B – USE YOUR OWN KNOWLEDGE TO ASESS HOW FAR THE SOURCES SUPPORT THE INTERPRETATION THAT THE MILITARY ORDERS BENEFITED THE CRUSADING MOVEMENT [70]

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B – USE YOUR OWN KNOWLEDGE TO ASESS HOW FAR THE SOURCES SUPPORT THE INTERPRETATION THAT THE MILITARY ORDERS BENEFITED THE CRUSADING MOVEMENT [70]

When the Kingdom of Jerusalem was established the after the success of the first crusade in July 1099, there were many issues that the leaders needed to address, including how they would defend their new lands. This is where the military orders such as the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitilar became relevant. Using my own knowledge and the provided sources, (that both support and oppose the statement), I will demonstrate the degree to which these religious military orders assisted the crusading movement and the Kingdom of Jerusalem and also how this changed over time. The main supporting arguments used in sources A and B are that the orders assisted the crusaders with military force, obedience to their master and religious fervour. Alternatively, the opposing arguments in sources D, C and E are that the orders were overly wealthy and greedy, disengaged and unruly.

Some of the sources support the statement that the military orders benefited the crusading movement, as they depict the knights of the orders fighting to protect the Kingdom. This concept is particularly prevalent in source A, where the knights are described to be ‘all fighting…’ to protect the kingdom and similarly in source D, they are ‘lead into battle’. This indicates the knights’ readiness and capability to fight was greatly beneficial to the Crusaders. Furthermore, source A states that the defence of the church and their lands was in serious decline and had ‘perished’, but the revival of the military orders had ‘recovered’ this. The presence of a armed fighting force would have essential to the unstable rule the crusaders had on their new land; as most of the depleted original crusading army had returned home after the capture of Jerusalem the Kingdom was dangerously underpopulated. The formation of the Knights Templar and the rejuvenation of the Knights Hospitilar would have provided men to man the castles across the kingdom. 

Another backing argument to the usefulness of the military orders is their religious obedience, which would have been imperative to a well-functioning and therefore well serving institute at the time. Source B describes the knights performing all set tasks with ‘simple obedience’. There is also reference to the presence of ‘one master,’ who was chosen by the knights’ and controlled their order. The presence of a commander suggests an organised and smooth running organisation that would have benefited the crusaders.  Likewise,

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