The Christian Crusades resulted to great damages in terms of loss in lives and destructions of properties. The barbarism and wickedness of crusaders lead to destruction of cities, attack and murdering of innocent children and women.
The motivating factors behind these crusades included; protection of the Christian holy places from Muslim possession, propagation of Christianity religion to the Middle East and lastly amplifying the Christian richness through possessing the conquered lands and from the extra profits realized by the Christian merchants by extending their trading opportunities.
The greatest problem that is associated with the crusades is how the Christians used massive violence to achieve their objectives. The manner in which the Christians crusades were undertaken did not portray the true Christian teaching of love and forgiveness, although they were very instrumental in enhancing the propagation of the Christian faith across borders.
During that period of the crusades, Jerusalem which was regarded as a holly place by the Christians was being destroyed by the Muslims. In addition, the Christians that were travelling to pilgrimages were often mistreated on their way by the Egyptian and Turkish Muslims. As a result of these harassments, the number of Muslims increased widely and mostly in the Middle East.
The high proliferations of Muslims lead Pope Urban II to initiate the Christian crusades to curtail the high increase of Muslims and in particularly their spread even in the Christian holy places.
These crusades were very brutal and not Christ-like. These crusades were highly characterized by unchristian behaviors such as massacring, cannibalizing and capturing hostages. The Pope Urban II had exaggerated the issue; these crusades were more political than earlier noticed. The Christian crusades instead of helping to spread Christianity across borders seemed as they were meant to bring the Christian churches under Papal leadership which portrayed the supremacy of the Pope.
Young Christian men were used to perpetuate the crusades. They matched to Jerusalem with a promise that their sins will be forgiven for their act of atonement. In addition, the hope that these young men had of gaining land once they managed to drive the Muslims out of these areas motivated them further to act more aggressively.
The pope Urban II in addition, lured the merchants by promising to offer them profits outfit and transport troops. Moreover they were assured of an increase of their trade interests. The success of the first crusade lead to establishment of western Christianity with a militant nature and an aggressiveness that later brought forth the mission work.
The early missionaries greatly exemplified the militant aggressive stance and used it to propagate the mission work through proclaiming the gospel as the only solution that could redeem people as other means such as education, commerce and government had failed. The crusades inspired the Christians to spread the God’s word forcefully so that to reshape their character.
The first crusade made Christian perceive that it was their responsibility to redeem people from their sinful nature. The Crusades were great military mission that were aimed at recapturing Palestine territories that were highly Muslim dominated. In addition to the spread of the gospel, the crusades were also organized as a strategy for the Christians and the leaders to exemplify their wealth and religious zeal. They occurred from early to the middle of the second millennium since Christ resurrected.
The crusades’ main objective was to spread the gospel. Although there were other hidden agendas that were associated with these crusades, among them included the need to amplify the Christian richness and make the papal supreme. The crusades enabled the merchant Christians and also the Papal increase their richness and power globally.
There are a number of benefits both to the East and West territories that were associated with the Christian crusades, despite the great losses associated with them. The Christian crusades were marked with a great proliferation of trade. The end of the crusades was followed by opening of various trade routes that facilitated greatly businesses between the East and West cities. Soon after the end of the crusades, trade exemplified as far as from England to the black sea, extending to ports of Beirut, acre and Alexandria.
Rhodes, Crete and Cyprus become the main trading centers for the crusaders after the loss of Acre in 1291. The crusaders were very successful in facilitating the movement of goods along the Mediterranean Island. They easily regulated the movement of goods in and out of the Middle East. The presence of the trade routes acted as a very important contact between the western and Eastern cultures.
The crusades enabled many merchants from Venice and Genoa to settle in Crete and Cyprus. These merchants purchased cloth, sugar and spices from the Muslims. Similarly, other merchants from Aragorn and Sicily bought goods from Tunisia and Algeria such as Gold, animal skin and wool. Most of the products that were traded from the Middle East included the cotton, melon and Sugar. Initially, the Papal restricted the Merchants who were Christians from trading with the Muslims, but eventually gave up.
The Middle East is the region that supplied majority of the goods that were traded along the Mediterranean area. The interaction of these two factions resulted to greater technological inventions such as the inventions of compasses, clocks, windmills and gunpowder. The existence of the trade among the East and West enhanced prosperity of the residents in the two regions extensively. The merchants were able to make a lot of money from trading with the Arabs.
The money they realized from these trades enabled them to establish long term business relations between Europe and the Middle East. The Europeans are believed to have learned a lot of military techniques from these fights. As earlier cited, the crusades were very successful in intensifying the richness of the Christians by helping them control the major trading routes. The economical prosperity of the Christians meant that the power of the papal was also augmented since all the Christians were under the papal monarchy.
