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The Crusades mainly refer to any European military expedition to free the Holy Land from Muslim occupation that was sanctioned by the Western Patriarchy (Roman Church, or Roman Catholics as they are known now). These expeditions occurred during between the 11th century and the 14th century.


Other Crusades

Other "Crusades" include Peter the Hermit's "People's Crusade" that actually preceded the First Crusade by virtue of setting off and "crusading" against non-Christians in Europe firstly.

The Crusade of 1101 was a dismal failure, and was little more than a second wave of the First Crusade that was poorly co-ordinated and resulted in three major European armies being defeated by Turks.

The Albigensian Crusade, against the Cathars of Provence started in 1209.

Reason for Crusades

The crusades had multiple causes - Church reform, increased population in Western Europe, and the growth of the idea of knights as soldiers of the church. The success of the early crusades was due partially to division among the people occupying the Middle East.

So many knights showed up because Pope Urban II made a decree that Jesus didn't say killing people was wrong; He said killing *Christians* was wrong, therefore it was fine to kill the infidels. Also, if you go fight the infidels for the Pope, you were assured a place in Heaven. Which, oddly enough, was what the Muslims told *their* warriors they were assured if they died fighting the Christians.