• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent was the first crusade a success

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was the First Crusade a success? It is difficult to examine weather the First crusade was truly successful, and scholars have been debating over it for centuries. One of the key problems in this question is seeking out what the main objectives of the crusade, this is particularly difficult due to the numerous accounts of the Sermon at Clermont, which obviously contains the incentives and objectives that sparked thousands of people to take up the cross and journey to the east. The second key problem of the crusade is its complexity, there were three waves of attack, and numerous branches broke of these attacks, some successful others defiantly were not. In order to discover then whether the First crusade really was a success, we must first look at its intentions. The primary spark which gave the inspiration to Urban II to call the crusade was the request for support from the Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus, who requested help from his fellow Christians to fight of the Turks in Asia Minor, particularly after his defeat at Manzikert in 1071. This is obvious as well in the accounts of Urban's sermon: 'For you must hasten to carry aid for your brethren dwelling in the East....they have seized more and more lands from the Christians.' The Crusade certainly did support the Christians in the East and helped the Byzantine Empire to recapture major cities across Asia minor, however, the Crusade also ran into trouble at Byzantium and ...read more.


Fulcher was not at Jerusalem so may have left it out in an attempt to hide his disappointment at not being at this momentous event. Jerusalem is one of the greatest successes of the Crusade, its timely capture and the holiness before the assault surely speak for themselves proving that the capture of Jerusalem was a resounding success for the crusade. Jerusalem stood for everything the Crusade had shown, piety, bravery, brutality, quarrelling, and luck. Urban cannot have hoped for anything more, despite quarrels between Raymond of Toulouse and the other crusade leaders, when it came to it, all fought side by side under one banner against a common enemy and won. They had been very fortunate in the timely arrival of a fleet of Ships at Jaffa carrying the equipment needed to build siege equipment, and to the crusaders it must have seemed like God was on their side. They managed to capture the city before the Fatamid army arrived, and had given a great display of their piety by marching around the walls, without armour, with the risk that the Muslims would sally out and attack them unarmed. The crusade brutally killed all the inhabitants and restored Jerusalem to its so called rightful owner. The First wave of the Crusade however can hardly be called a success. 60,000 peasants set of to Byzantium from France in the early summer of 1096. ...read more.


the second wave, however they we all defeated thus indicating to historians that there must have been a further reason for their lose. . In conclusion, it is still difficult to say to what extent the First Crusade was successful, In comparison to the later crusades; it was by far the most successful, in the sense that it achieved all of its military objective, although some of them were prolonged. In doing this it also won several difficult battles, particularly outside Antioch and at Dorylaeum, where victory was achieved against the odds. The Crusade was also successful in supporting the Byzantines and helping them regains control of there key areas of Asia minor, and stopping the 'persecution' of Christians in the East. It showed the power of the Papacy, not only within Christendom, but throughout the known world, and united the Christians under a common banner against a common enemy. On the other hand the crusade was not so successful; it failed to reconcile the western and eastern Churches, and in some cases decreased relations, the crusade showed up the bad leadership of the western leaders through their inability to cooperate with each other and make quick correct decisions, the way the armies were set out at Jerusalem is the result of this embarrassing lack of command. The First and Third waves of the Crusade were complete failures, and the huge loss of men, women, and children during the crusade, make the success of the crusade very questionable. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. To what extent was strong leadership the main reason for the success of the ...

    and their Byzantine allies would have widened and been exploited, thus leading to disunity amongst the Crusaders. However, strong leadership was of course a large part of why the First Crusade was successful. Without powerful leaders, such as Bohemond and Adhemar, leading the Crusading armies, the Western forces would have

  2. To what extent was the Third Crusade a defeat for the Latins?

    The inability to accept a king resulted in disputes amongst the crusader states to reach their peak. In his management of politics Richard had failed, he was as Riley-Smith writes, "not nearly as successful in local politics as he was on the battlefield."

  1. In calling the first crusade, Urban 2nd was primarily motivated by a desire to ...

    He found himself quickly inundated with problems, so much so that he could not even enter the holy city of Rome for a given amount of time. It seemed that the only way to reengage the power of the papacy was to unite behind a common enemy, Islam.

  2. To what extent could the Crusades be described as failure within the years 1095-1195?

    The threat from Muslims forced the Byzantine Empire, which had Orthodox Church, to ask for help from the European Catholic Church. The fall of Jerusalem has been a great worry for Christendom. Conquests of the Seljuk Turks coincided with the general religious revival in Western Europe in the X-XI centuries.

  1. To what extent was the military prowess of the Crusaders the main reason for ...

    group would come away and charge at the enemy, this result in a constant barrage of arrows at the enemy if the enemy charged the Turks would turn and make flight. unlike the Crusaders system, suitable in Western European warfare, the turkish system was specially designed for the middle east, where the flat hard plains made it the perfect stratergy.

  2. In What Ways Was The Siege Of Antioch The Turning Point Of The First ...

    Antioch took the Crusaders to the brink but they managed to stay united whereas the Muslims were beginning to divide under the pressure and were weakened by their defeat whereas the Crusaders were stronger for their victory. One factor that made Antioch such an important moment was that it was

  1. To what extent was superior military leadership the reason for success in the first ...

    degree of cooperation and common purpose organised by the ?council of princes? at crucial times. Such discussion needs to be balanced against other reasons for the success of the Crusade, such as: religious zeal (and its demonstration at key points, for example at and after Antioch and at Jerusalem), military

  2. To What Extent Does History show that there is no such thing as absolute ...

    heir, Rousseau believed in the concept of voting and the absolute monarchy kept people from true freedom. This would further take the power of Louis pulling him away from absolute power. The enlightenment ideas affected the king?s power, he was criticized more and more, revolution was close and people began to fight for freedom and a change in their government.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work