The First Crusade

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The First Crusade As the year 1000A.D. was approaching the strength of Christianity in Western Europe was growing along with its population. The newly reformed and organized Church began to gain great power. A new Europe was being born with the Catholic Church as a force in every area of life. In Christian beliefs, the savior, Jesus Christ was to return to earth and bring judgment on its people. Many clergy members along with lay people believed this would take place in the year 1000A.D. . Knowing this, the people of Europe awaited the return of Christ and feared the Wrath of God. Religious people wanted to make up for their sins and avoid the horrors of eternal damnation. Clergy members were often consulted to figure out what …show more content…

Many joined the Crusade for the Pope 's pledge of the remission of sins and the incorruptible glory of the kingdom of heaven. To them it was like an " armed pilgrimage" (Spielvogel,p346). Others saw a more materialistic goal. They saw victory in the Holy Land as a chance to benefit themselves. They felt they could gain territories, wealth or a title. The Crusade was not only a " Holy War." By 1097, the noble warriors from Western Europe had reached the Byzantine capital of Constantinople. When the Byzantine Emperor Alexius saw the amount of crusading soldiers he was not entirely accepting. He was unsure of the true motives of the Crusaders. To him they posed a threat to his empire due to the size of the armies. Alexius truly called on the West only to aid him in recapturing the lost Byzantine provinces of Asia Minor. The Crusaders were determined on the conquest of the Holy Land. Alexius made the Crusaders promise homage to the lands they would conquer. Alexius promised the Crusaders military aid but it never truly came. After the Crusaders left Constantinople ties with the Byzantines were severed. The crusading armies then moved southeastward across Asia Minor. The immense number of cavalry and foot soldiers reached the ancient city of Antioch by 1098. " After a long and complex siege " the Crusaders captured Antioch ( Hollister,p.192). After the capturing of Antioch, the Crusaders moved towards Palestine. In

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