It is hard to establish fact from fiction in regards to the Children’s crusades, and there may have been propaganda involved within the various stories produced about the Children’s Crusade.
There are similarities of stories told about the Children’s Crusades and chroniclers may have combined different stories and also embellished the tales.
Although many of the Christian Crusades to the Holy lands had been generally virtuous attempts to reclaim the Holy lands and Jerusalem for the Christian faith at least in their initial goals, many of the medieval crusade’s failed because of corruption amongst the crusaders and their leaders during various crusades.
The Crusades up until the children’s Crusade had been genuine attempts to make the world a better place in the name of God and the Catholic church who believed that this could be achieved, at least that is what people thought were the goals of the Catholic Church in these medieval times.
Nicholas and the children’s Crusade
People believed that previous crusades had failed because of the nature of man who was not innocent and could be corrupted, because children were considered to be innocent and incorruptible the idea emerged of a children’s Crusade.
It was a German boy called Nicholas who decided that this would be a good idea and he went about organizing the first and only children’s Crusade.
Children’s Crusade in the Middles Ages
The children’s crusade started in 1212
According to stories about the Children’s Crusades 30,000 children answered the call and became part of the children’s Crusade, they were probably very vulnerable and unhappy children who saw the Crusades as an adventure and a way to escape their own unhappy medieval lives.
The children were led across the alps by the boy Nicholas – it was a perilous journey – the children set out on the crusade journey towards the sea, thinking they would be taken by boat to the Holy lands.
However many children did not survive this very difficult journey and those that did were gathered up by an evil Norwegian man who sold them into slavery and prostitution.
Stephen and the children’s Crusade
The same thing happened in France and a young boy called Stephen led 20,000 French children to ships that were waiting for them on the coast, however the ships did not head for the Holy lands but for Africa instead, as soon as they arrived in Africa the children that had survived the perilous journey and did not die were sold into slavery and prostitution.
End of the children’s Crusade
The children’s Crusades were the saddest part of the Crusades and should have been a warning to everybody not to join in future Crusades. Unfortunately medieval people were very gullible and could easily be whipped up into a frenzy, because of this many people continued to join the Crusades including peasants who were given the freedom to leave their serfdom to their medieval Lords in return for them joining future Crusades.