During the era of Christian Holy war, crusades were held with the goal of preaching the word of God to pagans and the non-believers so as to convert them to Christianity. In the current society, crusades have been misused by some rogue preachers to champion their own self interest.
The Second Crusade And The Third Crusade
Many preachers have in recent times used crusades for personal benefits instead of conducting it willingly as a means to aid believers devote and repent their sins. Several of them have become overnight millionaires for manipulating religion for their own self interests by organizing and running international money-minting crusades, robbing poor believers in the name of God. Majority of people stream to the evangelical crusades with high hopes of finding lasting solutions for their problems and praying for miracles that are performed at heavy prices beyond their reach. In many instances, the men of God arm-twist their followers into making pledges, offering gifts and all manner of monetary orientated donations.
Armed with all the Bible verses touching on giving, the believers are intimidated into believing that God only blesses those who give. In some churches and crusades, believers are asked to sow a certain amount of money per month and the Lord shall multiply it several times. The religious fraud is spread by the evangelical churches during crusades in several ways with the promise of freeing them from the chains of troubles rocking their lives.
In conclusion, crusades should be held for the sole purpose for which they were initially intended; spiritual nourishment and repentance. Rogue evangelists should desist from holding crusades for their own selfish gains and believers should be educated on how to identify and shun evangelist who are only intended in siphoning their hard-earned money. In the seventh century A. Like Christianity, Islam officially condemned forced conversions.
But unlike Christianity, Islam instructed its followers to ensure that the world was under the political control of the Faithful. Hence Islam's political domination could be, and was, spread by the sword. Carried on the backs of Arab cavalry, Islam burst out of Arabia and quickly took control of the Middle East.
Byzantium and Persia, the two powers in the area, were exhausted by prolonged conflict with each other. Persia was completely defeated and absorbed into the Islamic world. The Middle Eastern armies of the Christian Byzantine Empire were defeated and annihilated in , and Jerusalem fell in Through the rest of the seventh century, Arab armies advanced inexorably northwards and westwards. By the early eighth century Arab forces had reached the Straits of Gibraltar, and in they crossed into European Spain and shattered the armies of the Christian Visigoths.
By they had reached the center of the Iberian Peninsula, and by the s they were raiding deep into the heart of France, where Charles Martel met and defeated their most ambitious raid near Tours around This was to prove their high water mark in the West. For the next years Christians and Muslims engaged in a protracted struggle, including the siege of Constantinople by the Arabs in , and the seizure of Sicily and other Mediterranean islands in the ninth century by the Muslims.
In the tenth century the Byzantines made some limited gains along the periphery of the now-shrunken Empire, but did not retake Jerusalem. In the middle of the eleventh century the Arabs were displaced as leaders of Islam by the Turks, who converted to Islam even as they conquered the Arabs. The Turks disrupted the area's political and social structures and created considerable hardships for Western pilgrims. Up till now most Arab rulers of the area had been fairly tolerant of Christian interest in the Holy Places one notable exception was the "Mad" Caliph Hakim at the beginning of the eleventh century, who destroyed churches and persecuted Jews and Christians.
By the second half of the eleventh century, most pilgrims were going to the Holy Land only in large, armed bands, groups who look in retrospect very like crusade rehearsals. The Turks also posed a new threat to the Byzantines. As a result the entire heartland of the Empire, in Asia Minor, lay open and defenseless, and the Turks soon established themselves as far west as Nicaea, just across the Bosphorus from Constantinople. In the same year the Normans in southern Italy, led by Robert Guiscard, defeated the Byzantines at Bari and drove them off the Italian mainland.
The Imperial Byzantine crown was briefly contested following Manzikert and Bari; the successful claimant was Alexius Comnenus, a capable soldier and a clever diplomat. Perceiving that the Empire was deprived of its primary recruiting grounds and breadbasket, he sent out desperate calls for help to the West, particularly to the pope.
Gregory VII briefly considered leading an expedition eastwards himself in support of the Byzantines. Alexius continued to appeal to the West, however, and in the spring of Pope Urban II allowed Byzantine delegates to address the Council of Piacenza, and he gave his sanction to those nobles who were inclined to respond.
He then proceeded into France, attending to various church business. By November he was in Clermont, and it was here that he gave a speech which caught the imagination of the West. It is hard to know exactly what Urban had in mind when he called for expeditions to the East. We have various texts of his speech; none agree exactly, but it seems unlikely that Urban envisaged waves of Frankish peasants travelling to Jerusalem.
Alexius had called for large contingents of mercenaries, particularly Normans, to come and take service in the Byzantine Army. Urban probably had something a little more elaborate than that in mind among other things, he probably hoped that an expedition to the East, carried out under papal leadership and comprised of noblemen from across western Europe, would boost his position in the ongoing Investiture Controversy with the Holy Roman Empire.
