The First Crusade


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One of the historical developments and progressions in the world must have been under the persecution and pains that the Jews went through during the time of the Holocaust and the massacres at Auschwitz. There was also the infamous First Crusade mission which was seen only to affect and touched new forms of persecutions of the majority Jews. During this time period, history does show that the peasant Jews were greatly attacked by a large number of crusaders who had come from both Germany and France, in which a great deal of the Jewish societies and communities were attacked (Jackson 32). From the available historical information, the first stages of the preaching for the First Crusade are something that was noted to greatly inspire anti-Semitism and similar outbreaks. In some parts the European continent, like in Germany and France, a great deal of the people had the strong opinion and belief that the Jews were enemies to human peace and had not much difference as the Muslims. In that event, such Jews had been assumed to be the ones responsible for the acts of crucification as outlined in the Biblical findings, and the reason they were seen as a threat to the society. This paper will therefore come up with an examination on how the first crusade was capable of contributing, indirectly, to the development of very powerful anti-Jewish sentiments. It will as well give an elaborate description on how the first crusade brought cohesion to Christendom, and also discussing arguing that the crusading focus on enemies of the Christianity was more directly harmful to Jews. Generally, this paper will argue that a stronger sense of internal cohesion and heightened awareness of historical enemies was harmful to European Jews as outsiders to the Christian society.

Background Information

Having been practicing business and usury, the Jews in the early years of 1000s, the Jews had been able to achieve a great deal of development which saw them indebted and attracting a new lot of enemies, the Western Christians. This saw such an enmity developing due to the fact that the Jews had as well not been engaged in many operations with their neighbors, and hence would go in far countries to preach to non Christians. In that case, more and more people continued to view such Jews as enemies, and very soon the Germans and the French would wage wars and massacres against the Jews, who had been seen as greater enemies as compared to the Muslims.. Basically, history has been able to acknowledge that there had been a number of possible developments and attempts which had seen the Jews being viewed as enemies and coming up with greater issues and lamentations towards executing them. Most of the involvements in the side of the Jews had been seen as a threat, and hence the following years would see the proclamation of the first crusade (Jonathan 76).

It shall be something necessary to note that there had not been a great deal of a broad progression and movement that had been pioneered against the Jews by the Western Christians from the years of the early seventh century. This had been marked with massive expulsions of the Jews from time to time.  Different regions also saw a number of Jews being persecuted by the Christians. For example, the major cases of persecution of the Jews were reported in Metz in the year 88, and a plot that had been planned against the Jews in 992 in a place known as Limoges. There were also a number of anti-Jewish waves and persecutions led by the Christians and related movements. The major belief was that such individuals had descended from heaven and hence all what could have been necessary for them was to expel and persecute them. This approach had as well been stated as part of the law in which no governmental laws had been forbidding such an act. A number of kings came up with movements which had been staged against the Jews (Krey 54). For example, the king of France, Robert, forced the Jews to convert or be killed between the years of 1007 and 1012. Such movements and operations had been effectively quashed strongly by the Roman Catholicism Pope and also its Bishops. The following years would see an increasing passion which would get aroused within the Christian populace, and had been brought forth by Urban II. This call by Urban II saw the birth of the first crusade which moved this persecution of the Jews from the new chapter in the historical developments of the world. This call by Urban II led to the First Crusade (Emilie 48).

The First Crusade

The first crusade is known to have taken place between 1090s and had been led by the Catholic Pope of the time by the name Urban Blessed II. The First Crusade itself was a form of the military expedition which had been led by the Western Christians with the aim of regaining the holy lands believed to have been taken during the Levant conquest by the Muslims. Finally, this was ended up aggravated such that the final resolution would be in recapturing Jerusalem in the year of 1999. This Crusade had been successfully launched by the Pope of the Catholic Church in the year 1095. This had been addressed as an aid or response to the appeals of Alexius I in order to help in having western volunteers so as to help invade the Turks, which is the present day Turkey (Chazan 43). Once the major goal had been in repossessing what had been acquired by the Muslims, the attention was diverted, and hence the new objective was in a stronger Christian conquest, or re-conquest, in which the city of Israel, Jerusalem, was to be taken and do away with the Muslims and free the Jews and other Eastern Christians. During this great crusade, history notes that a great deal of peasants as well as knights had been able to come from a great number of the European countries and became crusaders in different parts of the East and by so doing only the knights were able to reach the end of the road, hence setting up a siege which led to the capturing of Jerusalem and establishment of a kingdom there, among other places.

