The Crusades

The Holy War: Christianity vs. Islam
Eric Savage
HUMS 1171-001
Dr. Linda Christensen

The Holy War: Christianity vs. Islam
Pope Urban II had called the Christians to join him in a Holy War to reclaim the Holy Lands as an act of Christianity, but there were many activities that took place that weren’t characteristics of Christianity. The Crusades were a smokescreen for Pope’s craving for power and control. The Crusades were the idea of Pope Urban II, a wise Frenchman. On November 18, 1095 AD, Pope Urban II opened the Council of Clermont. Nine days later, the Pope made a very important speech just outside the French city of Clermont-Ferrand. In his speech, he asked the people to help the Christians’ effort to restore peace to the East. The Crusades had originally been to help the Churches in the East, but the now it was to reclaim the Holy Land, especially Jerusalem from the Muslims. Pope Urban II stayed in France until September 1096 in hopes of providing leadership for the First Crusaders. Urban had originally hoped for the crusading army to be composed of mostly knights and other warriors, but his speech had already began spreading throughout the west, and many people of different social classes started joining the crusading army. (Foss, Michael. pg. 23) Because of this, Urban lost all control of the army, which led to the slaughter of Jews in northern France. These poor people also caused strain on the army’s supplies and discipline. They were never trained and they were poor, so they couldn’t bring anything and were poorly disciplined (Foss, Michael. pg. 24).
The entire crusading army had planned on reaching the city of Constantinople, but because of their lack of supplies and training the vast majority of them were slaughtered before they got there. The few troops that did reach Constantinople split up into two groups. One group tried to capture Nicaea, a key city that blocked the road of their supply routes. This group was unsuccessful. The...