The Crusades Essay

1221 words - 5 pages

Overview and Analysis of the CrusadesThe Crusades were military expeditions planned and carried out by western European Christians.The crusades started around 1095. The purpose of these crusades was to overtake and gain controlof the Holy Land from the Muslims. The Holy Land was Jerusalem and the Christians believed thatgaining control of it was their fate. The pope would gather the people together and incite them. Theorigin of the crusades was a result of the expanding Turks in the middle east. These Turkish forcesinvaded Byzantium, a Christian empire. The crusaders were a militia, sent out to recover what theythought was theirs.The first crusade was essentially started by Pope Urban II. On November 27, 1095, he gathered hisfollowers outside the French city of Clermont-Ferrand. He preached to these people and told themthat action needed to be taken. In response, the people cheered and planned their attack. Urban IIbrought together all of the bishops and urged them to talk to their friends and fellow villagers and toencourage them to participate in the crusades. Small groups started to form and each group wouldbe self- directing. All the groups planned their own ways to the Constantinople, where they wouldmeet and regroup. They would attack the Turkish forces in Constantinople and hope to regaincontrol of the city.The large Christian armies talked to Alexius I Comnenus, the Byzantium emperor, and agreed toreturn any of his old land that was recaptured. The armies were skeptical of this demand but agreedanyway. The first attack by the crusaders was on Anatolian, the Turkish capital. Meanwhile theByzantians were also trying to recapture Anatolian, and later that year, the city surrendered to theByzantians instead of the crusaders. The Byzantians were using the crusaders as pawns to achievetheir own goals. The crusaders again met and crushed the Turkish army. The crusaders scored agreat victory and boosted the troops' moral. The crusaders captured Antioch and also held off reliefforces sent to help the Turks. The crusaders then moved on to their main goal-Jerusalem!The city was under Egyptian control and was heavily guarded. The crusaders set up siege machinesand called for reinforcements, finally forcing the Egyptians to surrender. Everyone in the city wasmassacred in the belief that the blood of the former holders purified it. The crusaders kept control ofthe city for the next generation or so and brought in people to inhabit the Holy Land. Slowly theMuslim forces started to rebuild and soon came back to take the Holy Land.After the defeat of the Egyptians in Jerusalem, the crusaders started to colonize. The Latin colonistsset up four states: Tripoli, which was on the Syrian coast, Antioch, centered near the OrontesValley, Edessa, a far east state which held most of the Christians, and the Latin Kingdom ofJerusalem, the most powerful and centered between the other three states. The crusaders' strategyduring the first crusade was to isolate the...

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