Children: The Crusades

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The Crusades began as an attempt to regain Jerusalem, the Catholic Holy Land, from the Muslims. There were three initial crusades, and the best verdict they reached was a treaty at the end of the third. The Fourth Crusade only succeed in trashing Constantinople, but another crusade began; however, it lacked public support. This 5th crusade was the strange and ill-fated Children’s Crusade. Hungry for success, this Christian army was made up of thousands of children of various ages. The crusade lacked real funding and was not supported by the pope, but the young crusaders believed that Divine Intervention was guiding them and kept trekking towards Jerusalem. Every mistake that the crusaders made will be examined, and the ones truly at fault at…show more content…
Parents were not exactly fond of the religious mission part. French and German parents did their best to keep their children from going on the crusade, even imposing house arrest (Dickson 84). When the expedition began, the sorrowing parents had to be pushed aside so the crusaders could move through. Nicholas’ group, when they reached Genoa to see the sea divide, impressed Genoese authorities and they were offered citizenship (Wikipedia 3). The remainders of both groups were eventually tricked by merchants and sold into slavery. Those who avoided slavery died in a shipwreck. No one, not the Pope, or even God blessed the pilgrimage that was the Children 's Crusade, and their failure was the sign of God 's judgement of them (Dickson…show more content…
Though the leaders of the crusade groups were children, they were clearly influential, but their followers were children, which means they are easily influenced. Parents did try to impose house arrest, but it seems like the parents would just lock the door instead of explaining why the children should avoid the journey. Stephen did have a good idea, as going to the king first would confirm the legality of leading the crusade, but if the king had told them that they legally could not go on the crusade, instead of just telling them to go home, they would have obeyed. The worst offender is probably the Church, namely Pope Innocent III, who had direct, face to face interaction with Nicholas’ group, and he simply told them to go home. Later the group returned to him to request release from their crusade vow, but he would only free those under fourteen and the elderly, then gave no further
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