which originated in Ulster and took the form of a surprise attack upon English (and later Scottish) settlers. The plantation temporarily collapsed as colonists fled for their lives, but with the reconquest of Ireland by Oliver Cromwell in the 1650s and the restoration of the Stuart monarchy in the 1660s, the Ulster plantation was reestablished.
Ulster in the 18th century
As a result of the plantation of the 17th century, Ulster was distinctive among the provinces of Ireland because its immigrant British (and Protestant) population was larger and more concentrated than that of any other region. When, in 1689, the Roman Catholic James II, who had been expelled from England by the Glorious Revolution of the previous year, attempted to recover his fortunes in Ireland, he based his forces in Catholic Dublin. His adversary, the Protestant William III, made Protestant Belfast his encampment. When James's forces surrounded the new town of Londonderry, its Protestant inhabitants withstood a long and painful siege rather than capitulate to a Catholic Stuart. At the Battle of Boyne (1690), William's forces routed those of James. Ulster had become the most British and most Protestant part of Ireland, but it contained a large population of non-British Catholics and was contiguous with a larger and preponderantly Catholic Ireland.
In the late 17th and early 18th century, Ulster, like many predominantly Protestant regions of Europe, became a refuge for Huguenots, Protestants who fled from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Many of these refugees brought commercial and industrial skills that contributed to the development of linen cloth manufacture. Although the linen industry remained traditional and small-scale (and existed in other parts of Ireland as well), it established a foundation for the later industrialization of Belfast and the Lagan valley in the 19th century.
Eighteenth-century Ulster had two elite and two lower classes. One of the elites was predominantly "English," contained the most influential landowners, and was affiliated with the Protestant Church of Ireland. The other elite was predominantly "commercial," contained Scots as well as English, and included Protestants affiliated with various sects, especially Calvinistic ones. The two lower classes were divided by religion; one was Catholic, the other Protestant. Among the lower-class Protestants there was substantial emigration to North America in the middle decades of the century. These so-called Scotch-Irish, frustrated by limited economic opportunity in Ulster, became a mainstay of the Middle Atlantic colonies and the Appalachian frontier. The lower-class Protestants who remained in Ulster competed with lower-class Catholics for favourable leases of land and, later, for favourable jobs. Over a period of time the elites gained the allegiance of the lower-class Protestants by playing upon their natural fear and jealousy of lower-class Catholics.
Late 18th-century Ulster exhibited diverse, contrary tendencies. Belfast was the seat of the Society of United Irishmen (founded 1791), whose Enlightenment-inspired members dreamed of an ecumenical nation freed of corrupt Hanoverian monarchy and religious division. However, conditions in County Armagh gave rise to bitter sectarian strife, and a pitched battle between Protestant and Catholic factions at the Diamond (near Loughgall) in September 1795 led to the founding of the Orange Society (later known as the Orange Order), devoted to maintaining British rule and Protestant ascendancy. A series of rebellions in the summer of 1798--inspired by the high-minded United Irishmen but triggering the sectarian passions of the Catholic peasantry, especially in Leinster--attracted ineffectual French support and brutal British repression. Some 35,000 lives were lost on all sides, and confidence in the ability of the relatively independent (since 1782) Irish Parliament to maintain stability was profoundly shaken. The result was the Act of Union of 1800, which ended such autonomy as existed and transferred Irish representation to Westminster.
The population of Ulster had been, at least since the end of the 17th century, predominantly Protestant and British. To these differences from the rest of Ireland were added in the 19th century a process of industrialization and urbanization centred in Belfast and the Lagan Valley. Textile manufacture, both cotton and linen, and a shipbuilding industry that was in many respects an extension of that of southwestern Scotland's Clydeside, gave Ulster an economy and culture that contrasted with that of the heavily rural and agricultural south. When, in the 1880s, a "Home Rule" movement gathered force in Ireland and was embraced by the English Liberal leader, W.E. Gladstone, it portended minority status in a larger self-ruling Ireland to self-consciously Protestant, British, postindustrial Ulstermen. The anti-Catholic and anti-Irish passions of the long-dormant Orange Order were rekindled.
The first Home Rule Bill (1886) was introduced in Parliament in 1886 by Prime Minister Gladstone. It was defeated in the House of Commons, but its mere formulation was sufficient to raise the spectre of the political domination of Irish Protestants, located mainly in the north, by Irish Catholics, spread throughout the island. Orangeism revived explosively and was adroitly exploited by the Conservative party, which now made "Unionism"--preservation of the Union of England and Ireland--its foremost concern.
A second Home Rule Bill was introduced by the Liberals and was defeated in 1893, in the midst of a long period of Conservative rule. When the Liberals finally returned to power in 1905, their victory foretold another effort to establish a measure of self-government for Ireland. In 1912 the third, and final, Home Rule Bill twice passed the House of Commons, but both times it was defeated in the House of Lords. Protestant Ulster, under the leadership of a prominent barrister, Edward Carson, prepared to resist incorporation into a self-governing Ireland. Oaths were sworn (the Solemn League and Covenant), and paramilitary forces were organized and armed. A civil war in Ireland (between Irish Nationalists in the south and Unionists in the north) seemed imminent. In 1914 the Home Rule Bill of 1912 passed the Commons for the third time, which, according to the Parliament Act of 1911, made ratification by the House of Lords unnecessary. When war broke out in Europe, Parliament, however, postponed the operation of the Home Rule Act until after the war, and the Liberal government of H.H. Asquith implied that special provision would be made for Ulster. Thousands of Irish Catholics and Protestants put aside their differences to join the British fighting forces in World War I. But the situation in Ireland was dramatically inflamed by the Easter Rising of 1916 and its harsh repression. The south was being radicalized, and it began to appear that, however offensive the third Home Rule Bill was for Protestant Ulster, it was too late and too little to satisfy nationalist sentiment in Catholic Ireland.
