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Essay on the Crusades

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Crusades Essay

The Crusades, which ran through the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, were politically justified but morally unjustified. The First Crusade was issued by Pope Urban II. The Byzantine Emperor Alexius I had called to Pope Urban II to send troops from the west to help against the turk threat in the east. Pope Urban II saw this as an opportunity to unite Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox if he helped. So, Pope Urban II told people that if they fought in a crusade to capture Jerusalem, they were guaranteed a spot in heaven, also called the Holy Kingdom. Thus, the first crusade was launched in August of 1096 heading for Jerusalem. In mid-July of 1099 the Crusaders captured Jerusalem. After their victory they slaughtered many men, women, and children who lived in Jerusalem. The Second Crusade was to recapture the city Edessa from the turks who were pushing to retake Jerusalem, but it failed. In 1187, the city of Jerusalem was reclaimed by the turks led by Saladin. The Third Crusade was to recapture the city of Jerusalem, but wanting to end the bloodshed, one of the leaders of the Crusade, King Richard I of England made a peace treaty with Saladin, ending the Third Crusade. The Fourth Crusade was again meant to recapture Jerusalem, but because of problems between Rome and the Byzantine Empire, the crusaders declared war on Byzantine and sacked the capital city Constantinople.

The effects of the crusades always hurt the rest of the world, nothing good ever came of them. In the First Crusade, after the Christians captured the city, the men, women, and children of Jerusalem were slaughtered. This action caused the Muslims to completely hate the Christians and want revenge. The goals of every crusade besides the second one was to capture Jerusalem, and the first crusade was a success. However, that success didn’t last for long as they lost the city to Saladin sparking the third crusade. Other than the first crusade, all the other crusades resulted in crushing defeats which progressively killed the spirits of the people fighting. Eventually, the spirit behind the original idea of the crusades was lost.

Seeing all the facts, there was an obvious political justification to the Crusades; However, that doesn’t change the fact that morally the Crusades were unjustified. The only reason most people went to fight was because of the things they were promised. Most didn’t think about what they were



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