Crusades were conflicts that were based on religion and perpetrated by the pope of the Catholic Church with the aim of re establishing access to in Jerusalem and around it by devoted Christians. The Christians staged six different crusades over a period of two centuries but still failed to reclaim the holy lands from the hands of the Muslims. The last nail on the coffin being the loss of acre to the Muslims as it was the last part of the Christian stronghold in the holy land. After the loss, the Catholic Church in Europe made no further attempts towards the recovery of the holy land. The crusades were held during the periods of middle age and Pope Urban II was the main protagonist behind the first crusade.
The crusades were a direct reaction by the Christians to the treatment they received while visiting the holy city of Jerusalem. Back then, visiting a holy place was something meritorious among the early Christians because it was a belief that the holy son of God, Jesus Christ had graced the land of Jerusalem and visiting the same place would place one in the good graces of heaven. In the eleventh century, after a Turk tribe had taken over the land including the city of Jerusalem, the Christians who visited were persecuted and the churches that remained in the city destroyed by the Turks who were Muslims.
The Christians were also convinced that if visiting a sacred place was meritorious then its rescue from the hands of the Turks was worth even more before God and therefore they set out for the battle. Since the Christian population was so large, they set out for Asia in large numbers in waves that no one had seen before.
Even though civilization was creeping through Europe, the people had not fully shed their ancient barbarian ways and when they were offended, the resorted to the thing they knew best; war. The leaders of the European Christians could not the resist the temptation of going to war especially after the insult they suffered when their people were persecuted in Jerusalem.
The first crusade might have been led by the pope but it was the preaching of a French native, Peter Hermit that moved the people and inspired them. With the blessings of the pope, he moved around Europe preaching the gospel and the need to reclaim the holy land from the hands of the oppressors. His motivational skills played a major part in getting the troops out to defend the holy land from being abused by the Turks.
The crusades had numerous effects both on the people and the church due to their involvement. On the Catholic Church, the crusades made the Catholic Church a wealthy entity while at the same time handing a great amount of power to the pope. This was because of the parts played by the pope during the crusades as they were placed in charge of the forces as well as making decisions on matters that were related to the crusades.
The crusades opened a new avenue for traders as the vessels that were used to transport the soldiers to the east returned with goods for trade hence improving the relationship that Europe had with the east in terms of trade. At the same time the business of building ships enjoyed good business as ships were in great demand at the time.
A mix of the cultures in Europe and the east created a romantic adventure for the people in the regions as they learned more from the social skills and cultures that were appreciated in both sides of the crusades. The European chivalry was undermined as it was the custom in the east.
The crusades might have resulted from the mistreatment of Christians by the Turks who had taken over the city of Jerusalem but they led to changes that were of a great good to the people involved as there were increased relations between the east and Europe through trade and socially. The church lost the battle to reclaim the holy land but got one good in return as it became wealthier and more powerful.
HYPERLINK “http://www.bibme.org/” o “Edit this item” Bridge, Antony. The Crusades. New York: F. Watts, 19821980. Print.