Were the crusades caused primarily by religious devotion or by desire for political and economic gain? Christians and Muslims fought in a series of wars for nearly 200 years. The drive to gain control of the Holy Land was the biggest motivation. Christians wanted the Holy Land because this was where Jesus lived. The Muslims also wanted Jerusalem because this was where Muhammad preached. The biggest debate about the crusades is whether it was caused by political and economic gain, I believe the biggest motivation was for religious devotion. I believe that the crusades were started because of how Muslims and Christians wanted the Holy Land. According to pope urban II, Christians who fought in the crusades that would die by land, sea, or in combat would get immediate forgiveness of sins. People were encouraged to go fight in the east and get back the Holy land that was being conquered by the Muslims. This supports my position because it shows that the Christians wanted to have control of the holy land. They got more motivated when the pope told them their sins will be forgiven. I feel that the crusades started because Muslims wanted to take back Jerusalem for god. According to Saladin, “God blesses us by enabling us to drive His enemies out of Jerusalem, how fortunate and happy we would be! For Jerusalem has been controlled by the enemy for ninety-one years during we which time God has received nothing from us here in the way of adoration.” This quote is telling Muslims that god blessed them with many goods and that God has not received anything in the way of adoration since the Christians have control of Jerusalem. Also he inspired his listeners by telling them all Muslims will appreciate Saladin family if they are successful in capturing Jerusalem from the Christians. This meant that god would reward them. Some people may argue that the crusades started because of the political and economic gain which started in the Third Crusade because of how Christians destroyed villages to get their riches. However this is incorrect because the third crusades started with the final push for the Christians to try to get back Jerusalem but lost to the Muslims. On their way to getting they found villages of Jews and forced them to change to Christianity. Some Jews were so loyal to their religion that they would rather get killed than to change to Christianity. Also the crusades originally started because the Christians wanted to have control of Jerusalem. -------------------------------------------------
As you can see the crusades were started due to religious devotion. As previously introduced the crusades started because the religious leaders wanted to take over Jerusalem. Previously I said According to pope urban II, Christians who fought in the crusades would die by land, sea, or in combat would get immediate forgiveness of sins. People were encouraged to go fight in the east and get back the Holy Land that was being conquered by the Muslims. I stand behind the belief that the crusades started because of religion because of religious leaders like Saladin and Pope Urban II encouraging civilians to join the fight to get back the Holy Land for their god.