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For most of the century and a half before 1453, much of western "Europe" was preoccupied with the Hundred Years' War; either as principals, English, French, Flemish, Burgundians, or as "spectators" (e.g. Spain and Germany). Poland, Lithuania and Russia in the northeast, were worried about the Teutonic Knights.


Please keep in mind that the IVth Crusade mentioned in the first answer has resulted in taking of Constantinople by mostly Venician troops in 1204. This has resulted in a long-lasting civil war between the Latins and the Byzantines. Finally Constantinople was taken back by the Byzantines in 1261, but the Empire did not regain all its territory and wealth. ...


There was a certain amount of natural antagonism between the west and the Byzantines. Part of this was religious: They belonged to different sects of Christianity, and thus often viewed each other as little better than heretics or Muslims. Another part was commercial. What little commerce the west had was in direct competition with the Byzantines, whose ...


The question needs a time period, but assuming that you are asking about the period when Constantinople fell in 1453, the old map below shows the situation: As you can see from the map, Constantinople was in a desparate situation, completely surrounded by Turkish territory for hundreds of miles. The only European power that could help them was the ...

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