The fourth crusade was the crusade that went wrong. It turned against fellow Christians, hit the Byzantines with a mortal blow, and sealed the fate of the Byzantine Empire. This week we shall do key moments in history starting with the Sack of Constantinople in 1204.
The failure of the third crusade sparked Pope Innocent III to call for the fourth crusade. The call was answered by an army assembled by Boniface Marquis of Montferrat, which was composed mostly of people from the Holy Roman empire (Germany and Austria) and France. The plan was to invade Egypt from sea and then move to Jerusalem. The crusaders paid the Venetians a whopping 85,000 marks, twice the amount Richard the Lionheart got yearly to build their ships! But when they got to Venice, it was a huge disappointment. The crusaders said they were going to bring around 40,000 people, but that was estimated on how many they thought they would recruit, and they actually ended up with having an army of only 12,000. The Venetians demanded full payment and the crusaders managed to give halve of it but there were threatened with starvation. the doge of Venice decided two bend the situation to his advantage. He said that if they conquered the city of Zara all debts would payed and the Venetians would supply the expedition. They captured and wintered there this is where the exiled prince Alexios V of byzantine who’s farther was usurped by his brother who now sat on the throne of Byzantium. he said if they help he would
pay 200,000 marks
give 10,000 men for the crusade
send ships for transfer to Egypt
give the authority of the orthodox church to the pope
And so it was agreed. Any commander who was stalling was bribed by the Venetians, who sent troops as well.