Fighting For A Cause Essay

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Fighting for a Cause The eleventh century was marked by great instability in both the East and the West. In the East the Byzantine Empire and the Turkish Empire were in constant conflict with one another over various territories and cities. In the West, many were trying to recover from the Gregorian reforms in the papacy and the constant expansion of the empires that were looking to capitalize on any opportunity to gain more land and money. Aside from these empires were small Italian merchant cities that were always looking for ways to extend their trade roots and bring down their rivals. But in the midst of all this rivalry and expansion were the more common people who were simply trying to stay alive in all the turmoil and who were easily swayed by an eloquent tongue. The feudal system was still widespread; peasants had no way out of their dismal situation and were looking for anything that could bring them better days. Then on the eve of the twelfth century, a crusade is called for all of the people of Christendom to venture to the East to reclaim the Holy Land of Jerusalem, the home of the Holy Sepulcher, and reestablish peace. Now, all of the people of Christendom banded together for a cause however, it might not have been the same cause. Did they all fight for the establishment of peace in the Holy Land, or did every person have personal reason for venturing eastward? The Crusades became a gateway for everyone involved to achieve their own ends. Each person, even each state had a reason for traveling east, but for each the end was achieved through the same means, the Crusades. With any great amount of power comes an almost equal amount of corruption. While Pope Urban II may not have been as corrupt as many other popes throughout the years, he still had certain personal goals that he wished see realized through his power. He, like the popes that

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