Religion - Gregory VII strongly believed in papal primacy, which led to a confrontation, the Investiture Conflict, with Emperor Henry IV. The pope excommunicated the emperor but later lifted it.
Period: 1084 to 1105
Reign of Emperor Henry IV
Politics - Henry IV was an Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. His reign was tumultuous and clashed repeatedly with the Roman Catholic Church over papal primacy, the biggest being the Investiture Controversy.
Period: 1088 to 1099
Reign of Pope Urban II
Religion - Urban II wanted to expand the leadership of the papacy into the military. When asked for assistance by the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I against the Turks, Urban II called for a "holy war" at the Council of Clermont. This became the First Crusade.
The First Crusade
Warfare - The holy war was called by Pope Urban II to regain Jerusalem from Muslim control. The pope promised to give an indulgence to any who went, which inspired thousands to leave their homes to fight. The crusaders successfully regained Jerusalem in 1099.
Period: 1119 to 1124
Reign of Pope Callixtus II
Religion - Pope Callixtus II's reign was marked by the successful resolution to the Investiture Controversy during the Concordat of Worms in 1122. He and Emperor Henry V came to a compromise where secular leaders relinquished the right to confer church leaders with symbols of spiritual power, but still remained able to attend bishop elections.
Sep 23, 1122
Concordat of Worms
Politics - The Investiture Conflict was resolved when Henry V ceded the right to confer spiritual symbols on the clergy. Bishops were recognized as temporal leaders as well as spiritual leaders.
First Lateran Council
Religion - This was the first ecumenical council called by Pope Callixtus II after the Concordat of Worms. One major reform of the council was that all clergy were to be celibate. Any clergymen that were married had their marriages revoked.
Marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Louis VII of France
Politics - Eleanor was Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right and became Queen of France when she married Louis VII in 1137. She took her armies to the Second Crusade in 1147 with her husband's armies under the condition that she went along. After the crusade's failure, the pope granted an annulment to Louis VII in 1152.
The Second Crusade
Warfare - Ruling monarchs led the crusade, but due to little planning, it was a disaster.
Marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry II of England
Politics - After her marriage to Louis VII of France was annulled, Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henry II of England in 1152. This granted Henry II control of vast French lands, more than the French king himself.
Period: 1154 to 1189
Reign of Henry II of England
Politics - Henry II of England expanded monarchical power by reforming the English judicial system into a common law system. These reforms included a circuit court system called eyres, which heard civil cases, trials by juries, and indictment juries.
The Third Crusade
Warfare - This was an unsuccessful attempt to retake Jerusalem. Emperor Frederick I, Philip II of France, Leopold of Austria, and Richard I of England all led their armies to the holy land, but could not work together to succeed.
Period: 1198 to 1216
Reign of Pope Innocent III
Religion - Pope Innocent III asserted his belief of papal primacy and called the Fourth Lateran Council to reform many aspects of Christian life.
The Fourth Crusade
Warfare - The crusaders went to Constantinople to help restore the Byzantine Emperor. After being denied their payment, they sacked Constantinople and set up a new empire that lasted only a few decades.
Period: 1209 to 1229
Religion - The Roman Catholic Church hunted and killed Albigensians by the thousands for their heretical beliefs contrary to church doctrine.
Fourth Lateran Council
Religion - Pope Innocent III made reforms to numerous aspects of Christian life. These included reforms to the sacraments, such as the pronouncement of the Marriage Banns, and defined transubstantiation, the belief that the Eucharist was truly Christ's body and blood.
Jun 15, 1215
Magna Carta signed
Politics - King John of England was forced to sign the Magna Carta by English barons who were discontent about the heavy taxes imposed by King John. It limited the king's power to rule without consent of the barons.