STUDYING ALL THE SOURCES AND YOUR OWN KNOWLEDGE ASSESS HOW FAR THE SOURCES SUPPORT THE INTERPRETATION THAT IT WAS MAINLY ECONOMIC REASONS WHICH LEAD PEOPLE TO GO ON THE FIRST CRUSADE [70]

HideShow resource information

STUDYING ALL THE SOURCES AND YOUR OWN KNOWLEDGE ASSESS HOW FAR THE SOURCES SUPPORT THE INTERPRETATION THAT IT WAS MAINLY ECONOMIC REASONS WHICH LEAD PEOPLE TO GO ON THE FIRST CRUSADE [70]

There is continuing debate among historians as to whether it was economic or other motives, such religious fervour, that lead people on to the first crusade. Although all sources contain information that both corroborates and contradicts the statement, sources C, E and D seem to particularly strongly support the interpretation. Conversely, sources A and B relate more to religious motives.

Source A is a letter written in 1099 by Emperor Alexius of Constantinople to Count Robert of Flanders, asking for support in the Holy Land. Although he begins by deliberately appealing to the Count as “special comforter of the Christian faith!”, a significant portion of the document supports the notion that economic gain was the driving force behind the Crusades; it speaks of the wealth of Constantinople and payment for protection for those with a “love of gold”. He believes this is more important to the Latin Christians than saving the relics of his city, such as the head of John the Baptist.

Source B, written by Robert the Monk, circa 1120, is a report of the Pope’s sermon at Clermont. It is difficult to find any strong element of support for the given interpretation of the statement in this passage, apart from the possibility of recovering territory. However, this is in itself ambiguous, because it could either relate to personal gain or to the glory of the Christian faith. The predominant message concerns “avenging wrongs against Christians and Christian land”.

Sources C, D

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all the first crusade resources »