The Crusades Essay Research Paper Chase Mekalian

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The Crusades Essay, Research Paper Chase Mekalian Mekalian 1 The Crusades were Europe’s version for “holy wars” during the Middle Ages. Over the period from 1095-1464, a series of military expeditions were fought to take back the Holy Land (Jerusalem) from the Seldjuk Turks. There were eight separate crusades, which took place during these years and created a huge impression on the world today. Although it brought a lasting uneasiness between the two religions, it caused trade with the East to flourish and feudalism became scarce. The crusaders failed to regain the Holy Land, but the eastern connections opened Europe to a brighter understanding of optimistic ways of living and thinking. They also started the huge spread and expansion of the Christian religion, and began

the formation of modern day Europe. During the 1000s the Seldjuk Turks, people from central Asia who had adopted the Muslim faith, conquered Palestine and attacked Asia Minor, which was part of the Byzantine Empire. When the Turks threatened the capital city of Constantinople, the Byzantine emperor appealed to the pope in Rome. Christians visited Palestine, known as the Holy Land, which was the region where Jesus Christ had lived. The Muslims had captured this land from the Christians, and because Christian pilgrims going to Palestine came home with reports of Mekalian 2 persecution from the Turks, the Byzantine emperor s appeal for help found a reception in Europe. Pope Urban I wanted to regain the Holy Land from the Muslims. He called a great meeting of church leaders and

French nobles at Clermont France in 1095. At the meeting he encouraged the powerful feudal nobles to stop fighting with each other, and to join in one big war against the unbelievers. Urban s request made his listeners very enthusiastic and they joined in one big cry, God wills it! From Clermont people traveled through France preaching the cause. The people who joined the expeditions sewed a cloth cross on their clothes. They were called crusaders, from the Latin word cruciata, which means, marked with a cross. People joined the Crusades, the expeditions to regain the Holy Land, for many different reasons. Most knights joined the crusades for the land and plunder in the rich Middle East. Merchants saw a chance to make money. The pope promised both heavenly and earthly rewards.

Those who died on a Crusade were said to go strait to heaven. The pope also guaranteed church protection of the crusader s property and family during his absence. Debtors who joined a Crusade had their debts canceled. Criminals were relieved of punishment. The Crusades appealed to both a love of adventure and the desire to escape debts or punishment. It was Christian belief that fate was to gain control of the Holy Land for the glory of God. The first crusade lasted from 1096-1099 and was initiated by Pope Urban II. As the news spread about the new fight against the non-believers, small self-directing groups began to form, each planning their own path to Constantinople; that was where they would meet Mekalian 3 and form unity. Their plan was to attack the Turkish forces in

Constantinople and regain control of the city. The first attack by the crusaders was on the Turkish capital, Anatolian. During the same time frame, the Byzantians were also making an attempt to regain the city of Anatolian. The Byzantians used the crusades to their advantage to achieve their goal in capturing the city. Later in the year, Anatolian surrendered the city to the Byzantians, not the crusaders. The crusaders then met once again and together defeated the Turkish army, scoring a great victory. Afterwards, the crusaders went and captured the city of Antioch, and then moved on towards their primary goal, Jerusalem. Jerusalem was under heavy guard by the Egyptians at the time period when the crusaders were about to make their attack. The crusaders set up siege machines and