allow me to backtrack a moment and correct Chimps distorted view of history.
yes Chimp, most people were illiterate at this time. remember, most of the Crusades occured before the advent of the printing press. however, even the most severely retarded people understood word of mouth.
also, KINGS themselves participated in the Crusades, the most notable of whom being Frederick Barbarossa, Phillip Augustus, and Richard I the Lionheart. it was seen as a royal duty to take the cross and fight in the Crusades. plus, do you think the Reconquista was won by a peasant rabble?
Besides, all your Crusader states that lasted that long weren't exactly in the heart of Muslim controlled areas like you're making it sound.
bullshit. bullshit bullshit bullshit bullshit bullshit bullshit bullshit bullshit bullshit bullshit bullshit bullshit bullshit bullshit. BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT
how much farther into Muslim controlled lands can JERUSALEM get? also, Acre, Syria, Anatolia? do any of those ring a bell?
oh, and what did you think was going to happen? did you think that they were going to conquer these places and hold free elections?
christ chimp, do you have no understanding of history at all? some of these countries ended up being controlled by the Hospitaller and Templar Knights and ALL kingdoms (including establishing a ruling line) had to be approved by the Pope. now, unless you think the Pope is some shifty eyed bandit with a handle bar moustache cranking his adding machine while "nyah nyah nyah-ing" menacingly, then you should probably concede this point.
as for your idea of "free for all" it is only partially correct. the Christians weren't running around slaughtering civilians, especially not Christian civilians. the military orders, the Hospitaller Knights and the Templar Knights, were established to not only protect Christian pilgrims, but also to ensure the safety of Christians living inside the Holy Land. while it is true that there was a certain amount of brutality on the part of the Christians during the Crusades, it was truly characterized by the Muslims. one particular encounter comes to mind (without researching it again). at Nablus, the Muslim forces under Ibn Habar ad-Din agreed to parley and discuss terms of surrender and the ransom of the women and children of the city. a price was set at 30,000 dinars for the freedom of the prisoners and the surrender of the fighting men. when the gates were opened and the ransomed began their march north, ad-Din fell on them, killing all the men, selling the able bodied women and children into slavery, and disposing of the rest. this was business as usual for the Muslim armies for most of the Crusades, Chimp.
the Byzantines, let's think on them for a moment....a decadent, primarily orthodox "empire" with whom the catholic world had very shaky and tenuous relations. i would hardly call that an ally. also, are you referring to the hotly disputed primarliy French and Venetian invasion attempt? 'cause you know, that is really considered more of a Byzantine civil war.
I'm assuming that you mean the Eighth crusade and not the later "crusades" against the Hussars and I agree that it was pretty much an utter failure. St. Louis simply did not have the full support of Christianity behind him.
yes Chimp, I knew that the Muslims studied the Greeks and Romans. hell, without them, most of the literature, art, and philosophy of the old world would have been lost.
in short, don't try to explain history to me. (i'm sure that there are some inaccuracies in my post, but this is all off the top of my head.)