What Are The Motivations For The Crusades

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The crusades were a series of military campaigns carried out between 11th and 15th centuries by the Catholic church against Muslims, pagans, and the opponents of the church (Lock, 2006). Over the past few decades, historians have indulged in the investigation of the occurrence of, and the motivations for the crusades. Some of the motivations for the crusades identified include the need to: capture Jerusalem; free and defend Christian territories; and protect Christians living in non-Christian territories. However, questions still arise on whether these were the real motives of the religious and political leaders who called for the crusades or they also had certain hidden agendas (Lock, 2006). This article examines the evidence available on the first crusade to determine whether it was meant to save Christianity or to simply exploit them for personal gains.
The First Crusade (1096-1099)
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He cunningly crafted his rallying message for the crusade. He said that those who participated in the liberation of God’s Church from the hands of Muslims would be forgiven for their sins. He did this upon the request of Emperor Alexios I of Byzantine, who feared the advancing Seljuk Turks, who had taken over some of his southern territories and were approaching Constantinople. Pope Urban II was quick to respond to this request for certain political reasons. He knew that the Byzantine empire was mainly dominated by the eastern church (the Orthodox Church). He saw Emperor Alexios I’s request as an opportunity he could not forgo to reach out to the Eastern church which had in the past differed greatly with the Western Church (Catholic Church). He believed that by helping the Byzantine empire and the Eastern Church, he would be able to unite both the Western and Eastern Churches under his

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