The Council of Clermont
For many years the point has been argued by historians as to whom to give credit for initiating The First Crusade. Some individuals might say that Peter the Hermit is responsible. However, historians agree that Pope Urban II's speech at the Council of Clermont initiated the First Crusade and influenced the people and events in the battles.
In August of the year 1095 Pope Urban arrived in France to help reform the church there. He soon called for a general church council in November at Clermont, and traveled through various towns reforming churches until he arrived in Clermont in mid-November. "The council met 18 through 28 of November, 1095 with three hundred clerics attending." The council had several items on the agenda. They passed reforming decrees dealing with the Cluniac reform movement, and King Philip of France was excommunicated for his adultery. Also at the council the pope announced that on the 27th of the same month he would deliver an important speech to the general public (Knox 1).
As promised,, on the 27th of November, Pope Urban II delivered his speech to the general public (Brundage 7). He spoke of the Holy Sepulcher and the need for returning it to the Christians in hopes that the expedition would lead to the reunion of the Eastern Church with Rome (Brusher 314). It was this expedition to recover the Holy Sepulcher that became known as The First Crusades (Hill 449). The pope's delivery was very persuasive, and he led thousands of people to join his expedition (Brundage 7). He informed these first crusaders that the only way that they could recover the Holy Sepulcher was to fight the Moslems and other infidels that kept them from it. "Pope Urban II promised no more to his crusaders...