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The Crusades

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1107
  • Category: God

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The Crusades took place in the Middle East between 1095 and 1291. They were used to gain a leg up on trading, have more land to show hegemony, and to please the gods. Based upon the documents, the Crusades between 1095 and 1291 were caused primarily by religious devotion rather than by the desire for economic and political gain. They were different wars which afterward lead to cultural diffusion and urbanization. The documents could be compared and grouped by the causes and effects which were religion, glory, land and wealth.

During the crusades political leaders and writers used religion as a way to persuade people to join the fight. Their ways of persuasion were to fight against Gods’ enemies, who were the Turks, Franks, and Arabs. People who invaded other Christian and Islamic lands to conquer them, killing many of their people in the process. Documents one, two, four, and five show the way the political leaders and writers had put the image of the attackers into their people’s minds. Leaders such as Pope Urban II, Ekkehard, Saladin and Solomon described the attackers in ill manners. They would agree and describe the attackers as “barbaric”, “enemies”, “demonic.” These descriptions had persuaded audiences (their people) to join the fight against the “demons” of their “Holy City.”

What even motivated some people, especially the Christians, were the deals the Pope had given them, such as serfs being liberated from their ties to the manors. The subjects had to fight for the land that they stand on to continue being good Christians. If you died fighting for this, you would get instant remission of sins, meaning you would be forgiven for all of their sins. After the fight, the crusaders had stayed in the holy city and realized how corrupt the church was when they found out the promises the Pope gave them where just white lies. They abandoned the church rules and started living on their own in the new lands they had gained from fighting and started their trades.

New lands that were gained gave lots of opportunities to the people. They increased in wealth and political power because of the value in religion and location. The point of view from documents three and six are important because in them they describe the dreams that the people wanted, since they were all so poor from paying taxes to the lord and church in their feudal system. Hearing the gains that one could receive from the Holy City motivated people to move from the west to the east. Their desire for becoming rich with money, land and freedom that God promised them, moved them. Trade expanded and new routes were opened along the silk road which made the people richer as new trades were introduced to them, it even expanded them to sea travel which brought them to farther distances. Desire for glory and great pride rewarded to them when they came back home from fighting for their God persuaded them to join the war.

The people were so into serving God they would do anything to please Him, even believing whatever the Pope and church said to them. Using documents two and seven we can conclude that to please their God and have pride, knights, lords, even serfs joined to fight against the so-called ‘demons.’ They didn’t want to be known as servers that abandoned their God and duty as protectors because of their cowardice. The crusades were wars where they fought against each other because of their religion, it was like a spiritual army in the heavens; invaders in their Holy City. Therefore the audience or the people taking in this information from their leaders, wanted to take them out and take their lands back, kill the evil in their heaven.

All this allowed for a diffusion of cultures. As cities or civilizations moved from one place to another, as they conquered land, new cultures were introduced to others. The West moved to the East, bringing in their beliefs and economical systems, new information. The feudal system died out as the Pope and church lost their power on the people, therefore people could start their own new trades. The educational system ceased being based on religion, new stuff like geometry, astronomy, arts and architecture, new medical information were introduced to the people. Cities and towns began to grow as well as agriculture and trading, different crafts could be made in guilds that were created.

This supports my thesis because the crusades were basically a holy war over land and religion. People fought because the Pope persuaded them to fight the enemies who are opposing to God and are invading their promised land, trying to take it away from them for selfish greed. They must fight to protect themselves and from the opponents of God. Though, to prove and give more detail to my thesis, I would need more documents to use. Documents two and three could make use of a map to give a better overall idea and understanding of the West migrating to the East, pinpointed locations would also be helpful with explaining trade. Document seven, instead of giving a picture of a manor or city it would’ve been better if they showed how an actual knight looked like while fighting or with his armor. All of this would’ve helped with adding more detail and evidence into my thesis of the crusades primarily being caused by religious devotion.

The main reason as to why the crusades were pushed into action was being of the religious devotion people had towards their faith. They were different wars against different cultures and religions which ended in good and bad results. People were persuaded to fight because of their belief in God and serving Him. They fought because they wanted to be free from the feudal system and be replenished from their sins. The results of this were that new lands were gained and put into use. Because of expansion of land and kingdom, so did the trade as well as the money, culture, and education. On the negative side, the Pope and church lost their power over the people, they turned their backs on the religion and went off to do their own things away from religion. Things were no longer based on religion. The feudal system ceased and there were no more serfs, more like towns and cities with lords that gave them permission to use their land however they pleased with good intentions. In the end different ideas were passed around, new knowledge was gained, people lived freely.

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