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The First Crusade Essay

1567 words - 7 pages

The First Crusade helped to diversify and change the historical development of Christianity and other various sub-groups. The power of Christianity in Western Europe was growing along with its population. The newly rehabilitated and orgainised Church began to gain great power. A new Europe was being born with the Catholic Church as a force in every area of life.In Christian beliefs Jesus Christ was to return in the year 1000A.D. Knowing this, the people of Europe expected the return of Christ and feared the 'Wrath of God'. Clergy members were often consulted to figure out what would be a suitable penance to free Christians from their. 'The Church itself still frequently imposed pilgrimages ...view middle of the document...

The large crowd listening to the Pope's speech where saddened and outraged. The Pope called on Christian knights to set out to the Holy Land and free it from the claws of the pagan Seljuk Turks. He promised any knight who set out to the Holy Land 'the remission of sins and be sure of the incorruptible glory of the kingdom of heaven' . The crowd immediately supported it by crying out 'It is the will of God' . This can be seen as the starting point of the period of the Crusades.The soldiers for the first true Crusade were recruited from the warrior class of knights. The warriors of the First Crusade numbered around 25,000 or 30,000. The number of troops may seem microscopic by today's standards but it was 'immense in the eyes of contemporaries' . Pope Urban II appointed Adhemar of Le Puy, a French bishop, to lead the Crusaders into the Holy Land.Many joined the Crusade for the Pope's pledge of the remission of sins and the honorable glory of the kingdom of heaven. To them it was like an 'armed pilgrimage' . Others saw a more materialistic goal. They felt they could gain territories, wealth or a title if they where victories. This made the Crusade not only a 'Holy War', but a war to benefit the Christian people.By 1097, the noble warriors from Western Europe had reached the Byzantine capital of Constantinople. When the Byzantine Emperor Alexius saw the amount of soldiers he was not entirely accommodating. He was unsure of the true motives of the Crusaders. To him they posed a threat to his empire owing to the size of the armies. Alexius truly called on the West only to aid him in recapturing the lost Byzantine provinces of Asia Minor. The Crusaders were determined on the conquest of the Holy Land. Alexius made the Crusaders promise respect to the lands they would overcome. Alexius promised the Crusaders military aid but it never truly came. After the Crusaders left Constantinople ties with the Byzantines were severedThe crusading armies then moved southeastward across Asia Minor. The vast number of cavalry and foot soldiers reached the ancient city of Antioch by 1098. After a long and complex siege the Crusaders captured Antioch. After the capturing of Antioch, the Crusaders moved towards Palestine. In June of the year 1099 the Crusaders reached the 'Holy City ' of Jerusalem. After a five week siege, Jerusalem was taken by the Crusaders. The victory was celebrated by the plundering of the city. The Crusaders carried on the 'Will of God ' through the brutal slaughtering of Jerusalem's non-Christian population. Eyewitnesses described the encounter as being so horrific that their 'feet were colored to their ankles with the blood of the slain' and that 'neither women nor children were spared' .As the conquest was ending, the Crusaders set up feudal states in the conquered lands. Four main Latin states were created. They were the principality of Antioch, the county of Edessa, the county of Tripoli and the kingdom of Jerusalem.The First Crusade was the...

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