Dbq Crusaders

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At the start of the stated time period, the Templars were a small group of Knights formed to defend the Christian Pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem in the Middle East. They later became a formidable force used by the crusading armies to strike fear into the Muslims. Their significance greatly increased as they gained power and respect, as no one other than the Pope could challenge their authority. After the capture of Jerusalem from the Muslims during the First Crusade, the Crusaders considered their vow fulfilled, and many returned to their homes. Unfortunately some had to stay behind in order to defend the recently acquired new territory, because of the Muslim neighbours that surrounded it. So in 1118, during the rule of King Baldwin II…show more content…
As the order was compelled to make immediate use of the recruits, the article of the original rule in Latin, which required a probationary period, fell into disregard. Even excommunicated men, who, as was the case with many crusaders, wanted to amend their sins, were admitted. All that was required of a new member was a blind obedience; this was as vital in a soldier as it was in a monk. The new recruits had to declare themselves forever "serf et esclave de la maison" (French text of the rule). To prove their sincerity, recruits were subjected to a secret test, but the nature of the test has never been discovered. The tests were so secret, many speculations were passed around and in the long term damaged this the reputation of the Order. The great wealth of the Order may also have contributed to a certain disregard in morals, but the most serious charge against it was its insufferable pride and love of power. At the peak of its wealth, it was said to possess 9000 estates. With its accumulated revenues it had gained great wealth, which was deposited in its temples in Paris and London. Numerous princes and private individuals had banked their personal property there (before travelling to the Middle East), because of the respectability and solid reputation of the Templars as bankers. In Paris, the royal treasure was kept in the Temple. Quite independent, except from the distant authority of the pope, and possessing power equal to that of the leading monarchs, the order soon assumed the right to direct the weak and wavering government of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. However, the Templars were soon opposed by the Order of Hospitallers, which had also become a military based order, and was at first the imitator and later the rival of the Templars. This ill-timed interference

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