Yet the result of the Fourth Crusade was on the whole disastrous both for the papacy and for the crusading movement.
Alone of all Crusades (though the Fourth Crusade offers some analogy) it was not blessed but cursed by the papacy: alone of all the Crusades it was conducted without a single act of hostility against the Mahommedan.
But there seems to be little doubt of Philip's complicity in the diversion of the Fourth Crusade to Constantinople (cf.
Accordingly, early in 1201, envoys from each of the three chiefs of the Fourth Crusade (among whom was Villehardouin, the historian of the Crusade) came to Venice to negotiate for a passage to Egypt.
The, expansion of commerce which resulted from the Fourth Crusade soon made itself evident in the city by a rapid development in its architecture and by a decided strengthening of the commercial aristocracy, which eventually led to the great constitutional reform - the closing of the Maggior Consiglio in 1296, whereby Venice became a rigid oligarchy.
Called La Question d'Orient, shows how, in spite of the pope, the Fourth Crusade was in its very beginnings a lay enterprise.
The Norman line of Sicilian kings might be extinct; their policy lived after them in their Hohenstaufen successors, and that policy, as it had helped to divert the Fourth Crusade to the old Norman objective of Constantinople, helped still more to give the Sixth Crusade its secular, diplomatic, non-religious aspect.
This was Bonif ace of Montferrat, the younger brother of Conrad, who was chosen leader of the Fourth Crusade in 1201, on the death of Theobald of Champagne.
In the winter of 1201-1202 he went to Germany to visit Philip of Swabia; and there it has been suggested, he arranged the diversion of the Fourth Crusade to Constantinople (see Crusades).
The project of a Crusade and of an attack on Constantinople wove themselves into a single thread, in a way which very definitely anticipates the Fourth Crusade of 1202-1204.