Why did people go on a crusade?

1186 Words Oct 23rd, 2013 5 Pages
Why did people go on crusades?
In 1095, Pope Urban II called for an army to go to the Holy Land, Jerusalem. This was what was later known as the ‘First Crusade’. A crusade is a religious war or a war mainly motivated by religion. The first crusade consisted of 10’s of thousands of European Christians on a medieval military expedition to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. This doesn’t mean that the first crusade was just motivated by religion. Throughout this essay, I will be suggesting the main reasons of why people went on crusades and which different people went for specific reasons and why.
There were a variety of reasons for going on a crusade. One reason was adventure. Many people, especially wealthy knights, would have gone
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This pope had many preaches which influenced the people to go on this crusade. Thus, religion was a powerful motivator as it had an influential impact on many religious believers. Religion would have most likely motivated peasants as they were known to be religious people and they were told that if they do things for their God or Jesus, would grant them a place in heaven as well as them being stripped off their sins. A source even tells us that tens of thousands of peasants followed Peter the Hermit who showed a letter that he claimed was written by God and delivered to him by Jesus.
Another final reason for people to go on a crusade was reaction to the rise of Islam. Many sources tell us that people such as pilgrims and people who worked for the church might have been scared at how powerful the Muslims were becoming; they were afraid that they would advance into different areas of Europe and start ruling the areas that they invaded by Islamic rule. A source supports this as it tells us that the Turks had been making constant advances in the East, and were now threatening Constantinople itself. Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires. It had a very powerful army and defended all of Western Europe because of this. If Constantinople fell, then all of Europe would be open to invasion, a vision that greatly worried European Christians. In Jerusalem, the Muslims were destroying it and capturing many people as well as killing them. Although
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