The Crusades Essay

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The Crusades were a series of battles that, from the beginning, had religious undertones. At the beginning of the 11th century, the Byzantine emperor Alexios I called for Pope Urban II to help with the growing threat of Turkish presence. Pope Urban II responded immediately by convincing Catholic soldiers to gain access to and protect the Holy Land and holy sites that were under Muslim rule. This was the first of several Crusades that took place over a 200-year period. Historians disagree on the number of Crusades being seven or eight, but the last one in this 200-year span was started by King Louis IX of France. When King Louis IX fell ill, he believed the power of prayer made him well again. With this, he promised to do his duty to…show more content…
His letter did not describe such violent details of war, as it was addressed to his wife and children. Instead, he promised them that he was safe and being protected by God. He also discussed the riches and triumphs of the Crusades more than the negative aspects. Even when discussing death, he put a positive, religious spin on what was surely a gruesome scene. When discussing an ambush, he explained that “In that unexpected flight we lost more than 500 of our foot soldiers to the glory of God. Of our horsemen, however, we lost only two, for certain”. In a brief sentence, a soldier, that witnessed and partook in terrible acts of violence, described the deaths of over five hundred people as being a glorious event. This shows how deep-rooted the feelings of religious righteousness were. In the second sentence, Stephen wrote that they only lost two horsemen, as if to say that was a triumph. Like Stephen, those two Crusaders probably had families that were devastated by their deaths. The overwhelming power of religious ideology made people susceptible to viewing the Crusades as a necessary act. Like all wars, the deaths of many people were acceptable to the King, the Church, and the common people that promoted the purpose of the Crusades. People that seemingly wanted the best for their families and their commonfolk could brush aside the deaths of millions because it seemed like the right thing to
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