The crusades were military expeditions launched against the
Muslims by the Christians in an attempt to regain the Holy Land. They
took place between 1095 A.D. and 1270 A.D. It was one of the most
violent periods in the history of mankind.
The starting point of the crusades was on November 18, 1095
A.D. when Pope Urban II opened the Council of Clermont. On November
27, outside the French city of Clermont-Ferrand, the Pope made an
important speech . He called upon everyone to help the Christians in
the east to restore peace. The crowd's response was very positive.
Garments were cut into crosses which were attached to people's
shoulders in an imitation of Christ (Matthew 10:38).(1) The original
object of the First Crusade was to help Christian churches in the
east. The new goal became to free the Holy Land from Muslim control,
Pope Urban II stayed in France until September 1096 to provide
leadership and guidance for the members of the First Crusade.
urged churchmen to preach the cross in France. Urban wanted the
crusading army to be mostly made up of knights and other military
personnel. Since the news of his speech at Clermont spread through
the west, people from all social classes and occupations joined the
Crusade. As a result of Urban losing control of personnel, violence
was launched against the Jews of northern France. This violence was
mostly instigated by bands of the urban and rural poor led by men like
Peter the Hermit and Walter Sans-Avoir.
These groups lacked supplies and discipline. They attempted
to reach Constantinople but most of them never got that far. The
leaders in lands which they passed through were frightened and killed
many of the crusading bands. Some did get to Constantinople and
traveled across the...