The Crusades

Even if you know little else about Medieval history, you have likely heard of the Crusades, a series of major military struggles between the European kingdoms and the rising Islamic powers for the control over the Holy Land (modern-day Israel, and especially, Jerusalem). But were the Crusades entirely about religion? And what was the impact of the Crusades on Europe, the Byzantine World, and the Islamic World both in the short term and in the long term? This essay is an opportunity for you to consider the origins of the First Crusade and its subsequent development in more detail through the eyes of eye-witnesses and subsequent medieval historians. Please select TWO sources from this collection of primary sources about the First Crusade:  Based on your sources and their chosen topics of focus, please write an essay considering 1-2 of the following questions: What were the causes of the First Crusade? What was the role of Pope Urban II in causing the Crusade?  Who attacked the Jews living in Europe during this period, and why? How were these attacks connected to the Crusade? According to the different historians, what were the aims and motivations of the Crusaders? Were their motivations entirely religious? How do different historians present the events of the First Crusade? Do they see the events as praise-worthy or problematic, and why?   How do the European historians of the First Crusade describe their Muslim opponents?  Writing Guidelines: Your completed assignment should be 2-3 pages in length (500-750 words) You must write in complete sentences and paragraphs. Bullet points or lists will not be accepted. Your essay should have a clear introduction and thesis statement that provides your proposed answer to the question prompt; body paragraphs; and a conclusion. Please cite your sources internally using parenthetical citations or footnotes, and include a complete bibliography at the end of your paper.  Please see the format guidelines contained in your syllabus.  There are also links to formatting information for APA, MLA, Chicago Style, and Turbian. Be original – All papers submitted in this class are reviewed via, a proprietary software database that identifies unoriginal material in papers. Please review the syllabus statement regarding the penalty for plagiarism. Refer to the GUIDELINES FOR WRITING ASSIGNMENT on the syllabus for additional writing assignment criteria. Please keep in mind, however, that where syllabus instructions seem to disagree with the instructions for this specific paper, please follow the instructions for this paper. Submit your citations and bibliography within your paper.  Everything should be saved and submitted in one document.

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