Explain why the People's crusade failed in 1096

Alan Thomson
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A level The Crusades Mind Map on Explain why the People's crusade failed in 1096, created by Alan Thomson on 02/17/2014.

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Alan Thomson
Created by Alan Thomson over 5 years ago
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Explain why the People's crusade failed in 1096
1 introduction
1.1 In Sept/Oct 1096 the People’s Crusade collapsed; the ill-disciplined first wave was crushed by Kilij Arslan as it crossed into Muslim territory near Nicaea.
2 lack of unity
2.1 The immediate cause of collapse was lack of unity between the French, German and Italian contingents and the poor leadership qualities of Peter the Hermit, Geoffrey Burel and Rainaldo.
2.1.1 This allowed Kilij Arslan to crush the different groups at Xerigordon and Civetot.
3 Peter the Hermit was to blame
3.1 Peter the Hermit was a charismatic preacher, he lacked the skills in organisation required to lead the crusade.
3.1.1 He led tens of thousands of pilgrims enthused with crusader zeal in 1096 before the official departure date.
3.1.1.1 Without supplies or the protection of princes, his rag-tag army with a limited number of knights lacked the military skill of the second wave.
3.1.1.1.1 His failings as a leader were clear at Constantinople
3.1.1.1.1.1 Emperor Alexius advised Peter to tell his followers that they should wait for the arrival of the official crusade. However, Peter could not persuade his followers and his plea for caution was ignored.
4 Poor planning
4.1 Raiding and pillaging for supplies antagonised key figures such as the King of Hungary; at Nish over 10,000 died in riots, while at Belgrade ‘the rag-tag army ran amok.’
5 Lack of discipline
5.1 Above all, indiscipline led to failure. Long-term, three different armies of the People’s Crusade led by Emich, Folmar and Gottshalk failed to even make it as far as Byzantine territory as they were crushed by Hungarian troops.
5.1.1 As McFall has noted: ‘Strong in religious fervor but weak in leadership and discipline, the First Crusade got off to a wretched start.’

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