First to Fourth Crusade Historian views

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  • Created on: 06-05-14 11:50
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Pluralist and Geographical
Hans Mayer argued only military expeditions which aimed at acquiring or preserving Christian domination over the Sepulchre of Our Lord in Jerusalem as
being crusades.
Carl Erdmann
RileySmith's definition of a crusade included all military expeditions which were undertaken with three general criteria Just Cause, Legitimate
Authority and the Right Intention.
The First Crusade
Preaching the Crusade
Hans Mayer argues that Urban never intended to liberate Jerusalem but only to respond to Alexius's request for help. Urban's real objectives were to
unite the Christian churches in the east under the leadership of Rome.
Carl Erdmann, argues that the liberation of Jerusalem was a secondary objective.
Jonathan RileySmith, along with H. Cowdrey, argued that Jerusalem had always been the primary objective with all its spiritual and religious
Uptake of the Crusade
Religious Motivation
Hans Mayer has suggested the appeal of crusading to the wider population was based on their understanding of the idea of Jerusalem.
Jonathan RileySmith have explained the prime motivation of most crusaders as being one of piety.
Jonathan RileySmith suggests that the impact of the reform papacy.
AntiIslamic feelings
Joshua Prawer argues that the First Crusade was 'not the defence of Christians of the East, but a Christian offensive against Islam.
Jean Richard made an argument against this in that before the First Crusade relations between Islam and Christianity had been good as shown by
Gregory VII's correspondence with the North Africa princes.
Economic and Social Opportunity
D. Herhily has argued that from 1000 onwards there were recurring famines in southern France and Italy significant recruitment areas for crusaders.This
was linked to the rising population creating pressure to making more viable economic land units. (Primogeniture argument)
George Duby makes a similar argument for Burgundy where the land was owned in common by the family (frereche). In this system the family wealth
was shared for the common good of the family. Duby has suggested that the crusades offered individuals an escape from the family restrictions.
RileySmith has argued that the economic thesis is not that significant in that no more than 1/3 of the Crusaders actually settled in Holy Lands.
People's Crusade
S. Runciman explains the enthusiastic response with the following points:
increasing population had brought pressure on available land.
the floods and pestilence of 1094 had been followed by a famine in 1095 encouraging people to look for a better life.
Peter had visions of New Jerusalem. It was believed he would lead them to a land of milk and honey.
Why was Jerusalem Captured
J. Riley Smith has highlighted the importance of the divisions between the Muslims.
1101 Crusade
J. Richard highlights more practical reasons for their defeat can be seen by their poor coordination of forces as well as the greater preparation of the
Turks who were prepared to unite against a common enemy.
First Crusade, according to Jonathan RileySmith, was seen as a sign that it was a divinely inspired enterprise, particularly taking into account the
difficulties the crusaders faced.
Runciman suggests that another important political consequence of the 1101 Crusade was that it stopped any further expansion of the Byzantine empire
while the Turkish rulers recovered from their demoralising defeat in 1099.
Latin East
H. Mayer has argued that both Baldwin I and Baldwin II were very good diplomats as well as military leaders which contributed to their success.

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S. Runciman suggests that Baldwin I's main enemy, the Egyptians, were unable to develop a clear military strategy. Also their soldiers were no
match for the crusaders. He also suggests that Baldwin II was successful because of the divisions between the Syrian Muslims.
Zengi and Edessa
J Prawer and H Mayer pointed out the economic and demographic weaknesses of Edessa. The country had been economically weakened by the
constant raiding by Muslim forces.…read more

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The Third Crusade
H. Mayer see the achievements of the Third Crusade as being modest compared to the size of the army that went. Though he does conceded that the
Third Crusade extended the crusader presence by 100 years.
J. Richard has more positive evaluation of the Third Crusade emphasising the fact that Saladin was forced to accept Frankish presence in the East despite
his desire to eliminate them all together.
J.…read more



Quite useful, but, AQA suggest historians such as Thomas Madden, Thomas Asbride, Jonathan Phillips, Riley-Smith (which you included), John France, Irene Merrall and, Byrom and Riley as being more credited. Hope this helps :)

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