Crusade comparison and contrast
First and Second Crusades critic comparison and contrasting
The crusades are holy wars that were fought between Christians in Europe and the non-Christian Muslims in the Middle East in the early ages between 1095 and 1291. The underlying reason for the holy wars was not only the liberation of Jerusalem from other Muslim invaders in the holy lands but later diversified to different angles (Bombi 2013).
The Catholic Church in the middle ages of 1095 sanctioned military campaigns to fight against any authorized access to holy lands. The crusader movements began through the intervention of Byzantine Emperor Alexios I who sought Pope’s intervention in preventing the increasing Turkish threats (Faculty.arts.ubc.ca 2015).
The Pope response was through calling upon the Roman Catholic soldiers to join the Crusader campaigns with the immediate goal of allowing Christians and other pilgrim’s access to Holy Lands occupied by Muslims (Andrea 2003). The long-term goal of the crusader campaigns was to unite the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom, which had earlier on split from one another in 1054. However, the result of the first crusader campaign ended up in a series of similar movements that ended in over 200 years (Ilardi and Housley 1984).
The first crusade that happened between 1096- 1099 was very successful while the second crusade failed in its goals (Madden and Madden 2005). During the first crusade, there was a unity of purpose as the main crusaders were united and determined towards achieving the primary goal of moving away Muslims from the Holy lands of Jerusalem for religious purposes. However, during the second Crusader movement and wars, there was mix up of opinions. Some of the crusaders intervened and deviated from the core goal. They started fighting and championing for political and economic needs instead of pursuing religious matters (Holmes 1992, Gabrieli 1969).
Another key difference between the first and second crusader wars is that during the first Crusader movement, the Christian fighters were much united as compared to their Muslim counterparts (Asbridge 2012). Arguably, the war troops of Middle East were caught off guard as they were not fully prepared. Their armies were not united and hence created an easy target to the Catholic fighters. The unorganized enemies worked to the advantage of the first crusaders who had tact and skill for success unlike what happened during the second crusader campaigns (Phillips 2010).
Most of the first crusader war fighters consisted of peasants and other knights and dukes. They fought diligently and in unison to conquer the Muslim enemies occupying their holy lands (Latham 2011). When they reached for Jerusalem after Antioch siege, the crusaders captured the city and butchered every Muslim and non-Jews that they found. It marked the end of the battle in 1099. Unlikely, in the second crusade movement, the people were less appealed to Pope Honorius II call to engage in a battle (Mr.Rice’s Medieval Website 2015, Spodek 2010). The few groups that volunteered to engage in more battles with him later saw several defeats. The Crusaders never won any major battles during the second campaigns.
In conclusion, the First and second crusade campaigns had many differences though with some similar similarities. These were evident in the manner in which the two crusader movements were conducted (Cahen et al. 1964). The end of the first marked the beginning of the second. It’s also in this period that saw many people withdrawals from the battle including Philip of France citing fulfillment of crusades vows.
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Asbridge, Thomas S. 2012. The Crusades. London: Simon & Schuster.
Mr.Rice’s Medieval Website, 2015. ‘1St And 2Nd Crusades – Adam W.’. http://awesomemiddleageshastings.weebly.com/-1st-and-2nd-crusades—adam-w.html.
Cahen, Claude, Kenneth M. Setton, Robert Lee Wolff, and Harry W. Hazard. 1964. ‘A History Of The Crusades. Vol. II: The Later Crusades (1189-1311)’. Oriens 17: 233. doi:10.2307/1580035.
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Madden, Thomas F, and Thomas F Madden. 2005. The New Concise History Of The Crusades. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield.
Ilardi, Vincent, and Norman Housley. 1984. ‘The Italian Crusades: The Papal-Angevin Alliance And The Crusades Against Christian Lay Powers, 1254-1343.’. Renaissance Quarterly 37 (1): 66. doi:10.2307/2862001.
Latham, Andrew A. 2011. ‘Theorizing The Crusades: Identity, Institutions, And Religious War In Medieval Latin Christendom1.’ International Studies Quarterly 55 (1): 223-243. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2478.2010.00642.x.
Bombi, Barbara. 2013. ‘The Debate On The Baltic Crusades And The Making Of Europe.’ History Compass 11 (9): 751-764. doi:10.1111/hic3.12080.
Spodek, Howard. 2010. The World’s History: Volume 1. 4th ed. New York: Pearson.
Gabrieli, Francesco. 1969. Arab Historians Of The Crusades. London: Routledge & K. Paul.