Detail the course of the Crusades of the 11th through 13th centuries. Why did these wars occur? What were the results of these wars? Why were the Crusaders ultimately unsuccessful?
Discuss the emergence of Islam in the seventh century. What do Muslims believe? What was early Muslim culture like? What were some of the accomplishments of early Muslim culture?
The Crusades of the 11th to 13th centuries were the result of long standing conflicts between Christians and Muslims. At the end of the 11th century, Muslims began mounting attacks on Christian territory, mainly Byzantine region in Asia (McKay, Crowston, Weisner-Hanks, & Perry, 2014). Emperor Alexius I became concerned with the prevalent Muslim attacks over Christian territory and decided to seek help from the west. Pope Urban II heeded to this call and begun efforts to retake Holy Christian lands that were under Islam rule. The Holy lands comprise of Jerusalem region, where Christians often made pilgrimages to commemorate birth of Christ. Pope Urban II organized Christian groups from Western Europe and another group from Central Europe. In 1095, Pope Urban II made an influential speech, which led to the creation of the first Crusades (McKay et al., 2014). In 1098, a French Crusade army reclaimed Antioch from Muslim influence, marching on to Jerusalem where fighting intensified. The crusades were able to liberate Jerusalem from Muslims.
The wars resulted to deaths of hundreds of fighters. Over a span of about 2 centuries, Christians and Muslims were engrossed in various battles over control of the Middle East region, and as a show of might for both sides. The wars had devastating consequences to both Christians and Muslims. In most of the Crusades, there was no clear winner. For instance, the Second Crusade that lasted from 1147 to 1149 did not have a clear winner (McKay et al., 2014). The Third Crusade started war in 1189, with no clear winner. During the entire span, thousands of people lost their lives in the war. The crusaders were largely unsuccessful because of the repeat attacks from Muslims. Whenever the invaders conquered a particular area, Muslims would organize retaliatory attacks. The crusaders were also unsuccessful since they lost focus. For instance in the Fourth Crusade in 1203, Venetians convinced the Crusaders to attack Constantinople, as opposed to Muslims (McKay et al., 2014). The people had also lost the zeal to fight. During the Fourth Crusade, only a few individuals expressed interest.
The rise of Islam can be traced to the seventh century between 632 and 700. Arabia is known as the cradle for Islam. In the cities of Medina and Mecca, trade had greatly thrived (McKay et al., 2014). In 571, Muhammad was born. Muhammad was to become the Prophet of God who would later establish Islam faith. Islamic accounts indicate that Muhammad felt lacking in spirit and decide to move to the countryside to seek spirituality and relevance. It was while at the countryside that he received divine insights from Allah. From 613, Muhammad begun extensive preaching in the city of Mecca to spread the message he received from Allah. This became the foundation of Islam. Muslims believe in the Five Pillars or tenets, which as the cornerstone for Islamism (McKay et al., 2014). The first belief is about having faith in Allah. The second belief is payment of a particular some of money (2.5% of the income) to support the poor. The third belief is about taking hajj, and the fourth about honoring the month of Ramadan, which is considered holy. Lastly, Muslims believe in prayer.
The early Muslim culture advocated for a strict adherence to the Islamic way of life as the key to eternal life. Muslims still hold the belief. In the early Islam culture, the state and religion were the same. As such, the caliph or the chief Islamic leader was also in charge of the political affairs (McKay et al., 2014). Early Muslims believed in military conquests over non-Muslims, and the forceful conversion of Christians to Islamic faith. The early Muslim culture made some great achievements. First, the Muslim culture managed to convert Christians and other groups into Islamism. Muhammad’s teachings greatly influenced people, contributing to the growth of Islam. Another accomplishment relating to the early Muslim culture is the expansion of Islamic rule throughout Middle East and parts of Africa such as Egypt.
McKay, J. P., Crowston, C. H., Weisner-Hanks, M. E., & Perry, J. (2014). Sources for western society: From antiquity to the enlightenment (3rd ed., Vol. 1). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
By the end of the eighth century, the Muslims had defeated the __________ in present-day Spain.
Kingdom of the Ostrogoths
Kingdom of the Visigoths
Kingdom of the Franks
Kingdom of the Lombards
After the First Crusade, __________ Crusader states, also known as “Crusader kingdoms,” were established in the Middle East.
By AD 800, __________ had established a powerful kingdom encompassing modern-day France, northern Spain, northern Italy, and western Germany.
Louis the German
In the system of __________, peasants were tied to manors to work for the local noble in exchange for his protection.
__________ led English forces during the Third Crusade.
Match the person with the correct statement to describe them
- Abu al-Abbas
Founder of Abbasid Dynasty
- Gregory VII
Medieval pope known for “reform movement”
- Louis the Pious
Captured during the Seventh Crusade
Arab physician who pioneered important medical advances
- Margrete I
United kingdoms in the Union of Kalmar
Founder of the Merovingian Dynasty
Adopted Roman practices by Anglo churches
Norman conqueror of England
- Louis IX
Successor to Charlemagne
- Innocent III
Launched the Fourth Crusade in 1202