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The Children’s Crusades of 1212 and 2018

March 24, 2018

Medieval Europe was thrown into turmoil by Pope Gregory VII who sought to make the world into a church. Sometimes called the “new piety,” Medieval society had become more spiritual and the principle of theocratic kingship questioned by a zealous moralism of a Gregorian monk.

During this time there arose what Norman Cohn in 1957 called The Pursuit of the Millennium. Revolutionary social movements erupted, entire cities were overtaken by the poor, and violence done to persons in authority.

In 1212 this messianic zealotry took form in a Children’s Crusade when, Cohn writes, “armies of children set out to recapture the Holy City,,,” The crusade ended badly for the children. Some drowned at sea, starved to death or were sold into slavery.

A modern Children’s Crusade is occurring today, March 24, driven by a modern messianic dream of a United States without fire arms. Like the children of 1212, the crusading children in the streets of Washington, DC will be used by powerful interests and some will be sold into modern forms of slavery.

The Children’s Crusade of 1212 ended badly as will the crusade in 2018.

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