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The Crusades How and why did the Crusades begin how successful were they and why did the Crusade movement ultimately fail The crusades were military expeditions launched against the Muslims by the Christians in an attempt to regain the Holy Land They took place between 1095 AD and 1270 AD The word crusade which is derived from the Latin crux cross is a reference to the biblical injunction that Christians carry their cross Crusaders wore a red cloth cross sewn on their tunics to indicate that they had assumed the cross and were soldiers of Christ The causes of the Crusades were many and complex Religious beliefs political considerations and economic circumstances all lead to a long line of Crusades In a time of social and religious movements in the west the crusades were the most obvious manifestation of the papal claim to the leadership of Christian society 1 The original object of the First Crusade was to free the Holy Land from Muslim control especially Jerusalem When Jerusalem fell to the Turks pilgrimages to the middle east became dangerous Pope Urban then called for a great Christian holy war against the infidels2 Reclaiming the Holy Land from the Mulsims fulfilled the ideals of the Christian knight thus appealing to many Papal encouragement and the offer of indulgences also motivated thousands to enrol in this cause Undertake this journey for the remission of your sinswith the assurance of everlasting glory in the kingdom of heaven 3 Political considerations were also important The Crusades were a response to appeals for help from Alexis Comnenus of the Byzantine Empire The Emperor was constantly threatened by the advance of the Seljuk Turks The year of 1071 had seen both the captures of Jerusalem and the decisive defeat of the Byzantine army at Manzikert Pope Urban II also worried about the advancing Turks The thought of the holy city in
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