The Byzantine Empire’s decline was caused by economic failure, an unstable political system, as well as threat of invasion from outside forces. The empire began to fail after it had been around for several centuries and started to weaken. Much like in the Roman Empire, the fall of the Byzantine Empire was caused by a combination of external invasion and internal decline.
On honor, the words and thoughts of this paper are my own. I have received no unauthorized help in writing this paper: Sean McFadden
In the year 330 A.D., a new capital of Rome under the command of Emperor Constantine I would be founded. It would become a dominant power that would conquer and progress for the next nine centuries, and according to the author Frederic Harrison, it would remain a solid unit in which its foundation would rarely be broken (Harrison, 7). Emperor Constantine would choose to position the new capitol between the areas of Europe and Asia Minor, located on a narrow water passage that would stretch from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. According to an article I found dedicated to the Military of The Byzantines, it stated that this new capitol known as Constantinople would become one of the most tremendous cities but would also become home to one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever known, The Byzantine Empire (“Military of the Byzantines”, 2015).
In 1095 CE Pope Urban II launched the First Crusade to recapture the Holy Land of Jerusalem, and restore Christian supremacy in Anatolia (modern day Turkey) and the Levant (Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Jordan, and the Sinai Peninsula) (First Crusade). The cause for such an aggressive movement in the region is debated amongst historians. However, mainstream theories assert that the First Crusade was a direct result of rising Islamic confrontation in Anatolia (The First Crusade). Christians had not been in control of the Holy Land for over 400 years (Timelines of History). Though, as Islam crept into Europe through Spain and the East, Christian grip on Europe was threatened, and thus, the First crusade was launched (First Crusade).
The fourth Crusade was one of the most astonishing turn of events during the Middle Ages. Each Crusade was called for one purpose, to reconquer the Holy Land from the Muslims. With that in mind, the fourth Crusade was disaster, not only failing to get anywhere near Jerusalem but then to attack and conquer two Christian cities, which had been unprecedented to this time. When discussing these points in history, it is important to discuss how such events came to be, and whilst the sacking of Zara and Constantinople are not in question, what is in question is how much of a role did Pope Innocent III did play in the 4th Crusade? Was he the mastermind, or was control of the 4th Crusade taken from him? This
Pope Innocent III called a new Crusade in 1198. It was led by French knights. They were setting out for the Holy Land but was distracted by Venetian lords who told them to capture wealth and splendor of Eastern Orthodox Constantinople instead. The Crusades control Constantinople.
A group of Crusaders, led by Count Emicho, carried out a series of massacres of Jews in various towns in the Rhineland in 1096. This caused widespread outrage and causing a major crisis in Jewish-Christian relations. When Jerusalem fell to the crusaders hundreds of men, women, and children were slaughtered. (History.com)
The Byzantine people must have suffered from numerous attacks resulting in their vulnerability and ultimately the immense loss of territory such as Anatolia (Doc 9.) This map illustrates the new empires that arose on once Byzantine land. The map shows the division of land between the invaders such as the Kingdoms of Bulgaria, the Kingdoms of Servia and Wallachian States, towards the end of the Crusades. The flow chart of the decline of Byzantium reveals the empire fell to many causes, one being external conflicts. The threat from Seljuk Turks grew, as were those of other civilizations wanting land or recognizing Byzantines weakness. The Seljuk Turks cut off trading routes between Constantinople and Asian provinces in order to establish a weak Capital to take over. The flow chart illustrates the empires internal environment crumbling due to constant external attack. Eventually other empires recognized Byzantines weakness and the fourth crusade sacks Constantinople weakening forces, allowing the Turks to finally take Constantinople in 1453 (doc 10.) The flowchart was created to show how each decision and action led to the
Constantinople great Christian city that had been seized and controlled by the Muslim Ottoman sultan Mehmed II in 1453. This event marked the final end of the Roman/Byzantine Empire and the ascendency of the Ottoman Empire. The byzantine was a stronghold for Christianity and had ruled for eleven hundred years.
Things that changed during this period were the influences of Christianity, social changes, the splitting of the Empire, and the Fall of Rome. Social changes within the empire became more and more apparent because the newly rich began challenging the aristocratic class. The poor class began to grow rapidly. The Roman Empire wasn’t accepting of Christianity, because of its refusal to worship any of their gods. Christianity began to spread through the Roman Empire, and Constantine created the Edict of Milan to accept Christianity within the Empire, because he converted to Christianity. Diocletian negotiated with Persia and was able to successfully divide the Roman Empire in two. Constantine ordered the construction of Constantinople. The fall of the Roman Empire was caused by several internal factors. The Barracks Emperors or the 26 claimants to the throne resulted in a power struggle. The diseases that were spreading over the Silk
With the new invention of Greek fire, the Byzantines had a relatively easy time winning the wars. These two failed sieges stopped the expansion of the Arab Empire for more than 30 years. However, if the Arabs won, it could have started a chain reaction causing the Byzantine Empire to dissolve and jump-start the Arab expansion into England 700 years early.
The fall of Constantinople in 1453 was one of the most influential events in history and marked the end of the Byzantine Empire. The main effect of the fall of Constantinople in 1453 was the downfall of the Byzantine Empire and the rise of the Ottoman Empire. The city was mainly populated by Christians and now has become an Islamic city. The capture of Constantinople stated the end of the Roman Empire, which lasted for about one thousand five hundred years. The invasion of the city of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire marked the end of the Middle Ages.
The Byzantine Empire, though often forgotten among better-known empires, such as the Roman Empire, ran for nearly one thousand years, occupying the eastern half of what once was the Roman Empire. It engaged in trade, expansion, and decades of warfare. It also gave women a better status then men, valued and preserved Greek history, and eventually fell to the Ottomans.