The Childrens Crusade

This sample of an academic paper on The Childrens Crusade reveals arguments and important aspects of this topic. Read this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion below.

James Millette Ms. Kelzer World History 11/28/11 By June, 1212 about 30,000 kids under the age of twelve had showed up to support and go on the journey to capture back the holy land. (Kreis, Steven) Even wealthy children had snuck outside of their families to join. The children’s crusade seemed like it would be successful and had good intention, but had a huge lack of sense of leadership and planning.

He had led him and his army into a dispute against all factors of nature. At him being so young of age, that had also caught up with him.

It has been said that the children’s crusade was a set up to try and shame the king and his army to go and fight for the holy land. The Crusades were a series of religious wars, blessed by the Pope and the Catholic Church with the main goal of restoring Christian access to the holy places in and near Jerusalem.

The Crusades were originally started in response to a call from the leaders of the Byzantine Empire for help to fight Muslim Turks expanding into Anatolia, these Turks had cut off access to Jerusalem. The main series of Crusades occurred between 1095 and 1291.

Why Was The Children’s Crusade Important

This Holy Land was extremely important to Christians because it was where Jesus Christ had lived.

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The church had taken the process a step further, claiming crusading as doing a sort of deed to God for sins that had been done. This created a desire to fight for Christianity, and a motivation that kept Western Europe in tact, causing thousands of ordinary people to join the cause. The origin of the Children’s Crusade however, was from the increase of religious feeling among the peasants and laymen. Mobs of children, who belonged to religious communities and carried the belief of recovering Jerusalemm had assembled.

A boy named Stephen, who was twelve years old and was from Cloyes in the Orleannais. He was born out of a poor family, which was neglected in their town. He supposedly had come upon Christ while he was sleeping and was ordered to give a letter to the king and also preach the crusade. The king had turned him down, but Stephen began to go across town and he preached. His letter had told his followers that crossing obstacles like the sea would be easy for them: it said that the waterways would part and let them cross through.

According to the church, this crusade wasn’t really a crusade because they weren’t blessed by a pope. The church believed they couldn’t bless if a crusade was bound to fail, but they thought that by sending these kids would put shame on the popes and make them actually put together a crusade and capture Jerusalem. The amount of inspiration Stephen had towards his religion was immeasurable. He had gone and preached promoting the crusade against Muslims of the east of Spain and had been turned down by nearly everyone who he had come across.

After he had received the letter from Jesus he arrived at the entrance of Abbey of Saint-Dennis and had announced that he would lead an “army” of children to rescue the holy land. In the summer of 1212 three armies of children, each more than thirty thousand strong, setout from France and Germany, to walk to Jerusalem and rescue the Holy Sepulchre from the armies of Muslims. The leaders were children, boys only twelve or thirteen years old; they preached in churches, at shrines, and on highways.

Now, this was an act that took major amounts of courage but children cannot lead other children and Stephen being only twelve years old, he wasn’t ready to lead either. When it comes to leadership, Stephen lacked highly in it as a whole. Mostly all of his army had set on foot and Stephen had designed a cart for himself. At his sides were several boys on horseback who were from richer families and could afford these things. It wasn’t fair to the other 30,000 kids that had to suffer on foot. Money distribution had become a huge issue. There was no money to buy food or water or any means of transportation anywhere.

Stephen had also made his army believe that the sea would spread for them and they would be able to cross, none of this happened. A few days later, two merchants, Hugh the Iron and William the Pig, confronted Stephen with a deal. They offered to provide seven ships, to the mass of children, free of charge. All of the boys and girls boarded their ships and set out to Palestine. It took about 18 years until the story of the tragedy had been talked about The fact that Stephen was only twelve years old and had come from a poor peasant family really had an effect on his sense of power.

It seemed as though people didn’t respect him. On top of that he didn’t know how to read nor write, he was in a way looked at as a fool even at such a young age. It was wrong for the king to even let him step foot out on his own. The morals of the king were that he would shame his own army into fighting the crusades, but this didn’t work and the king had sacrificed 30,000 other children’s lives. When there is a mass population of kids, disease also comes into play. As the journey went on, many kids became diseased and those diseases had carried to both the kids and the towns that they had traveled through.

Before reaching the sea, over half of the army had either died from disease, starvation or heat exhaustion. This was considered a very painful journey, some kids had wandered off to seek food or just to go home. Since Stephen didn’t know how to read, for days even weeks the children wouldn’t hear from anyone and they had come across towns out of luck. Once reaching the city of Marseilles, they were kindly greeted and were given rooms to sleep in. Now these rooms were only given to the more wealthy, most of them stayed out on the streets and scavenged whatever food they could find. EBSCO Publishing Service Selection Page. Web. 13 Dec. 2011.
• “The Children’s Crusade. ” History Learning Site. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.
• Children’s and Shepherds’ Crusades: Were the Children’s and Shepherds’ Crusades Class Protests of the Poor Against the Wealthy? ” History in Dispute. Ed. Mark T. Abate. Vol. 10: The Crusades, 1095-1291. Detroit: St. James Press, 2003. 32-39. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 11 Nov. 2011.
• Kreis, Steven. “The Children’s Crusades (1212). ” The History Guide — Main. Web. 11 Nov. 2011 •

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The Childrens Crusade
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