Who were the First Crusaders and why did they go?

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  • Why did people join the first Crusade in 1095?
    • Territory
      • Urban promised the Crusaders that they could keep the territory they conquer
      • Primogeniture Laws
        • Baldwin of Boulogne
          • settled as ruler of Edessa in 1098
      • promise of territory was desirable for those in the nobility more than peasants
    • Religious zeal
      • Remission of Sins
        • Just War
      • Fighting for God
        • Urban pledged that those who fought for god would go to heaven when they died
      • 'Armed' pilgrimage to the Holy Lands
        • the goal was to take back Jerusalem - the most sacred city in Christianity
    • Material Gain
      • Primogeniture Laws
        • First born sons received inheritance, younger sons wanted to try their luck to make their own fortune in the Holy Lands
      • The Holy Lands had very wealthy trade routes which the Crusaders wanted to be a part of/ exploit
    • Political reasons
      • increased papal power
        • Papal Army
          • fighting directly for God
        • assert authority over the secular rulers eg Henry of Germany
    • Pope Urbans Sermon at Clermont in 1095
      • invoked all classes of society, nobility and peasants
        • promised home properties would be protected by the Church
          • in reality this did not happen, land was seized and families attacked
      • Peasants were so moved to arms that Peter the Hermit led the People's Crusade (which completely failed)
      • medieval Europe was a period of violence, people were willing to channel that to fight the infidels in the East
        • Killing would not be sinful
      • pitched the Crusade as an armed pilgrimage
      • 'fight a race alien to god'
      • Appealed to the French nobility including Raymond of Toulouse, Bohemond of Taranto, Tacred and Godfrey of Buillon


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