Knights and kings were attacking the Holy Lands of the Middle East in the name of God and with the blessing of the Christian Church during this volatile period, which is sometimes called the Golden Age of Chivalry. The goal was to drive the Muslim tribes out of Palestine so that they could control the sacred lands of Jesus and the Bible.
The crusades happened in waves over the centuries as power shifted between the Christians and the Muslims, who fought back and reclaimed their territories. Each crusade generally lasted for a year or more before the area was secured and the queen could return home. By comparison, other expeditions into China or India could last two or three years.
By 1291, the Crusades were at an end and the crusading soldiers abandoned the area and returned home.
After conquering Jerusalem in 1099, an army was established to keep control of the city. This lead to the establishment of numerous military orders. These were a kind of association, group representation or affiliation to a particular leader, queen or cause; though all orders served the Christian (Catholic) Church in Rome.
The Age of Chivalry ebbed after several Crusades, in which Jerusalem was won and lost, and its focus was shifted toward vain and selfish pursuits. This lead to the fighting of great wars-mostly between England and France – due to bickering among royal houses and noble families of different nations. As these high-ranking sides fought, the class divisions grew deeper and the poor were further exploited in order to support the rich. Nobles weren’t the only ones shifting to less ethical behavior. Knights began fighting for the love of a woman or, if she was married, for another man’s wife and all his possessions.
By mid-1300 new orders like the Order of the Golden Fleece were formed by royal courts. While knighthood was once a noble profession, now knight becoming less effective in the battle are more often were simple sporting entertainment for royal families.
Religion became less influential and even trivialized by some courts, 1337 saw the beginning of the The Hundred Years War between England and France.