The Crusades

Essay by mrocJunior High, 9th gradeA, January 1996

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Overview and Analysis of the Crusades

The Crusades were military expeditions planned and carried out by western European Christians.

The crusades started around 1095. The purpose of these crusades was to overtake and gain control

of the Holy Land from the Muslims. The Holy Land was Jerusalem and the Christians believed that

gaining control of it was their fate. The pope would gather the people together and incite them. The

origin of the crusades was a result of the expanding Turks in the middle east. These Turkish forces

invaded Byzantium, a Christian empire. The crusaders were a militia, sent out to recover what they

thought was theirs.

The first crusade was essentially started by Pope Urban II. On November 27, 1095, he gathered his

followers outside the French city of Clermont-Ferrand. He preached to these people and told them

that action needed to be taken. In response, the people cheered and planned their attack.

Urban II

brought together all of the bishops and urged them to talk to their friends and fellow villagers and to

encourage them to participate in the crusades. Small groups started to form and each group would

be self- directing. All the groups planned their own ways to the Constantinople, where they would

meet and regroup. They would attack the Turkish forces in Constantinople and hope to regain

control of the city.

The large Christian armies talked to Alexius I Comnenus, the Byzantium emperor, and agreed to

return any of his old land that was recaptured. The armies were skeptical of this demand but agreed

anyway. The first attack by the crusaders was on Anatolian, the Turkish capital. Meanwhile the

Byzantians were also trying to recapture Anatolian, and later that year, the city surrendered to the

Byzantians instead of the crusaders. The Byzantians were using...