The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

The Crusades were mostly motivated by Geopolitical factors

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/15/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,600 times Debate No: 68408
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




For this debate we will be discussing the first four crusades as the the fifth crusade and after held little to no real significance,

I will be arguing that the Crusades were mostly motivated by the Geopolitics and the Politics of Europe and the Middle East at the time and Con is to argue otherwise.

Crusades: A series of medieval military expedition made by Europeans to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries. (As mentioned previously only the first four crusades are to be debated on.)

Motivated: To posses a motive or a reason to do something.

geopolitical: Politics that are driven or influenced by geographical factors.

factor: A circumstance, fact, or influence that contributes to a result or outcome

Debate format:

Round 1: Acceptance of terms (if con finds any of the above mentioned terms inaccurate or unreasonable then he may alter but only if followed by an arguement as to why)
Round 2: Opening Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Conclusive arguments and/or counter-rebuttals.


I accept this debate.

I agree to all definitions provided by Pro with an addendum to the term "Geopolitical". For absolute clarification, religion shall NOT fall under the category of geopolitics.

I thank Pro for creating this debate and look forward to reading their opening arguments.
Debate Round No. 1


I thank con for accepting the rules and terms of the debate, My argument shall focus more on how the First Crusade was not religiously motivated but was rather initiated by the growing ambitions of Pope Urban the II and the incursions of the Seljuk Turks:
Previous to the start of the First Crusade in 1096 the Byzantine Empire was dealing with various incursions with the Seljuk turks in Anatiolia as shown in the map below:

As one can see the Seljuk"s were alarmingly close to the Byzantine Capital of Constantinople, in fact the Turks had carried out several failed sieges of Constantinople prior to the First Crusade. This is what prompted the Emperor Alexios I Komnenos to seek aid from Catholic Europe.
This was when the first Crusade was originally initiated; as a call to assistance from Western Europe to aid the Byzantines. The first indicator that the Crusades were not motivated by religion but rather geopolitics because if the focus was more on religion then the pope wouldn"t need an excuse to start a crusade as he would have simply called out for one instead of waiting.
By the 1090"s Western Europe had mostly ended the "Dark Ages" as stable localized Kingdoms were established following the period of instability after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Preceding this the Catholic church held indirect however tremendous influence over Europe, the 1090"s came a few decades after the Norman Conquest when England had finally stabilized. So it would seem possible that the Pope"s speech at the Council of Clermont was a way for him to take influence over the secular kingdoms of Western Europe. His speech included much exaggeration of the "atrocities" done to Christendom at the hands of the Seljuk Turks.
Christendom before had little concept of the idea of a "Holy War" In the speech made by Pope Urban when he called to the Crusade he did not address it as a Holy War but rather as a militant pilgrimage. The acts done by Crusaders after taking the City of Jerusalem contradicted Catholic teachings as well as the Crusaders killed everyone in the City indiscriminately upon their arrival. Now quoting from the Gesta Francorum (a Latin book that chronicled the Crusades in the perspective of the Franks) "...[our men] were killing and slaying even to the Temple of Solomon, where the slaughter was so great that our men waded in blood up to their ankles..." A second chronicler of the first Crusade, Fulcher of Chartres documented how the Crusaders took the Temple Mount during the siege. He says and I quote "In this temple 10,000 were killed. Indeed, if you had been there you would have seen our feet coloured to our ankles with the blood of the slain. But what more shall I relate? None of them were left alive; neither women nor children were spared"
Once more if religion really had much motivation to the Crusades then why would the Crusaders kill not only Muslims but their fellow Christians as well?


Codedlogic forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Argument extends


Codedlogic forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Con has unfortunately forfeited so I will make a second debate on this topic later on if he wants to.


Codedlogic forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Kylar 1 year ago
Looks like a good debate, I would accept but I support Pro
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Paleophyte 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit by Con