From the historical developments, the Roman Church had been able to have a great deal of resources and hence it was something very necessary that it would give the substantial support and help in order to be able to conquer the Turks and also be able to get back the Holy Lands which were in the hands of the Muslims. In order to achieve this, there was the necessity of the Pope and the church in particular to have a support due to the wealth the Roman Church had been able to harness over the past years. This wealth and creation of stability within the Church was something necessary since it funded the first crusade and giving the necessary support to the crusaders who had decided to take on the mission. It is strongly believed that, while the church was wealthy enough and capable of funding the operations of the crusades pioneered by the knights and the other peasants, the Pope was also interested in having a greater population of followers and having a great deal of support in different parts of the world. Also, it was very true that the movement and operation would as well promote the wealth base of the church, and the main reason why the crusade was inevitable after being endorsed by Urban II, the Blessed Pope of the Roman Catholic Church during the time period. The major attempt behind this French-Catholic led operation by the name of crusade was aimed in freeing Jerusalem and all other sacred lands that had been able to find themselves in the hands of the Muslim armies (Brian 65).

Looking at the available information, these Crusades had been designed as a number of eventful series integrated with wars which had been led by the European Christians from the West in an attempt of recapturing lands that had been occupied by Muslims. The city of Jerusalem was viewed as a holy place and hence the reason they would think of taking it. The term Crusade would later come to be used in designating any form of military attempt led by the Europeans against all non-believers and non-Christians in the world. Basically, the resources of the Church had played a very big role in giving the necessary support towards the missions and goals of the Crusade.


As we have been able to note, this kind of a crusade had been effectively led by the Western Christians in an attempt to oust the non-Christians who had taken dominion of the sacred lands. This had been the main motive behind the quest. King Alexius of France had called for support from the Pope so as to be able to achieve a better quorum and resources which would see them being able to achieve their objectives and already stated missions (Hava 43). This saw the Pope, Urban II, giving a noble quest for the first crusade which was seen as a holistic approach for the Christians in being able to achieve a greater sense of glory by having back the holy lands which had been taken by the Muslims. This was a vital approach and hence a number of peasants and knights were known to have entered into the mission in an attempt of engaging in war towards reclaiming these holy lands. In that case, history notes that the crusade had been pioneered by the Church under the support of the Pope, and the availability of resources at disposal from the church (Chazan, 87).

While such an agreement had been arrived at, the next move was in having troops of the knights and peasants being made up for the crusading mission in order to achieve what they really needed to by having the Muslims defeated and taking their lands back. Such lands had been noted to be holy and hence the only approach was by engaging the Muslims in battles. This was the main reason why the crusaders were necessary towards promoting operations which would make sure that the lands had been gotten back. However, as we shall be able to note, this kind of crusading would later have a great deal of impacts on the Jewish Society, right from the time of the crusade, all the way to the days of the Holocaust. Another important piece of revelation that can be donated from the crusades is that the crusaders were able to carve out what would become feudal states later in the coming few years. Historians have thus argued that such crusades were able to become elemental and integral part towards the future expansion of the European continent and realization of colonies far and beyond. Such crusades have as well been able to mark the very first occurrence of the Western Christendom which undertook some military initiatives and taking their operation way to far beyond the boundaries of the continent. This saw the made up crusaders leaving their nations and going far beyond to achieve a great deal of cultural and religious progressions far and beyond (Brian 98).


Most of the occurrences and developments leading to the first crusade have been noted to have been aimed in waging wars against all the people who had been considered or seen as non Christians. These people were noted to have different forms of faiths and beliefs which were in contradiction with the ones of the Western faith. In that case, there was the necessity of waging war against such non believers and infidels, and this would succeed after the go ahead that was endorsed by the Pope of the Catholic Church of the time. As the crusades appeared to gain momentum in an attempt to recapture the beautiful city of Jerusalem and the other sacred pieces of lands that were in the hands of the non believers, there was a collision with the Jews who had been seen as infidels for the longest time ever in the entire world. 

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