Successes And Failures Of The Crusades West Milford High School, World History Essay

962 words - 4 pages

Crusades Paper
The initial reason and goal for the crusades was to take control of Jerusalem away from
the Muslims. However, there was a variety of other reasons for individuals and groups to take
part in the crusades. People wanted the chance to travel and make money along with the belief
that fighting in a crusade would give you forgiveness of sins. The Christians reasoning behind
wanting to enter the holy city of Jerusalem was that it is where Christ was buried. There was a
major feeling inside of the Christian warriors that helped them be extremely passionate about
what they were fighting for. It was the idea of the crusading spirit which was a concept Pope
Urban II preached to the Catholic people and it was basically the fire inside of them to attack
any non-believers. Throughout all the Crusades, there was a handful of major successes and
failures. The taking of Jerusalem in 1099 because of the crusading spirit and the creation of four
large Crusader states along with the loss of Jerusalem and the term Jihad were key points
during the Crusades.
The First Crusade came amongst us because the Muslims had control of Jerusalem and
the Christians wanted to retake the Holy Land. Pope Urban II was a major figure in the unifying
of a diverse group of individuals from farmers to laborers. This was a monumental reason for
the success of taking back Jerusalem from the Muslims. Political and religiously disunified
Muslims unknowingly played a role in allowing the Christians to take Jerusalem the first time.
The Great German Pilgrimage of 1064-65 showed the Christians just how unconnected the
Muslims were. On March 25, 1065, “they suddenly fell into the hands of the Arabs who leaped
on them like famished wolves on long awaited prey. They slaughtered the first pilgrims pitiably,
tearing them to pieces” (Medieval Sourcebook par. 4). The pilgrims fought the Arabs until the
governor of the King of Babylon, Al-Mustansir, the Fatamid Caliph of Cairo, came to put an end
to the battle. He did this because, “if these pilgrims were to perish such a miserable death, then
no one would come through this territory for religious purposes and thus he and his people
would suffer seriously” (Medieval Sourcebook par. 7). After opening the gates so that the
pilgrims could leave, they finally entered the holy city a few weeks later, on April 12th. The fact
that Mustansir and the Arabs clearly showed a division within the Muslims ultimately ended up
benefitting the pilgrims. An account of the taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders described it by
saying, “our feet colored to our ankles with the blood of the slain” (The Siege of the City of
Jerusalem par. 1). The leadership of Pope Urban II through preaching of the Crusading Spirit and
the division between the Muslims were...

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