The Crusades, starting in the Eleventh Century, were attempts by the Western Church to strip Europe of the newly developed and invading Muslims. Many Crusades had taken place over the centuries, including both a children’s and peasant’s crusade, in making an effort to keep the new religious threat at a distance. Many popes, kings, and rulers consumed a great deal of money, time, and effort into these wars, but many ended up failing in their true purposes.
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However, much can be said about the success of these crusades considering these losses. With these successes that took place, is the spread of Christianity included? Although the various Crusades had many successes and failures, the original Crusades was unsuccessful in spreading the message of Jesus and promote Christianity through the events of war.
Before looking into the reasons as to why the spread of Christianity did not arise, one must look into the true nature of the Crusades along with what were the original goals that they were trying to accomplish. In 1095, Pope Urban II called together a council at Clermont (Madden 4). These meetings, mostly between French bishops and the pope, lasted nine days before the Pope gave a speech to the public. In this speech, the Pope designated upon the people of the church to defend the Eastern Church from the invading Muslims, liberate Jerusalem from them, and, ultimately stop the Muslim from moving any further. At the end of Pope’s speech, the people of the Church unanimously agreed, and soon the Pope was laying out the message to people across France and Germany. Many nobles, along with the populace, united on the cause. One practical reason as to this widespread acceptance of traveling across the empire was for the honor of knighthood. Some of the nobility understood that is was their duty to protect their people, especially from their own religion. The Muslims were attacking God’s church, and for a knight, their duty is to protect the Church and their people.
Another reason that the call to arms was answered was to protect Christianity as a whole. The Muslims took over many of the Church’s lands and they were not slowing down their invasion. In fact, it could be noted that Christians even feared that the Muslims would soon conquer all of Europe unless they were stopped (Galli 3). Pope Urban’s speech has been lost in history, but it appeared that he told his followers that the Eastern Church was falling, pilgrimages were ceased, and churches were being destroyed. As previously mentioned, the Eastern Church was collapsing and falling to the Muslims. In fact, most of the major Eastern cities fell, including the city of Antioch. The East and the West were still considered one church at the time so the church believed that it should help in the recovering of the cities.
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