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The Crusades-Salvation or Exploitation

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The Crusades: Salvation or Exploitation?

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Student’s Name

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The Crusades: Salvation or Exploitation?

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The crusades trace their origin to the eleventh century. This is when Europe’s many states were at constant loggerheads over boundaries and territories (Bréhier, 1908). The head of Christendom, on the other hand, embroiled himself in arguments over investitures. At the time, the Pope had managed to keep the Church united. Faced with the threat of the Mohammedan tribes and the Byzantine Empire, the Church came under pressure to suppress the Muslim persecution of Christians in the East (“Metropolitan Museum,” 2013). According to “The Ccrusades (1095-1291)” (2013), most historians attribute the beginning of the Ccrusades to a sermon preached by Pope Urban II in November 1095. Ten centuries later, the question that lingers in our minds is,” “Were the Crusades a quest for Salvation or was there a secular motive?”

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Despite many scholars having investigated and thoroughly scrutinized the Ccrusades, The Crusades they were still subjected to a lot of controversy (Madden, 2007). Such controversy emanates from the participants who took part in the Ccrusades to the actual events of the that took place at the Ccrusades. The Christian faithful, at the time, considered these waves of military campaigns divinely sanctioned. The eleventh century witnessed feudal primogeniture, a series of poor harvests, and an increase in the population. This led to the widespread unemployment of young well-trained warriors (Madden, 2007). According to what Madden (2007) terms as “the Myth of the Greedy Younger Son”, this condition of unemployment condition led to the Pope at the time, Pope Urban II, encouraging the youth to annex territories for themselves in the East. In this light, historians conclude that Pope Urban II called for the Ccrusades to exploit the peasants in the European countries.

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However, Madden (2007) writes off such a myth terming it a nineteenth century colonial proposition. Madden (2007) goes on to state that most of the warriors who took part in the Ccrusades were wealthy pious and privileged first sons of Europe. Crusades were quite expensive, and warriors who wished to take part in them had to part with a lot of wealth (“The First Crusade,” 2013). Madden (2007) concludes that the Ccrusades were for religious purposes. The Ccrusaders believed that they would go to heaven only by taking being part in of the Ccrusades (Bréhier, 1908). Both the Christians and Muslims used religion to justify their cause. Historians, who supported the need for the Ccrusades, used self-justification and righteousness as their focal points of argument (“Jewish History,” 2013).

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According to Laiou and Mottahedeh (2001), some historians claim that the Ccrusades were an attack on a peaceful sophisticated Muslim world. This view is now very common among many works, including popular movies and presentations. In 1995, in a conference held to commemorate the Ffirst Ccrusade summons, the organizers called upon the Pope to denounce the killing of pagans and war that took part during the Ccrusades. It was the opinion of the historians at the conference that the Ccrusades took place because of the religious fanaticism and greed of the Europeans in the eleventh century (Laiou & Mottahedeh, 2001). The Muslims were victims of Europeans’ willingness to expand into Asia and to conquer territories in the East. The historians further go to discredit the protectionist claim that the Ccrusades were a retaliation by Christians against Muslim jihad warriors who had persecuted the Christians in Turkey and other Asian territories prior to the Ccrusades (Madden, 2007).

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In conclusion Therefore, it is safe to conclude that the Ccrusades were a blend of both exploitation and salvation. According to some accounts, Tthe Pope got the peasants in Europe, according to some accounts, to take part in the Ccrusades with the aim of conquering new territory (Madden, 2007). On the other hand, Christians believed that the Ccrusades were a quest to place the Holy Land under their control, after widespread jihads by the Muslims placed most regions in the East under the control of Muslims (Bréhier, 1908).

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References

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Bréhier, L. (1908). Crusades. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04543c.htm

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Jewish History. (2013). The first crusade. Retrieved from http://www.jewishhistory.org/the-first-crusade/

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Laiou, E. A., & Mottahedeh, R. P. (2001). The Ccrusades from the perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim world. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

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Madden, T. F. (2007). Crusades and historians. First Times, 20(2), 24-25.

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Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2013). The crusades (1095–1291) | thematic essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of art history | the metropolitan museum of art. Retrieved from http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/crus/hd_crus.htm

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