The 13th century was a very aggressive century, after looking through timelines of events that took place through out the century, there never seemed to be a dull moment. I noticed that there was a frequent amount of battle across the european continent throughout the whole century.
The Holy Roman Empire was very active throughout the century, fighting with the pope over religious issues.The crusades took up a huge portion of the 13th century and caused a lot of wars over religion.The 4th, 5th and 6th crusades all took place within the 13th century, the fourth crusade played a huge role in impacting europe at the time and even today.Only four years into the start of the century, the fourth crusade was already under way.The goal of the fourth crusade was to defeat the Muslim ruled Jerusalem, but the goal was quickly changed after the crusaders put a lot of their time and resources into conquering Constantinople and forming the Latin empire. Even though the Byzantines would reclaim their land a mere fifty years later. The residents of Constantinople were not too concerned with the threats of the crusaders, the crusaders sacked the city with ease.
Even though the century was loaded with battle, the one event that I found the most interesting was the forming and completion of the Magna Carta. This charter or “bill of rights” granted the freemen of England rights and liberties. Some people look at the Magna Carta as any other bill of Rights, but in reality it is the base of many younger countries constitutions or charters. There are many similarities in the American Bill of Rights and the completed Magna Carta.
In conclusion, there were several wars and several documents that greatly affected the way the europeans lived and even formed the way that we as Americans live our lives today. This century played a huge role in affecting the catholic church and how the pope rules over it. The Magna Carter gave english men rights and set the bar on how countries should treat their citizens and how their rulers should rule.
“Featured Document: The Magna Carta.” National Archives and Records Administration.http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/ (accessed January 10, 2012).
“Fourth Crusade.” History Net: Where History Comes Alive – World & US History Online. http://www.historynet.com/fourth-crusade.htm (accessed January 10, 2012).
The Crusades.” Middle Ages. http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/the-crusades.htm (accessed January 10, 2012).