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The Crusades were a series of wars for the Holy Land, which is believed where Jesus died and where the prophet Muhammad was taken to heaven to meet God. They were between the Christians and the Muslims, because the Holy Land was extremely important to both religions as important events took place there.
The Holy Land consists of Jerusalem, Nazareth, Safed and Tibrias. Jesus came from Nazareth.
The Crusades started in 1095, when Pope Urban gave a speech in France that said Christ commands the people to destroy the Turks and Arabs. It looks like the Crusades were a religious war, but maybe soldiers tried to get land, traders wanted to trade with the vast Muslim Empire.
The saddest crusade was probably the Children's Crusade in 1212. Thousands of children left their homes in France and Germany, believing that God would give them victory. Many got sick and died, others were stolen and sold as slaves. This Crusade is remembered in the story of the Pied Piper.
The Crusaders captured Jerusalem in the First Crusade. They killed all the Muslims in the city and took over an area of land about the size of Wales. (1096 - 1099)
The Second Crusade failed to win any more land. Saladin, a new Muslim leader, attacked the Christians in Jerusalem. In 1187, he trapped a Christian army in the desert and defeated them at the Battle of Hattin. All 15,000 soldiers were killed or sold as slaves. He took back Jerusalem. (1147 - 1149)
A Third Crusade was led by King Richard I of England and Philip of France. Philip went back to France when they argued. Without the French, Richard was not strong enough to take Jerusalem. So he made peace with Saladin and went home. On the way back, Richard was captured and England had to pay a huge ransom. (1189 - 1192)
The Europeans were thrown out in 1291.
There were 9 main Crusades in total:
The First Crusade lasted 4 years (1095 - 1099)
The Second Crusade lasted 2 years (1147 - 1149)
The Third Crusade lasted 5 years (1187 - 1192)
The Fourth Crusade lasted 2 years (1202 - 1204)
The Fifth Crusade lasted 4 years (1217 - 1221)
The Sixth Crusade lasted 1 year (1228 - 1229)
The Seventh Crusade lasted 6 years (1248 - 1254)
The Eighth Crusade lasted 10 months (1270)
The Ninth Crusade lasted 1 year (1271 - 1272)
There were also some other Crusades that weren't necessarily related to the 9 main Crusades:
Crusade of 1101
Jihad is the name given by Muslims for war against enemies of Islam. It is also the religious duty of Muslims and the inner struggle to be holy. It appears frequently in the Holy Book of Islam and is common usage as an idiomatic expression.
A person engaged in a jihad is called a mujahid, they are referred to in the western world as the Islamic terrorists or Islamic terrorism. Today, Jihad is the world's most powerful source of terrorism, inspiring a worldwide campaign of violence.
Saladin the Merciful
Saladin was a powerful leader that united large parts of Syria, Palestine and Egypt.
Saladin was ashamed the Muslims were ruled by Christians. He called for a Jihad, the Muslim's struggle to be holy and to live a good life, or the Muslim equivalent of a Crusade.
Saladin was a Kurdish Muslim who became the Sultan of Egypt and Syria. He led Muslim opposition to the European Crusaders in the Levant. At the height of his power, he ruled over Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Hejaz, and Yemen. He led the Muslims against the Crusaders and eventually recaptured Palestine from the Kingdom of Jerusalem after his victory in the Battle of Hattin. As such, he is a notable figure in Kurdish, Arab, Turkish, Persian, and Muslim culture. Saladin was a strict practitioner of Sunni Islam. His generally chivalrous behavior was noted by Christian chroniclers, especially in the accounts of the siege of Kerak in Moab, and despite being the nemesis of the Crusaders he won the respect of many of them, including Richard the Lionheart; rather than becoming a hated figure in Europe, he became a celebrated example of the principles of chivalry, a rare distinction for a non-Christian.
By Claudia Chan, Mao Hayashi, Stephanie Miu and Janice Leung, 7D
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