The Purpose Of The Crusades

837 Words 4 Pages
1. Introduction
a. Throughout the centuries there have been many defining events, that have shaped our world and the way that we live our everyday lives. Certain events may not have had notable repercussions across the centuries, but the majority of them have left their mark in history. One of the most important moments for mankind were the Crusades.
b. Thesis: The Crusades were led by the Christian church, more specifically by the Pope who wanted to go to war against the Muslims to free the Holy Land. Some describe the Crusades as a pilgrimage, but a lot of people believe that they were wars fought to conquer the land that was promise to the Christians by God.
2. There is a multitude of reasons that have been found as motivation for the Crusades,
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This was another justification for the Crusaders, since they were promised a penance for the sins they committed, thus this was some sort of pilgrimage that would have brought salvation to them (98). A further purpose for the Crusades was the conversion of the Muslims to Christianity (96).
c. Historians such as Edward Gibbon, believed that an additional reason crusaders wanted to head to the middle east was to enrich themselves by taking advantage of those territories (95).
3. The focal factor that was at the base of the Crusade was the freedom of the promised land from the Islamic control. Although that was the main intent, some people do not agree with that and believe that there were additional plans behind this push to the middle east by the church.
a. Although it can be described as a pilgrimage that would lead to salvation, the Crusades are often described as a Holy War, which can lead us to believe that it was an actual war.
b. This raises the question, on whether these expeditions to the Holy Land were a pilgrimage? Or a war against the Islamic rule that was threatening the Byzantine empire and was occupying what is currently Israel and surroundings?
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The answer can be found in a mix of the two, because one of the reasons why they decided to start the Crusades was to stop the pilgrims that have been going to the middle east from getting captured and tortured, and also to stop the Muslims from destroying all the holy places (97-101).
4. There are many factors that played into how the crusades developed throughout time. The cost of going on a crusade, the time it took for them to reach an end, and the motives and intentions, all factored in how this pilgrimage to the middle east was conducted.
a. The cost to go on these expeditions to the Promised Land were very high and led families to poverty, they often had to trade in their fortunes to be able to afford their gear, food and other things needed for the journey (96).
b. After getting pass all the Muslim forces, the Crusaders have reached and conquered the city of Jerusalem. Consequently, they were able to establish some sort of organization of the territory

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