December 12, 2013
Part 1: Religious Conflicts Jerusalem in the land of Palestine was claimed by three different religious groups to be their own holy land. The Christians, who proclaimed that this area was where Jesus Christ had been crucified and sent to heaven. The Muslims, who proclaimed this was where Muhammad had gone to heaven. And the Jews, who believed that their God had promised them that land. Though they all fought for this land, Arabs took control of this land around 600 CE. The Arabs however allowed the Christians and Jew’s to visit and live in Palestine as long as they paid their taxes like everybody else. Around 1095, Jerusalem was taken over by a new group of Arabs who closed off the city to the Jewish and Christian pilgrims. This was not taken well by the Jews and Christians, and a revolt started to take place. As a solution to this, the Pope called for a crusade. He wanted to gather up an army of volunteers whose goal was to recapture Jerusalem. About 30,000 men had volunteers to fight in this war. Some where knights that became eager to use their fighting skill in battle. They thought this would be a worthy battle worth fighting for and were delighted to join. Others were peasants who were told who would give anything to break free from their gloomy life in the feudal system. The Pope also had some convincing words of encouragement to the peasants, that if they join the fight of the holy crusade and perish while doing so, they would inevitably be accepted into heaven. And for the others, chance of exciting adventure and the possibility of riches were enough to join. Each crusader’s bared the sign of a red cross to remind them that they were fighting were for a holy purpose. After harsh traveling, disease, and hunger, the crusaders arrived in Jerusalem two years later. Two months after their arrival, the city was taken over by the crusaders. Many men stayed, while others headed back home bringing new foods with them. This siege of the city only lasted about 50 years, until the Muslims came back and retook the city once again. Again the Pope called for another crusade, however the Christians and Jews fell and the Muslims had control of Jerusalem. This outcome repeated for the next 70 years of revolts from the Christians and Jews. This conflict was inevitability going to happen since the land they were fighting over is known as the “Holy Land,” and humans are too greedy to share such a thing. Though there are some major factors that started the first crusade. Such as the Pope’s speeches given to the people about how fighting for the cause would benefit them. If he had not taken it upon himself that he had the power to grant people into heaven if they fought in the crusades, many people would not have joined. Also if the land of Jerusalem was not run by a group of Muslims that thought the land was for themselves and nobody else, the land could have been shared. Though this prospective shows a political solution to avoid such conflicts, the crusades would have eventually been sparked and the fight over Jerusalem would have still happened.
Part 2: Cultural Differences The Spartans and Athenians were located right next to each other on a map; however, they were far away from one another in the ways the lived their lives and what they valued. Both were similar in the fact that they allowed the people to vote for who was their leaders. However, Sparta was ruled by two leaders who remained in power until death. On the other hand, Athens had an annual election take place for who was to lead their city, a democracy. The Spartan life was much more simplistic to the Athenian way. Spartans focus was on war and obedience. Young boys were trained to be warriors from an early age though harsh times. Their sense of a warrior was a man who was toughened by the hardships they endured. This atmosphere pushed the women to become tough themselves. The woman would sometimes join the men in their