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What was the impact of Andronicus I on the Byzantine Empire?

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==Andronicus and the West==
There had been growing tensions between western and eastern Christianity for many centuries. Many Orthodox Christians hated their fellow Christians and claimed that they preferred the Muslim Turks to their co-religionist from Europe<ref> Harris, p 203</ref>. Since the 11th century the Italian city-states had been growing in influence in the Empire and by the 1150s had come to dominate Byzantine trade. This naturally led to a great deal of resentment. There was a great deal of anti-western feeling in the Imperial capital and the ordinary people, deeply disliked the Latins, as they called their fellow Christians from western Europe. Andronicus knew this, and he played on it to ensure that he was able to secure a share of the Imperial power. His anti-western policies led to the Massacre of the Latins in 1182. However, whether or not he intended this to happen is difficult to determine. It does seem that he made it clear that he would not oppose the Constantinople mob if they attacked the Latins. Andronicus I clearly benefitted from the massacre and it made him at immensely popular. It is quite possible that Andronicus used the killing of innocent Italian men, women, and children to legitimize his usurpation of the throne<ref> Norwich, p 120</ref>. However, the impact of the massacre was to have profound implications for the Byzantine Empire and his relationship with the west and the crusader kingdoms. The news of the massacre angered many and it provoked the Hungarians to raid Byzantine territory. The Massacre of the Latins and the murder of Empress Maria caused a rupture between Constantinople and the Crusaders states and ended what limited cooperation there was between them. More serious was the impact on the Byzantine's relationship with the West. The kingdoms who owed allegiance to the Western Church regarded the Byzantines as heretics. The Massacre of the Latins made many extremely suspicious of Constantinople in Western Europe. In the coming centuries when Constantinople sought help from the west, against the Ottoman Turks they were as often as not rebuffed. Part of this, was because the Byzantines refused to re-join the Latin or Catholic Church, but it was also because after the Massacre of the Latins that they did not trust their fellow Christians from the East <ref> Norwich, p 126</ref>. The anti-western policies of Andronicus I and his role in the massacre of Constantinople’s Italian mercantile community permanently damaged relations with the Latin kingdoms and ensured that they did not receive aid in their battle against the advancing Muslims in the centuries ahead. This was to play a significant part in the ultimate destruction of the Empire. It has often been stated that the Massacre of the Latins was one of the reasons for the Fourth Crusade (1204). This was a Crusade that instead of attacking the Muslims captured Constantinople. While it would be an exaggeration to state that Andronicus I policies led to the Fourth Crusade it was probably a contributory factor <ref> Angold, M., 1999. The road to 1204: The Byzantine background to the Fourth Crusade. Journal of Medieval History, 25(3), p.262</ref>.
[[File: And One.jpg |250px|thumb|left| Crusaders in Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade- modern depiction]]
==Conclusion==

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