Crusades Research Paper

Submitted By qwerty3280
Words: 1014
Pages: 5

The Crusades are thought to be some of the most debated periods of the Christian history. They were periods that consisted of several military expeditions by Christians from Europe. They are often times called "Holy Wars" expanding from around 1095 to 1291. For nearly two hundred years European Christians sought to take control over the land controlled by the Muslims. The Holy Land more commonly known as Jerusalem was the prize sought after by the Christians.
The Crusade origins are difficult to clearly pinpoint, some say the Church simply wanted the Holy Land from the Moslems, while others argue thsede Crusades had more to do with the Roman and Byzantine split. The Roman church believed the Pope had total and complete authority over both the physical and the spiritual realm. But the Byzantine church believed each bishop had their own authority and all were equal. Up until around 1064, there was an alliance between the two sects but when the church leaders from the east disgracednthe popes authority there was a split. The split is known as the Great Schism.
To restore control over the split church, the Cluniac reform was enacted. In 1088, the Cluniac movement pushed one of its members, Urban II, tinto the papacy lineage. This was thought to wrestle control of the church from the hands of those less spiritually inclined, and to bring the Eastern church back into submission under one supreme pope.
The Holy Land brought hugh commerce to the region. This land was filled with attractive sights, it held deep religious roots, but most of all it was considered the land of the Christians. With the great commerce flowing through, it was extremely beneficial to whom ever controlled the land. In 1071, the Turks attacked Persia and defeated the Byzantine forces at the Battle of Manzikert. Since Europe was in recovery from it's numerous battles, and the Great Schism was still fresh the power and might of the country was vulnerable. It is believed the Moslems perceived this moment of weakness and took Anatolia for themselves which eventually brought ruin to the Byzantine Empire. Anatolia was Byzantines center. It held the largest population and garnered the most wealth. After the Moslems captured Anatolia, the traffic from various settlers was interrupted. This however was not the intent of the Turks, because these settlers brought income which made the Holy Land that much more attractive for invasion.
By 1095, much of the Byzantine land had been captured by invaders. The capital city, Constantinople was the final city to be taken when the emperor Alexius I Comnenus finally broke down and sought help from the rivalry church of the west. With the prospering in many aspects such as: worship, political understanding, and financial freedom, the appeal could not have come at a better moment. Urban II answered the call from the Eastern church believing it to be his responsibility to aid his Christian brothers call. Pope Urrban called upon the pride of the westerners and pointed out to them the potential behind defeating the Muslim Turks and reclaiming the Holy Land. The Council of Claremont confirmed Urban II decision and for the next year a huge army was amassed to head east. In 1098 both Edessa and Antioch had subcome to the crusaders. In 1099 Jerusalem was placed under Godfrey of Bouillon, the Christian rule had begun to return. This crusade though successful affected the view of the Christian faith. A faith that had preached love and humility now demonstrated a bloody massacre, brutality and even cannibalism during this conquest by it's followers.
There was about 8 or 9 crusades in all. Each crusade offered various pros and cons that had immediate effects. But over all the one of the most notable effects of the crusades was the Byzantine Empire finally coming to an end. None of the crusades were successful in capturing Anatolia from the Muslims. In 1204 Constantinople was overrun which destroyed the Byzantium power. Although