Weaknesses of Pope Innocent III's Plans for the Fourth Crusade

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  • Weaknesses of Pope Innocent's Plans
    • Failed to secure secular leadership
      • Peter of Capuano alienated prospective Crusade leaders, Philip II of France and Richard of England
        • Poor diplomacy
        • Offended them through unrealistic requests
      • Succession crisis in England after the death of King Richard meant that England and France were too busy for crusading
      • The German Holy Roman Emperor-Elect, Philip of Swabia, was not approached because Innocent disputed his claim to the imperial title
    • Small number of Crusaders arrived in Venice
      • Preachers Innocent had appointed had failed to stir up sufficient recruits
        • Some, like Eustace, Abbot of St Gerner de Flay, focused their sermons on the idea of vita apolista and moral reform, which maked the crusade message they were supposed to spread
      • Innocent's failure to appreciate the shifting conceptions of chivalry in the 12th Century
        • Third Crusade had done much to associate crusading with chivalry
          • Richard and his followers were idolised by the knightly classes
        • New chivalric values placed promience upon following overlords like Richard rather than the old physical ideas of brute strength and warlike deeds
          • Knights would not simply support Innocent as a chance to show off as they had done during the First Crusade
        • Knights would have to follow a leader
          • Knights would not simply support Innocent as a chance to show off as they had done during the First Crusade
          • Innocent failed to recruit the top strata of secular society, and this was therefore fundamental to the problems that followed
    • Changed the features of the Crusade too quickly
      • Attempt at a Church-wide tax in 1199 was largely unsuccessful
        • In his demand for one-fortieth of Church income, Innocent had to fight the conservative tide of Church thinking
        • Most still held firm to the belief that payment to go on crusade should be made by the individual
    • Innocent only gave the Crusaders until March 1199 to depart on the Fourth Crusade
      • Only six months after he had published Post Miserabile
      • Not enough time for recruitment of crusaders, leadership decision making and the arrangement of transportation to Outremer
      • Innocent's expectations exceeded what was realistic


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