SStill he faced not so much opposition as indifference on the part of all the other petty Armenian warlords in the surrounding countryside because the “County” of Edessa was not a unified territory at all, but rather a patchwork quilt of minor princlings and lords, who each ruled their individual towns and castles by force. This was a land of “robber barons,” each jealously guarding their own territory and always on the alert to weaken or take advantage of the weakness of a neighbor. The Armenian warlords also rapidly set to work pitting one crusader lord against another, in what (in retrospect) seems like an almost playful experiment of seeing just how far they could go. The crusaders, significantly, after some initial squabbling eventually countered these attempts by closing ranks against the Armenians and eliminating the worst trouble-makers.
Furthermore, this pattern of integration and alliance with local (non-Latin) Christian elites was both continued under Baldwin’s successors, the Courteneys, and also transferred to Jerusalem when Baldwin II of Edessa became Baldwin II of Jerusalem. Significantly, his half-Armenian daughter Melusinde succeeded him to the throne, reinforcing the influence of native Christians at the heart of the crusader states.
MacEvitt argues, I think convincingly, that the tiny Frankish elite in all the crusader kingdoms was both more dependent and more integrated in Eastern Christian society than previous historians have been willing to admit. His work The Crusades and the Christian World of the East: Rough Tolerance is well worth reading.