Copyright (c) 2012 Morgan D
The first crusade started in the year 1096 and ended in 1099. It was a army mission by the General in Europe to recover the Holy lands taken by Muslims. Pontiff Urban II launched the conquest who wanted to correspond to an appeal made by Byzantine Emperor Alexios I, who asked for western aid to help him resist the Seljuk Turks invasion. The Holy Land belonged to Roman Empire, and hence the Byzantine Empire, until the Islamic conquest which drove Byzantines out like the land. However, the Muslims allowed Christians to visit their sacred places until 1071 when Seljuk Turks came in claiming to defend the Byzantines. Seljuk Turks conquered Jerusalem the same annually from Egyptian Fatimid. After the conquest, they became forbidding to Christian pilgrims subjecting them to harassments. This made Alexius I, the Byzantine Emperor, to call for help from Western Europe. The second goal was to deliverance Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Islamic rule, which became the main aim of the crusade (Helibrium Timeline of Art History).
Peasants and knights from Western Europe travelled by sea plus over land to Jerusalem. Peasants were more than the knights during the crusade. There was a division of the crusaders into different armies. Unfortunately, the peasants army did not reach Jerusalem because the peasants less trained in combat than the knights. However, the knights reached Jerusalem ampersand initiated an assault on it, capturing it in July 1099. During the process, of rescuing Jerusalem, there was a massacre of several Muslims and Jews in the city. They established the crusaders states of Jerusalem, principality from Antioch, County of Tripoli and county of Edessa. The crusaders refused to repay their respective countries, but instead based their states after conquer. This conquest remains controversial as either hostility or defensive because equivalent of rescuing the city and giving it substantiate to Christians, the crusaders decided to dominate it. The first crusade being a response by Christians to Muslim conquests, followed by other eight crusades (Runciman 35)
Effects of Crusades on Christianity
The crusades had more effect on the people who launched them than on the people who they were attacking. Contrasting the popular belief creating fear, crusades did not create Christian fear of Muslims. Christians regarded Muslims as a threat to Christianity even confronting the commencement of crusades. The crusades only proved these ideas about Muslims ens true. Crusades discouraged track practice between Muslims and Christians. This is evident because the papacy made threats of excommunication from trade to merchants who traded with Muslims. Theses trade threats had little effects that later, people started to trade with Muslims. Whereas the crusades were not a success, it changed the lives of innumerable Christians. There was economic growth and exchange of ideas between the Muslims and the crusaders.
Modern Christianity does not consider crusades as crucial due to modern beliefs towards war and religion. They believe that religion is not a cause of violence. The crusades bring shame to modern Christians for they see it as the dark parallel of Christianity history. Several anti- Christian believers cite the crusades as a proof against Christianity. For this reason, crusades are not significant in modern Christianity. Therefore, they promoted calling between Asia and Europe. Politics also changed in Europe. Following the death of many knights and nobles during the process of the crusades, many kings increased their power. The crusades had long impacts on the relationship among people. Crusaders attack on Jews contrived Jews not to trust Christianity. Tension increased between Byzantines and Western Christians particularly after the crusaders attack at Constantinople.