Causes of the Crusades

1.) The Seljuk Turks, also known as Persian Muslims, invaded the Holy Land of Jerusalem.
* During the invasion 3000 Christians were killed.
* Pope Urban II. decided to take action and held the Council of Claremont which invited the lands of France and Germany to join the army and fight to rid the Holy areas of Jerusalem and the area of Palestine of the Muslims.

2.) The battles of the Crusades would lead to religious satisfaction.

* With the frightening massacre on his mind, Emporer Alexis sent a letter to Pope Urban II. asking for help. It felt gradifying for Pope Urban II. to be asked for help by the emporer. This led Urban to give a speech in France.
* In short, the speech claimed that all who join in the fight for the preservation of the Holy Land will essentially be forgiven of sins and immediately guaranteed into heaven. (A great ploy to get people to join.)

3.) Popes would encourage the Crusades for more than just retrieving the Holy Land
* Pope Urban hoped to increase his power in Europe.
* Pope Urban hoped that the Crusades would allow Christians knights the opportunity to fight Muslims instead of turning on one another.
* The Pope hoped that fighting in the Crusades together would reunite the Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires.

4.) Knights would encourage the fight for "Bragging Rights"
*Knights hoped to acquire lands, wealth, and glory during their travels in the Crusades.* The Crusades allowed knights to battle one another without reason for punishment because they were part of a war. (Chivalry was not really followed here)

5.) Merchants wanted trade routes
*The Crusades provided an opportunity to gain land therefore, leading to an increased trade and/or profit.