The First Crusade was the sacrifice of France for the sins of the Dark Ages. Alone of all the Crusades it succeeded, despite its surrender of countless lives. No Richard of England, no St. Louis led; its heroes were the nobles and peasants of France and Norman Italy, who endured a thousand perils and hewed their victorious way to Jerusalem. In this Crusade united Feudalism and Papacy won their greatest triumph. Notwithstanding the self-seeking of a few, the mass of the Crusaders were true to their profession,—they sought no worldly gain, but to wash out their sins in infidel blood. In this Crusade also the alien civilizations of Christendom and Islam were brought into a dramatic collision which has few historic counterparts.