The crusades

What were the crusades and why did they start?

The Crusades were a series of Holy Wars launched by the Christian states of Europe against the Saracens. The term ‘Saracen’ was the word used to describe a Muslim during the time of the Crusades. The Crusades started on November 27, 1095 when Pope Claremont preached the First Crusade at the Council of Claremont. The Pope’s preaching led to thousands immediately affixing the cross to their garments – the name Crusade given to the Holy Wars came from old French word ‘crois’ meaning ‘cross’. The Crusades were great military expeditions undertaken by the Christian nations of Europe for the purpose of rescuing the holy places of Palestine from the hands of the Mohammedans. They were eight in number, the first four being sometimes called the Principal Crusades, and the remaining four the Minor Crusades. In addition there was a Children’s Crusade. There were several other expeditions which were insignificant in numbers or results.

How many crusades were there?

There were nine crusades in total. The first four were the major ones also called the principal crusade, four of them were minor crusades the ninth crusade was called the children’s crusade.

What was the main goal or objectives for the crusades?

The main goal was to restore back the holy land from the Muslims in place near and in Jerusalem and bring back the peace of the land. Releasing the holy land was the first thing that the crusades were meant to do the next goals for them to do was to seize Spain for the Moors and the Slavs and Pagans from Eastern Europe. Then take over islands of the Mediterranean.

Were the crusades successful?

The answer to this question is yes and no.

Yes, becuase the First Crusade achieved it’s objective of freeing the “Holy Places” from the Muslims. Despite the manpower shortages and the increasing threats from other rivals, both the Muslims and Christains. The Crusader States of Outremer survived  almost for 200 years.

No, because the Crusading movement was a system of periodic campains.They were largely fought by forces with short-term aims.


This diorama shows the Crusades and Muslims on separate sides of the bridge Crusades on the left and Muslims on the right. As in one of the Crusades the Crusades had to cross a bridge to get to the Muslims.

By Timothy Trevett