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The Hundred Years War: Conflicts Of The Middle Ages Research Paper

The Hundred Years’ War was a sequence of conflicts between the Kings and Kingdoms of England and France from 1337-1453. It was a seemingly endless war over control of the throne that ultimately led to England’s expulsion from all land in France except Calais. The Hundred Years’ War is known in history as one of the most significant conflicts of the Middle Ages. Over the course of several generations, the kings of the two opposing houses, Plantagenet and Valois, campaigned over the largest kingdom in Western Europe in pursuit of the throne.

The Hundred Years’ War had a distinctly significant influence upon edieval Europe, and though it transpired over a hundred years, it caused major changes within their society and its people. phases distinguished by truce; The Edwardian Era War, The Caroline War, and The Lancastrian War. After a series of Historians often separate the war into three distinct victories for the English, the war began to fluctuate back and forth between victors’ for many years.

Toward the end of the war, a young woman named Jeanne d’Arc, historically known as Joan of Arc, helped rally the French and lead the troops to victory in the Siege of Orleans. This victory was a major turning oint that helped in driving the English out of French territories. With this, an entirely new France emerged from the remnants of Before the war, in the beginning of it all, the treacherous war. there was a mere civil conflict between the territories that were obtained by the English in 1180.

After one hundred years of conflicts between the Capetian and Plantagenet dynasties, The Treaty of Paris was negotiated by the kings of England and France. It was by this Treaty that “King Henry III (1216-1272) had abandoned his claims to Normandy, Maine, Anjou, Touraine, and Poitou while Louis IX (1226-1270) of France recognized his ight to hold as a fief from the French crown the fragment of the duchy of Aquitaine that was still in the English king’s possession” (1).

After this, Louis IX allowed Henry III to preserve the remnants of the duchy of Aquitaine (or Gascony), but only to do so on new terms; Henry was made to act as a vassal of the French king in return for his control of the duchy. This settlement is what finally brought the Anglo-French conflict to an end, however, it was not without consequence. Unintentionally, The Treaty of Paris resulted in a “period of sporadic disputes and then a war which lasted intermittently for nother century” (2). Along with these disputes, the kings of England suddenly laid claim to the French throne by right of inheritance through Isabella of France.

The last living child of the French King Philip the Fair was Isabella’s son, Edward III of England. Being the closest blood relative of Charles IV, the last true Capetian king, Edward II was next in line to the French throne after Charles IV’s death in 1328. However, “the French nobles awarded it, instead, to Philip VI, the first Valois King of France” (3). It was Edward III’s claim to the throne, along with the onflicts regarding the control of French territories, which led to the first phase of the Hundred Years War. peaking, being that the French possessed the resources of the most powerful state in Western Europe, many individuals would have expected the French kings to hold a clear advantage over the smaller populous of the English kingdom. However, “the English infantry, with their deadly longbows, first clearly established their dominance over France’s knightly Calvary at the Battle of Crecy in 1346” (4). After this, hostile activity significantly declined due to the arrival of the Black Plague that pread throughout Europe in 1348.

However, after several years, the war erupted once again when Edward, the Black Prince, son of Edward III, raided France in 1356 at the Battle of Poitiers, which is now known to be the second of three great English victories that occurred during the Hundred Years’ War. Theoretically This beginning phase is often categorized as the Edwardian War, in which the English proved to be victorious time and time again In 1360, after being taken prisoner at the Battle of Poitiers, King Jean II of France was held for ransom and forced into accepting the humiliating Treaty of Bretigny, “which called for the surrender of a full third of France to English sovereignty” (5).

As a result, The Black Prince gave up his claim to the French throne “in return for the Angevin empire, the lands in which his ancestors had held in France” (6). This over their French adversaries. event is not only noted in history as having marked the height of English command but is also the conclusion of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War and the end of the Edwardian Era. Ironically, The Hundred Years’ War may have ended right then and there, if only Jean II had not died in English custody and the French government had ratified the Treaty of Bretigny.

Over time, “the French sought out to reclaim their losses” (7) and chose not to ratify the treaty, which caused the next phase of the war to erupt in 1369. Caroline War began. With this, after the death of King Jean II, his son, Charles V, assumed the position of king. Under his command, French troops were able to recover Poitou and Brittany. After this, at the fierce naval Battle of La Rochelle in 1372, the French successfully regained control of the English Channel, which made it nearly impossible for England to ship reinforcements to Calais.