After the war the coalition government of David Lloyd George was obliged to deal with an almost impossible situation in which most of Ireland rejected the Union and most of Ulster rejected everything else. The intended remedy was the Government of Ireland Act of 1920, which created two modestly self-governing units: one comprising six of Ulster's nine counties (later to be known as Northern Ireland); the other comprising the three remaining counties of Ulster together with the 23 counties of the rest of Ireland. Although the Protestant majority of the six counties clearly preferred continuation of the Union for all of Ireland, it settled for Home Rule for itself. Paradoxically, the Catholic majority of the 26 counties, for whom Home Rule had originally been intended, rejected it as inadequate and fought a brief war with Britain before agreeing, through its provisional government, to the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921-22. This slightly enlarged the sovereignty of the new Irish state, but it also confirmed the right of the six counties of Northern Ireland to opt out of the arrangement, which they did.
Northern Ireland since 1922 Precarious coexistence
The constitutional revisions of 1920-22 succeeded in creating a state within Ireland acceptable to the approximately one million Protestant Unionists of the six counties. It did not provide a remedy for the several hundred thousand Protestant Unionists who lived elsewhere in Ireland, many of whom eventually emigrated. More importantly, it did not provide significant protection for the half million Roman Catholic Nationalists who resided within the six counties. Under the leadership of Sir James Craig (Lord Craigavon), prime minister from 1921 to 1940, Northern Ireland was an unapologetically sectarian state permanently dominated by its Protestant majority and governed in their special interest. Catholics expressed their disdain for the new state by withdrawing from the political arena almost entirely, thereby making even easier Protestant control of local government and the favouring of Protestants in the distribution of jobs, public housing, education, and social services.
Balancing these disadvantages for the Catholic minority was the industrial economy of the north, which had no parallel in the south. By the end of the 19th century Belfast was Ireland's largest city, with a population of nearly 350,000 and with numerous jobs in the textile industries and in shipbuilding. Although skilled jobs were systematically reserved for Protestants, Belfast's economic magnet drew lower-class Catholics from the impoverished countryside. Even if it housed them in appalling ghettos and inflicted upon them sectarian harassment in the forms of assault, vandalism, discrimination, and occasional riot, Belfast's economic appeal endured even through the Great Depression of the 1930s and the doldrums of the 1960s and '70s.
Several factors help to explain the relatively minor emigration of Roman Catholics from the north. Not only did they fear that they would be economically worse off in the south, but World War II brought a measure of economic revival, especially in ship and aircraft manufacture. Moreover, the social welfare provisions extended to Northern Ireland after the war exceeded by far the supports and protections available to individuals in the socially conservative south. Northern Catholics did not "vote with their feet," but neither were they reconciled to the glaring inequities of their state.
Disintegration of stability
By the mid-1960s the fragile stability of Northern Ireland began to erode. Liberal Unionists began to experience some doubts concerning the legitimacy of Protestant domination. Roman Catholics, who were already reentering politics, were impressed by the achievements of African Americans in the civil rights struggles of that period in the United States, and they saw their own situation as analogous. Catholic civil rights protests in 1968 set the scene for violent confrontations that rekindled sectarian conflict between the two communities, especially in Belfast and Londonderry.
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was revived with the emergence of the Provisionals, guerrillas who undertook to protect the Catholic segment of the population in the north from official and unofficial assault and whose political agenda called for the summary departure of the British armed forces and the end of Protestant domination. The Protestant response was the formation of its own paramilitary brigades.
British forces entered the province in the early 1970s, nominally to keep the peace. Soon, however, they came to be viewed by many Catholics as unwelcome agents of a foreign power. The constitution and parliament of Northern Ireland were suspended in March 1972 by the government of the Conservative British prime minister Edward Heath, and since that time a cabinet official, the minister for Northern Ireland, has been responsible for the province. The British army has remained a major presence, and elements of martial law have permeated civil and judicial processes in an effort to stem undiminishing violence. The worst year, in terms of deaths, was 1972, when 467 people were killed, 321 of them civilians. The years from 1971 to 1976 represent the most acute period, with an average of 275 deaths per year due to sectarian violence. The figures for the 1980s showed considerable improvement, but 50 to 100 political murders and assassinations still occurred each year. By the mid-1990s, more than 3,100 had been killed as a result of the conflict.
Among the attempts at reconciliation undertaken during the 1980s was the Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985), which, to the dismay of Unionists, marked the first time the Republic of Ireland had been given an official consultative role in the affairs of the province. In the 1990s, talks were held between the province's major constitutional parties (excluding Sinn Féin, the political wing of the Provisional IRA, on the grounds that the IRA, like the Unionist paramilitary groups, continued to engage in terrorist activity). Frameworks for all-party peace talks (most notably the Downing Street Declaration, 1993) were put forward that guaranteed self-determination for the people of Northern Ireland, promised British government recognition of a unified Ireland if a majority of the province's people agreed, and committed the republic to abandon its constitutional claim to Northern Ireland in the event of a political settlement. In 1994, both the IRA and the Unionist paramilitary groups announced the cessation of violence. The issue of disarmament, however, proved a major stumbling block to the all-party talks, which began (June 1996) without Sinn Féin after the cease-fire had broken down (February 1996). As the end of the 20th century approached, the basic social and political dilemmas that existed when the state was created in 1920 remained to be solved.