Following the second crusade came the third crusade. Overall the crusades were a cause of the Christians and the Muslims fighters over the Holy Land. This fight over Jerusalem was such a big deal, because of the importance of religion in the medieval times. Religion played an important role in human everyday life. Religion determined your social class and how you lived your life. Thus a religious place, such as Jerusalem, was important during the medieval times.
Another cause religion had on the crusades is that it was the very reason why many people fought in the crusades. They believed that they fought in the crusades under the name of God; and that by fighting in the crusade they guarantee themselves a place in heaven and would right their wrongs. They believed that it was God's will that they go and fight for Jerusalem.
The third crusade followed the capture of Jerusalem by Saladin and the defeat of Guy of Lusignan, Reginald of Châtillon, and Raymond of Tripoli at Hattin. The main leaders of the third crusade were: Richard I of England, Philip II of France, and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I.
The third crusade started when Frederick I headed out. He, however, was hindered by the Byzantine emperor, Isaac II. Isaac II had formed an alliance with Saladin. Frederick continued on to the Bosporus, sacked Adrianople and compelled the Greeks to furnish transportation to Asia Minor. Unfortunately, this was the end of Frederick's life. He he died in 1190 in Cilicia from drowning, and only part of his forces went on to the Holy Land. Only 1,000 of the 30,000 who had originally left Germany reached their destination of Acre.
The remaining two leaders, Richard I and Philip II, were uneasy allies. They reached Acre in 1191, with help from the remnants of Frederick's army. They besieged the city, but Saladin's army attempted to break the siege, but were turned away. The city was taken on July 12. Philip, was frustrated with Richard, and left the Holy Land in August.
"On August 22, Richard executed the 3000 Muslim prisoners he still had in his custody at Acre, when he felt Saladin was not honouring the terms of Acre's surrender."
After this event, Richard wanted to take the port of Jaffa. This he would need to launch an attack on Jerusalem. While on this march, Saladin attacked him, but Richard won victoriously. By January of 1192, Richard was prepared to march to Jerusalem. (Book Internet) However, Saladin reinforced his army and city. As a cause of this when Richard came within sight of Jerusalem twice, he retreated each time in the face of Saladin's larger army. In July, Saladin tried to retake Jaffe. He, however, failed on July 31.
"King Richard and Saladin finally concluded a truce by the terms of which Christians were permitted to visit Jerusalem without paying tribute, that they should have free access to the holy places, and remain in undisturbed possession of the coast from Jaffa to Tyre. " As a cause of this the third crusade came to an end.
"The third crusade was the last effort of the united Christendom." (Book Internet)