The Crusades During The 21st Century

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Beginning in the 11th century, Christians across Europe fought a series of wars and campaigns called the Crusades1. For many, a Crusade means any war embarked upon for the sake of a promise, vow, or religion2. After some time, it came to mean any religious war against non-Christians3. The Crusades were fought in order that Muslims would be removed from lands that had previously been Christian. These campaigns were most prevalent in the time from the 11th century through the 13th century, with some minor battles being fought through the 16th century4. Fourteen years later, the emperor Charlemagne died, and Christianity came under fire from Magyars, Vikings, and other nations who were considered to be pagan8. Throughout the tenth century,…show more content…
The emperors of Constantinople had not been in communication with the Roman church since 1054, but they asked the popes for help with the issues with the Turks. At this time, Gregory VII was the pope. After exchanging letters with Michael VII, one of the emperors of Constantinople, in 1073, Pope Gregory VII debated on leading an army to take back the land of Jerusalem, the Holy Sepulcher, and the Christendom. However, his time was occupied with the Investiture Contriversy12. The Investiture Controversy arose after claims that Pope Gregory VII had not been officially elected into office – that is, by the emperor – and was not legitimately a pope13. This caused the Pope to be unable to further his plans for the persecuted Christians. At this same time, Europe was divided into states that were bickering over territory14.
During this time of war, in the year 1081, Alexius Comnenus, a general, took the Byzantine throne, becoming known as Emperor Alexius I15. However, at this time, it was the position of pope that had the most power, even enough to start a worldwide war such as the Crusades. However, no matter how much power he had, the pope could not have provoked the Crusades had there not already been conditions set in place which allowed it to happen. One of these ways was the ancient relationship between Syria and the West. At this time, Europeans believed that they were entitled to access to the Holy Sepulcher and, in
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