The Christian crusades amplified the technology greatly. For instance, the Muslims used weapons that the Christians were not conversant with. These challenges lead the Christian to advance their military skills through innovation of use of fire as a missile. In addition, they enhanced their military power by learning new techniques of creating fortifications. Other skills they learned include the use of armorial bearings.
The Muslims soldiers were well familiar on how to fight under the scotching sun which the Europeans soldiers were not. From these crusades the Europeans soldiers learned on how to protect themselves from the heat by wearing protective clothing that covered their shoulders and heads while fighting. Therefore the crusades helped the Christians and especially Europe to advance their military power from the skills they learned from the Muslims.
The Christian crusades were also associated with the scholarly development in the Middle East and Europe. With the end of the crusade, the Muslims architect borrowed from the northern European Architectures the designing of pointed arches in their constructions. In addition, the Muslim doctors learned the Greek’s human anatomy knowledge. Later on many of the European scientists visited the Arabian nations in the twentieth century to tap on the knowledge.
For example, Leonard Fibonnaci who was the first Christian algebraist visited Syria and Egypt to learn mathematics. In addition, the Christian crusades that initiated the mission work lead to initiation of the language studies. For instance in 1311 a missionary referred as Raimon Lull initiated six schools that taught Oriental languages in Europe. The study of foreign languages necessitated the translation of the bible to other languages which contributed greatly to the spread of Christianity.
The Christian crusades were tailored and being funded by the Papal to amplify their richness and power. The high propagation of the Muslims in the Middle East triggered fear to the Christian monarchy during that period. Thus, the Christian monarchy that was being headed by the Papal system out of fear of Muslim dominance formulated a strategy to curtail the wide spread of Muslims.
The solution was the initiation of the Christian crusades that entailed destroying Muslims properties and attack of children and women. These crusades did not reflect the true teaching of Christianity which advocates for love and peace in the spread of gospel, rather than use of violence. The Christians organized the crusades when they realized that the Muslims were terrorizing their fellow Christians on their way to pilgrims.
This had made many Christians to abandon their faith and being converted to Muslim. Instead of the use of the violence activities that were associated with the Christian crusades of massacring and destructions of properties, the Christians should have adapted more Christian like strategies that demonstrated their faith in action. Through this process, these Christian could have brought more people into Christianity than the strategies they opted for.
The use of crusades by the Christians to propagate Christianity cannot be interpreted as the right means of spreading the gospel. This is because it was characterized with a lot of violence and hatred which is contrary to the Christian teaching of love and forgiveness.
Nevertheless, the crusades can be linked with the great widespread of Christianity worldwide. The use of crusades ensured conversion of many people to Christians. Some of those people that were converted to Christians were merchants who joined the faith for promise of trading interests. Their constant move intensified further the spread of Christianity. The merchants that were converted shared their faiths with those people they came across while trading which in turn enhanced Christianity propagation. Others
The early Christian crusades are the one that are associated with the coming of mission work. The mission work that was being carried by missionaries entailed the spreading of gospel to foreign places enthusiastically. The missionaries were very aggressive in their mission work and this greatly enabled them to win more people into Christianity.
The missionary are the people that initiated the study of languages. The study of foreign languages facilitated the translation of the bible to be presented in many more languages which in turn assisted in the spread of Christianity since more people could then read and understand the bible on their own.
The Christian crusades were meant to prevent the quick widespread of Muslims and in particular in the Middle East region. The crusaders were funded and organized by the papal system to help it establish a supreme Christian monarchy. The papal promised the crusaders atonement of sins due to their devotion to fight for the cross.
In addition, some crusaders were lured by promise of trade interests. Despite the great destructions and loss of lives that is associated with the Christian crusades, the crusades greatly enhanced trade and cooperation between the West and Middle East. Moreover, the crusade contributed greatly to the widespread of the Christianity faith worldwide.
Armstrong, Karen. Holy War. New York: Doubleday, 1991.
Child, John. The Crusades. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1994.
Jonathan, Hill. Zondervan Handbook to the History of Christianity. Oxford: Lion Publishing Plc, 2006.
Marvin, Perry. Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007.
- Armstrong, Karen. Holy War. New York: Doubleday, 1991.
- Child, John. The Crusades. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1994
- Jonathan, Hill. Zondervan Handbook to the History of Christianity. Oxford: Lion Publishing Plc, 2006.
- Marvin, Perry. Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007.