Crusades Essay

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Were the Crusades Motivated Primarily by Religious Factors? The Crusades were a series of military campaigns and wars between the Christians and the Muslims that lasted almost 200 years. The main motivations of these Crusades was to control the Holy Land in Jerusalem, also by the belief that all of their sins would be forgiven, and others to help the struggling Church in the East. Although there were other driving factors of the Crusades such as political and economic interests, the most important factor was their religious interests and the defense of their Holy Land. One of the Crusades main purposes was to recapture the city of Jerusalem, their Holy Land. The city of Jerusalem was important to both Christianity and Islam because it was the city that represented the center of their respective religion. Also, during the fourth century the city of Jerusalem was drawn on most maps as the center of the world. “Jews treasured it (Jerusalem) as Zion, God’s own city, and as the place where King Solomon had built his great temple. Muslims associated it with the prophets who had preceded their founder Muhammad and considered it their third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina (“The Divine Campaigns” 57). “It was a meeting place for those who had been scattered, the goal of the great pilgrimage or Crusade, where God resides among his people” (Mayer 136). The Christian attacks against the Muslims in the city of Jerusalem were to no avail as they simply lacked the manpower to capture the city. The Crusades from the Muslim perspective, “ultimately helped the Islamic leaders to impose unity and religious orthodoxy in a divided region” (“The Divine Campaigns” 59). Overall the Christians were unable to complete the main goal of their great pilg... ... middle of paper ... ... had to cross the very hostile territory of Anatolia. The extra support by the Christian church was not only motivated by the religious factors that went along with controlling Byzantium but it also included the great source of wealth, power, and land that the Byzantine empire controlled. Although helping the Byzantine Empire wasn’t the main focus the people of the Crusades still cared enough to help keep their Christian religion alive all around the world. Since the latter Crusades began to lose their importance and the religious motivating factor the motivations for the latter Crusades became corrupt, the motivations became the greed for land, power and money. Although last Crusades did not follow the basis for the first and original crusade, there was still always the underlying religious factor that still drove everyone to fight for their personal religion.

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