Neither Alexius nor Urban got exactly what they had had in mind. Large numbers of poorer knights and peasants answered the call immediately and set off without proper preparation. This sort of participation was not what the authorities had had in mind, and no one was prepared to deal with them.
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Some of these unsolicited crusaders carried out massacres against German Jews on the way, on the theory that the battle against Christ's enemies ought to begin at home. This activity was not sanctioned by the Church, and the Church was at some pains to suppress it, with varying degrees of success. When these crusaders arrived in Asia Minor the next year they were quickly massacred by the battle-hardened Turks. This has been called the Peasants' Crusade or, more properly, the Peoples' Crusade. The Frankish barons, accustomed to war and its necessary preparations, waited until the appointed departure time, in summer , and then set out in several large contingents, by various routes.
No kings participated in their crusade, the First Crusade proper; the leadership was made up of several high nobles and a papal legate.
The papal legate was the Bishop of Le Puy, Adhmar. After a long, dangerous and hard journey, the First Crusaders finally reached Jerusalem in the summer of and took it.
Crusades essay topics
Jerusalem exercised a certain vague suzerainty over the other three. It is a curious fact that the capture of Jerusalem caused little stir in the Muslim world, and is scarcely mentioned in the Muslim chronicles of the time. It was not until later that the Muslims determined to take Jerusalem from the Christians a second time.
After the astonishing success of the First Crusade, many crusaders fulfilled their vows by completing their pilgrimage at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and went home. Others stayed, however, and continued to build up the society known as Outremer Old French for "Across the Sea" , consisting of the four Crusader States established by the First Crusade.
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They quickly became part of the world of the Middle East, and were viewed as just another set of players in the power struggles of the area. One of their contributions to history was the formation of the military religious order, or "military order," in the early part of the twelfth century.
These orders, a fusion of the monastic and knightly callings, were both a response to the desperate need for manpower in the East, and an example of the way the Church was attempting to tame and even monasticize the warrior class. Eventually, however, as the Muslim world began to recover from the disruptions caused by the Turkish invasions, major Muslim leaders began to emerge. These men sought to reunite the Islamic world under one ruler, and they quickly saw that one way to gain prestige as an Islamic leader was to show that one could win victories against the Christian Franks or "polytheists," as the Muslims often called them.
In this way the Islamic Counter-Crusade arose. The Islamic Counter-Crusade was a form of Jihad, an Islamic doctrine which roughly parallels, but does not exactly duplicate, the Christian doctrine of Holy War.
Crusades - HISTORY
The first such leader was Zengi. On Christmas Eve, , Zengi's troops took the capital of the County of Edessa and destroyed the oldest Crusader state. The West reacted strongly to this disaster, and the result was the Second Crusade, preached by St. The Second Crusade was a near complete failure, however, and people quickly lost interest in another such expedition. Meanwhile, successors to Zengi such as Nur ed-Din continued nibbling away at the Crusader states.
After Nur ed-Din's death the mantle of Islamic leadership fell on a Kurdish officer named Salah ed-Din, or Saladin as he is commonly known in the West. Saladin was arguably the greatest of Muslim generals, and possessed an appealing and admirable character.
In he caught the entire army of the Kingdom of Jerusalem at the mountain known as the Horns of Hattin, near the Sea of Galilee, and annihilated it. Within a few months he held all of the Kingdom except for the seaport of Tyre and a nearby castle. Tyre held out, however, and the West once again came to the aid of the Crusader states by mounting the Third Crusade. It passed into European and Muslim folklore as a time of great chivalry, particularly between Saladin and Richard the Lion-Hearted, who became the principle crusade leader. But despite Richard's best efforts, Jerusalem was not recovered.
Both Richard and the local barons agreed that unless the powerbase of Egypt was in friendly hands, Jerusalem could not be kept even if it could be captured.
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In the great medieval pope Innocent III came to power. He was intensely interested in crusading, and one of his first acts was to promote a Fourth Crusade. Unfortunately, this crusade suffered a series of mischances and never reached the Holy Land at all. Through the intervention of Venetian commercial interests and disinherited Byzantine princes, it was diverted against the current government of Byzantium and ended in the capture and disastrous sack of Constantinople in Although the Byzantines recovered their capital in , the Fourth Crusade did lasting damage to their Empire.
By the time it was over, the frictions and misunderstandings between East and West which had begun with the First Crusade had turned into permanent hatred. Disappointed, Innocent began preparations for another crusade. He died before it got under way in The Fifth Crusade was directed against Egypt, in recognition of the strategic reality which Richard had noted, and it was very nearly a complete success.