Sample Research Paper On The Crusades
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The Crusades - an armed movement of the peoples of the Christian West in the Muslim East, expressed in a number of campaigns in the course of two centuries (from the end of XI until the end of XIII) with the purpose of the conquest of Palestine and the liberation of the Holy Sepulcher from the hands of the infidels. It is a powerful reaction of Christianity against the power of Islam and ambitious attempt to take over not only the Christian areas, but generally enhance the rule of the cross, the symbol of the Christian idea. Participants in these campaigns, the Crusaders, wore on the right shoulder a red image of a cross with the text from the Holy Scriptures, that’s why campaigns were called the Crusades. (Steven 38-51)
Causes of the Crusades. The beginning of the crusades was supposed by popes who nominally were considered the leaders of all businesses of this kind. Pope Urban II continued his frantic activity and after Council of Clermont, he corresponded with the papal legate under the army of the Crusaders, as well as with Count Raymond de Saint-Gilles, because he wanted to take charge of military operations. Popes and other inspirers of the movement promised heaven and earth rewards to those who expose their lives at risk for the sake of the holy business. Efforts to attract volunteers proved to be particularly successful thanks to the religious zeal that prevailed at that time in Europe.
The immediate cause of the Crusades was the growing power of the Seljuk Turks and the conquest by them in the 1070s of the Middle East and Asia Minor. Immigrants from Central Asia, at the beginning of the century the Seljuks penetrated into subservient to the Arabs regions, where they were initially used as mercenaries. Gradually, however, they became increasingly more independent, having won in the 1040s Iran, and in 1055 Baghdad. Then, the Seljuks started to expand the boundaries of their possessions to the west, leading the offensive mainly on the Byzantine Empire. A decisive defeat of the Byzantines at Manzikert in 1071 allowed the Seljuks to go to the shores of the Aegean Sea, to conquer Syria and Palestine, and in 1078 to take Jerusalem. The threat from Muslims forced the Byzantine emperor to seek help from Western Christians. Fall of Jerusalem extremely concerned the Christian world. (David 18-26)
Conquest of the Seljuk Turks coincided with the general religious revival in Western Europe in the 10-11 centuries, which was largely initiated by activities of the Benedictine monastery Cluny in Burgundy, founded in 910 by Duke of Aquitaine Guillaume the Pious. Thanks to the efforts of a number of abbots, strongly urging the purification of the church and the spiritual transformation of the Christian world, the abbey became a highly influential force in the spiritual life of Europe. Simultaneously in the 11th century increased the number of pilgrimages to the Holy Land. In addition, the Seljuks created a direct threat to the Christian Byzantine Empire.
For many kings and barons the Middle East seemed the world of widest possibilities. Land, income, power and prestige - all this, they believe, will be the reward for the liberation of the Holy Land. For the peasants the Crusades allowed to get rid of lifelong feudal dependence. As servants and cooks the peasants formed a convoy of troops of the Crusaders. Due to purely economic reasons in the Crusades were interested European cities. For Italian cities the Crusades meant only the transfer of military action from the western to the eastern Mediterranean region. (John 4-20)
1st Crusade (1096-1099). The first crusade was perfectly prepared and assembled all chivalry of Europe. It took place in 1096 and lasted for 3 years. During this time, the Knights occupied a lot of Muslim cities. At the conquered lands, they created the Christian state. In the city participants of a campaign have arranged a terrible massacre, mercilessly killing Muslims. Campaign was successful and ended with the capture of Jerusalem and the proclamation of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Second Crusade (1147-1149) led by French King Louis VII and German King Conrad II. Due to lack of food, disease in the army and after several major defeats, the plan for reconquest of Edessa was abandoned, and an attempt to attack on Damascus failed. Both Emperors returned to their possessions, and the Second Crusade ended in complete failure.
The Third Crusade (1189-1192) led the German king (Holy Roman Emperor) Frederick I Barbarossa, the French King Philip II and the King Richard I of England. Richard stayed to continue the Third Crusade, but despairing of hope to win Jerusalem in 1192 concluded a truce with Saladin for three years and three months, by which Jerusalem was in possession of the Sultan, and the Christians received the coastal strip from Tyre to Jaffa, as well as the right to freely visit the Holy Sepulcher.
The Fourth Crusade (1202-1204) was initiated by Pope Innocent III against Egypt. Victory in Egypt could rid the Holy Land from the Muslim threat. However, the Venetian merchants took advantage of the situation and sent the Crusaders not to Egypt but Byzantium. In April 13, 1204 the Crusaders took Constantinople, and in the conquered territories established Latin Empire, which lasted until 1261. ( Robert 12 -20)
Without taking into account the strange Children's Crusade in 1212, motivated by a desire to experience the reality of God's will, the Fifth Crusade can be called a campaign of King Andrew II of Hungary and Duke Leopold VI of Austria in Syria (1217-1221). At first, it was listlessly, but after the arrival of new reinforcements from the West Crusaders moved to Egypt and took the key to access to the country from the sea - the city Damietta. However, an attempt to capture a large Egyptian Center Mansour was not successful. The Knights went out of Egypt.
Sixth Crusade (1228-1229) led by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II Staufen, who was critical of any religion - he preferred to believe in something that can be proven by common sense and logic of things. Frederick reached the goal not by war, but diplomacy: he had negotiated with the Muslims and concluded an agreement by which they gave him Jerusalem, because they do not want to fight with the Crusaders, as they have a new dangerous enemy - the Tatar-Mongols. But the success was relative, since in 1244 the Muslims captured the city again.
Seventh Crusade (1248-1254) was organized and led by the French King Louis IX the Holy. The situation in the Holy Land was critical - the Crusader states in Palestine were hanging by a thread. His goal was to land in Egypt to seize the main cities of the country, and then exchange them for captured Muslim territory in the Holy Land. At first success was accompanied to Louis, but nature intervened - flooding of the Nile has suspended the movement of the army for several months, and in the way of army was a powerful fortress of Al-Mansur. Fortress siege ended in disaster for the Crusaders - Muslims burned the fleet. In the camp was an outbreak of pestilence; King, along with the remnants of the army was taken to prison and for his release was paid a huge ransom.
The results and consequences of the Crusades. A consequence of the Crusades can be regarded as the increasing power and importance of the popes as the main instigators, then - the rise of royal power due to the loss of many feudal lords, the appearance of independence of urban communities, received through the impoverishment of the nobility, the opportunity to buy the benefits from their lords; introduction in Europe borrowed from the Eastern peoples of arts and crafts. The results of the Crusades were an increase in the West of the class of free farmers, due to the liberation from serfdom of the peasants participated in the campaigns. The Crusades contributed to the success of trade, opening new routes to the East; favored the development of geographical knowledge; expanding the area of intellectual and moral interests, they have enriched the poetry with new plots. Another important outcome of the Crusades was the nomination on the historical scene of secular knightly class, which was the ennobling element of medieval life; the result was the emergence of military orders (Loannites, the Knights Templar and Teutonic Knights), which played an important role in history. (Masoumeh et al. 182-186)
David Nicolle. The Crusades. Osprey Publishing, 2001. Print.
John Child, Martyn John Whittock, Nigel Kelly, Martyn Whittock. The Crusades. 1997. Print.
Robert Jones. The Crusades: A Brief History (1095-1291). 2004. Print.
Masoumeh Banitalebi, Kamaruzaman Yusoff and Mohd Roslan Mohd Nor. The Impact of Islamic Civilization and Culture in Europe during the Crusades. World Journal of Islamic History and Civilization, 2012. Print.
Steven Runciman. A History of the Crusades. Cambridge University press, 1987. Print.
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