The Crusades were a series of religious wars that engulfed Europe and the Middle East for around 400 years. They were fought in the name of God and the battles that raged across the Middle East were to expel the heathens from the Holy City of God – Jerusalem. Let us now take a look at the Crusades and why they failed.
The Reasons for the Crusades
In 1099, Muslin invaders captured the Holy City of Jerusalem. This ancient Israeli town is considered the holiest place on Earth for Christians and Jewish people. Jerusalem is highly regarded for Christian people because Jesus was crucified within this city. For many Christians living in the 12th century, it was sacrilege for Muslim heathens to overthrow the Holy Land.
Pope Urban II heard of what happened in Jerusalem. In those days, he was the most powerful man in all of Europe. He then rallied the people of Europe to retake the Holy Land from the scourge of Islam. He promised people that their sins would be forgiven if they undertook this Holy War to repel the Islamic hordes. Various kingdoms all throughout Europe wanted to join in the battle and they were inspired to defeat the Muslims.
Meanwhile, the Muslim invaders were steadily pressing their armies into Europe. The Byzantine Empire in the east was under serious assault by the Muslims. Many Crusaders had to battle in this area before moving on to the main battle at Jerusalem. The fact is that Islam was trying to overtake the world during the Middle Ages. However, the Christian armies of the West and North were not going to allow them.
The Crusades were Doomed to Fail from the Start
The Christians were doomed to fail in this effort. Their ultimate failure didn’t have anything to do with their beliefs or reasons for going to war. There were other reasons for their failure. They had to march hundreds of thousands of people across a vast continent. A good portion of the Crusader invaders had died on the march. Many warriors and peasants also abandoned the march on their way to Jerusalem. Wars and battles were fought along the way.
The Crusaders were not outmatched in terms in terms of weapons, battle technology, and support staff. However, they were fighting far away from home in someone else’s territory. There were kingdoms in the Middle East that were allied with the Crusaders but they were not strong enough to repeatedly repel the onslaught posed by the Muslims.
Keep in mind that the Islamic states had easier access to Jerusalem and areas in the Middle East. They could afford to move more men, weapons, and allies into the area. Ultimately, the Crusaders would fail because they just could not keep a sustained effort against the advancement of Islam. The logistics of fighting a prolonged Crusade made it too difficult and financially impractical for armies to constantly move across Europe into the Middle East. This is why the Crusades were doomed from the start.