Western Civilization

Two Faces of Holy War Historical Forum Debate


The intellectual heritage of the Crusades continues to be mired in controversy.  Were the Crusades a justified, defensive war fought for penitential reasons by European men-at-arms who hoped to save Christians from the onslaught of Islamic fundamentalists?  Or was it a war of aggression seeking plunder and the destruction of both Jewish, Muslim (and at times) even Christian communities for the selfish motivations of power and wealth?  You debate, you decide!


Your study groups will be assigned a role and develop a case of arguments either FOR or AGAINST the legitimacy of the Crusades based on the following documents and questions (or others that you can find):

Resolved: The Crusades of Christian Europe were justified given the conditions facing Christian society in the Middle East.

Your study groups will be assigned the following perspectives, and you will prepare a written argument (this must be typed, 1-2 paragraphs in length, or 10-15 bullet points) to present to the historical debate forum:

  Machiavellians - CON (Against the Crusades)

  Jacobins - PRO (For the Crusades)

  Praetorians - CON (Against the Crusades)

  Stosstruppen - PRO (For the Crusades)

  Cavaliers - PRO (For the Crusades)

  Conquistadors - CON (Against the Crusades)


Along with the use of your textbook, the following links may be helpful in preparing your arguments:

General Overview

The Crusades- A Complete History | History Today.pdf - Pages 1-7 & 22-29 will probably be the most helpful (gets kind of long in the middle)

DTCW - Pope Urban II Preaches the First Crusade

PRO Links




CON Links




After you have prepared your responses, email your assignment to submit on MOODLE or email if that does not work --  bcchseurosquad@gmail.com