The Fist Crusade Essay - 1 Whittaker Spencer Whittaker...

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1 Whittaker Spencer Whittaker Western Civ 102H.02 16 October 2012 The First Crusade The First Crusade began after Pope Urban II called for a crusade in November of 1095 at Clermont. The Muslims had controlled Christianity’s holy land of Jerusalem for 400 years starting in 638, but after the church of the Holy Sepulchre was burned down, Pope Urban II had more motive to put into act an idea that Pope Gregory VII had told Urban of. As Thomas Asbridge stated the decision was “primarily proactive rather than reactive”. The idea to take up arms and stop the potential threat of Islam in the East had not actually been a response to something that had occurred, but rather stopping something that might in the comings years. What some people did not quite understand was why now? The fact that Jerusalem was under Islamic rule was not anything new to the Christians. In addition, the Muslim rulers of the Holy Land were willing to grant pilgrims to access the sacred sites inside of Jerusalem. Ultimately, the reason behind Urban’s crusade was that in his mind it was still infinitely preferable for Jerusalem to be under Christian control. With the promise of being reconciled for sins and gaining land as well, the people were quick to take up the cause for the First Crusade. It began with the people’s crusade that left immediately after Urban’s proclamation. They were led by a few elites including Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless, but their lack of organization led to their eventually slaughtering. After them came the crusade led by Princes and Dukes, this group was the reason for the Christian victory at the conclusion of the First Crusade. The first Crusade was a very intricate event that featured several mistakes along the way to victory for the Christians. The first of these mistakes appears in the planning and deciding
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2 of the first Crusade. Pope Urban II determined that it was going to be a necessary measure that the Christians had to take upon in order to claim the holy land for Christianity. Just to set the scene, Pope Gregory VII had brought to the attention of Urban II, that a Crusade might be a measure that they should take if they wanted to take back Jerusalem from the Muslims (who at the time was only an assistant of sorts for Gregory and did not yet have the name Urban II). Gregory VII believed in a just war for a just cause that ultimately caused him to lay the foundation for the Holy War. He never proclaimed war, but when Alexius of the Byzantine Empire came to Urban II for help, he responded with the idea of the Crusade. The people participated with the idea because the pope promised that it would forgive their sins. At the time, people were afraid of going to hell because of their mistakes that made them susceptible to the “promise” of reconciliation and motivated them to go and liberate Jerusalem. In addition to this promise, the younger elite sons who usually joined the church participated for chances to own land in the Middle East. This was because the oldest sons in elite families got the family property
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  • Fall '12
  • Venske
  • Crusades, First Crusade, crusade, Pope Urban II, Pope Urban

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