Christianity and the Crusades Term Paper

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crusades advanced the cause of Christ and what were the motivating factors for each of the crusades and if they were carried out with approval of the rest of the Christian world. Crusades involved a series of religious and political wars that were fought between 1096 and 1291 so as to gain control of the Holy land. Crusades were military campaigns that were sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church during the middle ages. In 1095, Pope Urban II proclaimed the first Crusade which was aimed at helping Christian Byzantine Empire that was being attacked by Muslim Seljuk Turks. Muslims unified agonist Christians invading and occupying force and these two groups ended up battling in wars for the control of the Holy Land. As a result of this crusade Europeans ended up capturing and restoration of Christianaccess to holy place in Jerusalem or near the place.

These crusading usually attracted men and women of all classes from every country in Europe and impacted every aspect of daily life from the church and religious thoughts, to economics and politics. It also found its way to art as artists and patrons from different backgrounds and traditions were brought together and ended up creating new forms of expression. The mosaics, frescos and sculptures were a reflection of the blend of western which was the catholic and eastern which was Eastern Christian traditions, Religious fervor was an important factor in arousing Christians to organize these military expeditions since they had the hope of gaining immense riches as well as increased power (Hammond, 2010).

Looking at the factors that motivated crusades and the effects of the crusades had when it comes to the advancement of Christianity from the period when the first crusade took place until the present day, it is seen that, the first crusade of 1095 was a direct result of the Byzantine army being destroyed by the Turks and 3000 Christians were massacred in Jerusalem. An embassy was then sent to Pope Urban II informing him what was happening in Jerusalem that led him into calling a crusade. This was successful as armed forces gathered to embark on the first crusade and captured the city of Jerusalem. The second crusade took place between 1147 and 1149 and was as a result of the fall and massacre of Edessa, the bulwark of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem taken by Turks and the population taken and sold to slavery. The second crusade was led by Clairvaux, St. Bernard who was helped by Conrad the II of Germany and King Louis VII of France who entrusted the affairs of his kingdom to his subordinates and took up the cause of Christ. Unlike the first crusade, the second one was not successful and it culminated with a joint attack which was executed by Louis and Conrad which even though was spirited was not victorious. There was a joint attack at Damascus which failed causing the siege to be raised and hence ended the crusade. Since they had accomplished nothing they ended up going back home. Despite the presence of a string German and French division the crusade was not able to accomplish anything (Bush, 2009)

The third crusade took place 1189 to 1192 and was due to Jerusalem being captured by Muslim world led by Saladin who was devout in fasting and praying, very hostile towards non-believers and very proud. The crusade was led by King Richard 1 of England and raised finances to support the cause. The third crusade saw the death of Frederick Barbarossa who had the crusading zeal. King Richard and England remained in the Holy land longer than the other crusaders since they had reached a truce with Saladin which allowed Christians to make pilgrimage in Jerusalem without any tribute. The fourth crusade was marked disparities and distracted efforts taken by French Knights and were set in motion by Pope Innocent the III who brought back to life the wishes of Pope Urban ii. This crusade led to the capture of Constantinople instead of Jerusalem. The crusades that followed were considered to have minor effects; however we can still see that there was a great passion and a deep rooted belief within each of the crusades that their faith was the only true faith and demonstrated the lengths each side was willing to go in order to spread their beliefs (Rooney, &…[continue]

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