Children’s Crusade 1212

The Strange & Confusing Children’s Crusade 1212

Warning some content in this article may not be suitable for young children

It is hard to establish fact from fiction in regards to the Children’s crusades 1212, and there may have been propaganda involved in the various stories produced about the Children’s Crusade.

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There are similarities in stories told about the Children’s Crusades and chroniclers may have combined different stories and also embellished the tales.

Children's Crusade 1212

Although many of the Christian Crusades to the Holy lands had been generally virtuous attempts to reclaim the Holylands and Jerusalem for the Christian faith at least in their initial goals, many of the medieval crusades failed because of corruption amongst the crusaders and their leaders during various crusades.


The Crusades up until the children’s Crusade 1212 had been genuine attempts to make the world a better place, the Catholic church believed that this could be achieved through the crusades, at least that is what medieval people believed at the time.

Nicholas *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 in 1212.

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Legendary tales put forward that 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.

Start of the Children’s Crusade 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.

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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 Holylands.

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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 & 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 Holylands 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.

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Children’s Crusade End

The children’s Crusades were the saddest part of the Crusades. Unfortunately, medieval people were probably gullible and could easily be whipped up into a frenzy!