Ap european history
- Years' War
- of the
- 100 Years' War
The French nobility selected Philip of Valois, a cousin of the last king through the male line.
- The French nobility selected Philip of Valois, a cousin of the last king through the male line.
- He founded a new French dynasty that ruled through the 16c.
- He was chosen in preference to King Edward III of England, whose mother was the daughter of the late king, Philip IV.
- In 1340, Edward claimed the title “King of France.”
- 1. Controversy Over Succession
2. Fr. Land Belonging to Br. Kings
- A longer standing issue was the status of lands within France that belonged to English kings.
- Edward was actually a vassal of Philip’s, holding sizable French territories as fiefs from the king of France [it went back to the Norman conquest].
- Wool industry.
- Flanders wants its independence from French control.
- Asks England for help.
- The ‘dagger’ pointing at the ‘heart’ of England!
4. A Struggle for National Identity
- France was NOT a united country before the war began.
- The French king only controlled about half of the country.
- The War was a series of short raids and expeditions punctuated by a few major battles, marked off by truces or ineffective treaties.
- The relative strengths of each country dictated the sporadic nature of the struggle.
- Population of about 16,000,000.
- Far richer and more populous than England.
- At one point, the French fielded an army of over 50,000 at most, Britain mustered only 32,000.
- Weapons Technologies.
- In almost every engagement, the English were outnumbered.
- Britain’s most successful strategies:
- Avoid pitched battles.
- Engage in quick, profitable raids
- Steal what you can.
- Destroy everything else.
- Capture enemy knights to hold for ransom.
The use of the English defensive position was the use of the longbow.
- The use of the English defensive position was the use of the longbow.
- Its arrows had more penetrating power than a bolt from a crossbow.
- Could pierce an inch of wood or the armor of a knight at 200 yards!
- A longbow could be fired more rapidly.
- The British Longbow: The Battle of Poitiers, 1356
- The English captured the French king, John II [r.1350-1364].
- France was now ruled by the Estates General
- A representative council of townspeople and nobles.
- Created in 1355.
- Purpose to secure funds for the war.
- In theory, the French king could not levy taxes on his own!!
- In the confusion and unrest following the French disaster at Poitiers, this rural movement began.
- It was a response to the longstanding economic and political grievances in the countryside worsened by warfare.
- The rebels were defeated by aristocratic armies.
Trouble in England
- Peasant Revolt in 1381 was put down by King Richard II [r. 1377-1399].
- After charges of tyranny, Richard II was forced to abdicate in 1300.
- Parliament elected Henry IV [r. 1399-1413], the first ruler from the House of Lancaster.
- Henry avoided war taxes.
- He was careful not to alienate the nobility.
- Therefore, a truce was signed ending French and British hostilities [for the time being, at least].
King Henry V (r. 1412-1422)
- Renewed his family’s claim to the French throne.
- At Agincourt in 1415, the English, led by Henry himself, goaded a larger French army into attacking a fortified English position.
- With the aid of the dukes of Burgundy, Henry gained control over Normandy, Paris, and much of northern France!
Treaty of Troyes (1420)
- Charles VI’s son [the future Charles VII], was declared illegitimate and disinherited.
- Henry V married Catherine, the daughter of Charles VI.
- Henry was declared the legitimate heir to the French throne!
- A final English victory seemed assured, but both Charles VI and Henry V died in 1422.
- This left Henry’s infant son, Henry VI [r. 1422-1461], to inherit BOTH thrones.
The French “Reconquest”
- The two kings’ deaths ushered in the final stage of the 100 Years’ War [1422-1453].
- Even though in 1428 the military and political power seemed firmly in British hands, the French reversed the situation.
- In 1429, with the aid of the mysterious Joan of Arc, the French king, Charles VII, was able to raise the English siege of Orleans.
- This began the reconquest of the north of France.
Joan of Arc (1412-1432)
- The daughter of prosperous peasants from an area of Burgundy that had suffered under the English.
- Like many medieval mystics, she reported regular visions of divine revelation.
- Her “voices” told her to go to the king and assist him in driving out the English.
- She dressed like a man and was Charles’ most charismatic and feared military leader!
- Joan Announces the Capture of Orleans to the King
Joan of Arc (1412-1432)
- She brought inspiration and a sense of national identity and self-confidence.
- With her aid, the king was crowned at Reims [ending the “disinheritance”].
- She was captured during an attack on Paris and fell into English hands.
- Because of her “unnatural dress” and claim to divine guidance, she was condemned and burned as a heretic in 1432.
- She instantly became a symbol of French resistance.
Joan as a “Feminist” Symbol Today?
The End of the War
- Despite Joan’s capture, the French advance continued.
- By 1450 the English had lost all their major centers except Calais.
- In 1453 the French armies captured an English-held fortress.
- This was the last battle of the war.
- There was not treaty, only a cessation of hostilities.
- Wars of the Roses fought in England during the last phase of the Hundred Years war.
- Henry VII (House of Lancaster) won by defeating Richard III (House of York) and established the Tudor dynasty.
- Further unified and strengthened England under monarchs such as Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.
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