Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Heather Ferguson

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© 2014 Kyle Gosselin


This thesis will demonstrate that the modern understanding of the four primary crusades (1095-1204) has been influenced by a fundamentally flawed framework. Defining the crusades as a conflict between two monolithic at-war religious groups (Christians and Muslims) results in an incorrect conception of the period. Therefore, in order to deconstruct this belief, this thesis will view the crusades through the prism of two cities: Constantinople and Jerusalem. The rhetorical relationship that developed between these two cities during the crusading period demonstrates that the moment was defined by political and pragmatic relationships that cut across religious lines. Modern historians, through oversimplifications and assertions of a binary religious relationship, have buttressed public misperceptions of the crusades. Thus, historians have allowed the moment to be used as a rhetorical justification for modern political issues like imperialism and terrorism.


  • Best Senior Thesis in History

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.