The First Crusades

Essay by meganraeCollege, UndergraduateB-, April 2009

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World History 2311Like society today, during the end of the eleventh century war was imminent. In 1096, pressured by the close proximity of the Seljuk Turks, Alexius, the Byzantine Emperor, asked Pope Urban II for help. The pope, realizing the golden opportunity for the church and to attack the Muslims agreed for a war. Thus launching the first Crusade in an attempt to "free the holy land" and re-capture Jerusalem. The journey was not going to be easy but with the Pope, Alexius I, and Godfrey de Bouillon behind the army it could be possible to take back the promise land.3The Pope was the main spokesman for motivating volunteers. His strong words and speeches are what evoked his listeners to suffice to his commands. Pope Urban II addressed the French with this persuasive speech:"O race of the Franks, O people who live beyond the mountain, O people loved and chosen by God…sad news has come from Jerusalem and Constantinople that the people of Persia, an accursed and foreign race, enemies of God…have invaded the lands of these Christians and devastated them with the sword, rapine, and fire…Whose duty is to avenge this and recover that land, if not yours?...Set

out on this journey and you will obtain the remission of your sins and be sure of the incorruptible glory of the Kingdom of Heaven."1The listeners were so moved by the Pope's speech that they all cried out in unison, "It is the will of God, It is the will of God." Furthermore the Pope declared that the reason why they all shouted the same words at the same time was because "God had put the words in their hearts." If the crowd was not already convinced of this fate they were at that point. Freeing Jerusalem was not the only...