What Are The Causes Of The Crusades Dbq

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With the goal of reconquering the Holy Lands of the Middle East, many Western Europeans supported a series of military conquests called the Crusades. As seen in the documents the religious figures who supported the Crusades had an idealized vision of the unification and religious zeal the Crusades would bring to the Christian faith, but for many of the actual crusaders, the cause of the crusades was a hope for economic gain through pillage. Although one of the original causes of the Crusades, according to religious figures, was to support the Byzantines and perhaps reunify the Eastern and Western churches, they resulted in increased feelings of tension in the Christian churches and actually aided creating a closer connection between different…show more content…
Both Document 5 and Document 10 illustrate the political tension that ensued between the Byzantine Empire and Western Europe. Anna Comnena, the daughter of Alexius I, wrote in her history of her father’s reign, that the prospect of seizing Constantinople was an underlying motivation for many of the European crusaders (5). Anna was a high-class noble in the very sophisticated Byzantine state, so she, as well as many other Byzantine nobles, saw the Western European crusaders as uncultured and violent. Because of this she and many other Byzantines were suspicious of the Western crusader’s motives. The cultural differences between the two cultures eventually distracted from the original hope of unification. The Fourth Crusade was the most blatant example of this. Byzantine noble Nicetas Choniates described it as a massive plundering extravaganza in which the crusaders had no respect for their victims or the religiously significant items they destroyed (10). As a Byzantine resident, Nicetas was familiar with the uncouth manner of the crusaders, but even he was astonished by the Fourth Crusade. This was a huge violation of the trust between the East and the West and showed complete disregard for the Pope’s original hope for…show more content…
Documents 6, 7, and 9 illustrate the Muslim response to the crusades. Some Muslims saw those who died in the Crusades as martyrs chosen by God to die. Beh-el-Din, a member of Saladin’s court described Richard the Lionhearted’s massacre of a group of Muslim prisoners as the killing of such believers (9). He described them only as “Muslims” not specifying their nationality. This emphasized the connection between all Muslims regardless of nationality. As a member of Saladin’s empire, which was fighting the crusaders, Beh-el-Din wanted to gather support to defeat the crusaders. This is why he tried to gather sympathy an unite all Muslims. Similarly, Abu Sa’ad al Harawi, a qadi serving the Abbasid caliphate, urged his caliph to join his “brothers in Syria” who had been kicked out of Jerusalem by the crusaders (6). He used the word “brothers” in order to show the deep connection between all members of the umma, or community of believers. He then goes on to say how this loss was a disgrace to all Persians. As a proud member of the umma, Abu Sa’ad al Harawi, feels that his faith has been disgraced, and feels the need to protect it. The historian Ibn Al-Althir, described the First Crusade as being caused to interfere with the Sunni fight against the Fatimids in Egypt and a destructive pillage of the Muslim holy city of Jerusalem. By describing all of the

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