The Causes Of The Crusades

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The Crusades started in the late eleventh century and continued in Europe though the end of the thirteenth century. The Crusades, at the time were simply called pilgrimages, however they are now known as the Crusades, meaning cross or holy war, because of our view of them, and their impact, after the fact. The two significant Crusades in Christian history are the First Crusades which included the People’s Crusade and Princes’ Crusade, and the other important one being the Fourth Crusade, in 1204. The First Crusades were important because they were successful at accomplishing their goal of taking back Jerusalem. The Fourth Crusade is significant because clearly marks the split between the Eastern and Western churches. While it is commonly believed that the Crusades were caused by a single straightforward cause, this is not the case. In fact, the factors that caused the Crusades were very complex and came together to create the perfect storm. These factors included increasing aggression from the Islamic world, internal European conflicts, conflicts between the eastern and western churches, as well as Europe’s new found aggressive self confidence. The most basic cause for the Crusades was the threats the Christian world was facing from the Islamic world. These threats included the active persecution of Christians in Islamic territories, Islamic invasions in Italy and Southern Europe, as well as Muslims destroying Christian Holy sites. Specifically the destruction of

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