The French gradually started to reclaim much of their lost territories in great succession after England’s loss of their two finest generals, Edward the Black Prince in 1376, and his father King Edward III in 1377. By this time, almost all of the king’s territorial gains had been lost, and in 1380, with the help of his commanding officer, Bertrand du Guesclin, Charles V had succeeded in reclaiming almost all the ceded territory. Following this event, the Era of the This triumph marked the end of the Caroline War, which in turn, concluded the second phase of the Hundred Years’ War.

As a result, Richard Il was appointed as England’s successor, however, he was not a keen advocate of the war. In fact, he had no desire to reclaim the lands lost to France; being that he was a Francophile, Richard II saw no point in leading the English army into France. Similarly enough, “sentiments for peace were gaining strength in both England and France: a treaty to put an end to the fighting was drawn up in 1396” (8). This resulted in a twenty-eight year truce that helped French preserve their territorial gains. Unfortunately, the temporary peace had to come to an end; and from that moment, the After the death of Henry IV of England in 1413, his son, Henry V, assumed control over the English throne.

Shortly after this, he renewed the war with the intention of reclaiming “all of Aquitaine, Anjou, Maine, Touraine, and Normandy, with suzerainty over Brittany and Flanders” (9). In 1415, he proved to be victorious at the Battle of Harfleur along with many other coastal regions, successfully defeating a French infantry that was several times the size of his English army. After this successful siege, Henry V led his troops to Calais, but was intercepted at Agincourt.

Nonetheless, the English ominated in the Battle of Agincourt, and eventually took control of Paris, Normandy and much of the land in northern France. Following this, in 1420, Henry V forced King Charles VI to crown him as the next heir to the French throne by the Treaty of Troyes. With this, Henry V married the king’s daughter in order However, regardless of his military successes, Henry V was out-matched in the political perspective; although he became allied with the dukes of Burgundy, the vast majority of the French refused English dominion.

Subsequently, Henry V and Charles VI both died in 1422; Henry left his nine onth old infant son as the new heir to the English throne and the French throne was inherited by Charles VII. At this point, the French found themselves in a difficult position; “particularly after their defeats at Cravant in 1423 and Vereuil in 1424, they lacked challenge English armies, and therefore left themselves no opportunity to win a victory, even though English over confidence gave them various opportunities for military Lancastrian War had begun. o secure his legitimacy. the confidence success” (10). This is what made Joan of Arc’s appearance within the war so significant. oled up in the city of Bourges when he was approached by a teenaged peasant girl named Jeanne d’Arc (or Joan of Arc) from Domremy. This young girl managed to convince the king and his theologians that she had been divinely sent to defeat the English. After this, Joan was allowed to join the French army in the Siege of Orleans in 1428. “Its ‘miraculous’ defeat of the English at Orleans in 1429 turned the tide” (11).

Soon thereafter the siege of Orleans was lifted, but sadly, after being captured by the English in 1430, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for heresy a year later. Even so, Joan of Arc would later become a ymbol of triumph for the French resistance. conclusion to the war, Paris and the lle-de-France were liberated Riddled with defeat, Charles VIl was Approaching the in 1436 and 1441. It was only after the French army had been fully reformed that Charles VII was able to reclaim the duchy of Normandy at the Battle of Formigny in 1450.

After that, he seized Guyenne at the Battle of Castillon in 1453. Although the official end of the Lancastrian War phase was never marked by a peace treaty, it eventually died out due to the English’s recognition that French troops were far too powerful to be confronted directly. All English territories in France were now limited to the Channel port of Calais. Finally free of English invaders, the France resumed its place as the dominant political power of Western Europe.

The accepted result of the Hundred Years’ War, especially since Henry VI’s insanity eventually took its toll and England was left in no position to wage war after the Wars of the Roses. During the course of battles and truces, the war had a distinctly significant influence throughout medieval Europe, and it caused major changes within their society and its people. In the end, this seemingly endless struggle over power ultimately trengthened the sense of national identity within France and England.

However, it also created some mutual tension between the countries. Now having the need to develop a This event is marked in history as parliamentary democracy, England was left as an empire as an offshore island, separate from the rest of Europe, even though English kings still held the claims to the throne of France; which transcends as far down the line to George III. However, regardless of the outcome, both France and England ended the Hundred Years’ War with a greater sense of identity and patriotism.

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