1. A Struggle for National Identity France is in pieces 1407 Civil War breaks out in France between two lines of royal family. Armagnacs Includes legitimate line (Mad King Charles VI and his son) Burgundians Their rivals
Because of French Civil War, France was NOT a united country. The weak French king only controlled about half his country. Because of many marriages between English royalty and French royalty, English king claims he is heir to throne of France 2. Controversy Over Succession
3. French Land Belonging to British Kings A long standing issue lands within France’s borders belonged to English kings. King of England is actually a vassal of the King of France. He holds large French territories as fiefs.
4. Conflict Over Flanders Major wool industry. Flanders, a small area of France wants its independence from French control. Asks England for help. The ‘dagger’ pointing at the ‘heart’ of England!
Military Characteristics The 100 Years War was a series of short raids and expeditions with a few major battles, marked off by ineffective truces and treaties. Y The relative strengths of each country dictated the sporadic nature of the struggle.
French Advantages 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 only had 32,000.
British Advantages Weapons Technologies Yes, in almost every skirmish the English were outnumbered, however… Y The Brits had a game plan: / Avoid pitched battles. / Engage in quick, profitable raids N Steal what you can. N Destroy everything else. N Capture enemy knights to hold for ransom.
Used by the English Arrows had more penetrating power than a crossbow. Y Could pierce an inch of wood or the armor of a knight at 200 yards! The longbow could be fired more rapidly. Y 6 arrows per minute. The Longbow as a Weapon
The British Longbow: The Battle of Poitiers, 1356
French Confusion Y France was now ruled by the Estates General ETownspeople and nobles who act as a representative council. ECreated in 1355. EPurpose $$$ for the war EBecause in theory, the French king could not tax his own people; he needed help by more local people to get $.
The Jacquerie, 1 358 Confusion and unrest in France continue as their civil war continues. Peasants revolt because of longstanding economic and political grievances and their standard of living is getting worse. Rebels defeated by aristocratic armies.
Trouble in England After charges of tyranny, King was forced to abdicate his throne New King of England squashes Peasant Revolts (Peasants in neither France nor England are happy!) Parliament elected a new ruler, Henry IV Temporary truce was signed ending French and British hostilities
English King Henry V (r. 1412 - 1422 ) Henry IV’s son, King Henry V, renewed his family’s claim to the French throne. King Henry V, challenges the mad King Charles’ son, French Dauphin, to a single combat to decide who should inherit kingdom of France French Dauphin ignores KH V so KH V attacks
King Henry V of England begins systematic campaign to capture French town by town
Treaty of Troyes (1420) Charles VI’s son, French Dauphin, (the future Charles VII) is declared illegitimate and disinherited. Arranged marriage between English King Henry V and Catherine, daughter of French King Charles VI. Y Henry of England becomes legitimate heir to the French throne! A final English victory seemed assured… But both Charles VI and Henry V died in 1422.
The French “Reconquest” After 2 kings’ deaths final stage of the 100 Years’ War Even though 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. Y This began the reconquest of the north of France.
Joan of Arc (1412 - 1432) The daughter of French peasants from an area of that has suffered under the English. Like many medieval mystics, she reported regular visions of divine revelation. Y Her “voices” told her to go to the king and assist him in driving out the English. She asked her cousin to get her an audience with the King.
Joan of Arc’s Interview For weeks, Joan attempts to get King’s attention, he finally agrees to meeting. When Joan enters throne room, to test her powers Charles has concealed himself among his knights. Walking towards the throne, Joan stops short and bows to a knight (the concealed king.) The King sees this as a sign. Joan is scrutinized for 3 weeks by King’s churchmen. After 3 weeks, churchmen recommend that Charles provide Joan with an army.
Joan’s first military victory is the strategic and symbolic city of Orleans, France
Joan Announces the Capture of Orleans to the King
Joan of Arc (1412 - 1432) She brought inspiration, national identity and self- confidence back to France. With her aid, the king was crowned, ending his “disinheritance”. During attack on Paris, she is captured by English She was charged with 3 offences: Y Immodesty - “unnatural dress” as a man Y Her claim to divine guidance, disagreeing with church of England Y She claimed the saints spoke French and not English
At the age of 19, after turning the tides to a French victory, alone, Joan was found guilty and burned at the stake. King Charles did not come to her rescue. She is considered a hero today.
The End of the War Despite Joan’s capture the French continued to advance. By 1450, England had lost all their major French lands. In 1453, French armies captured an English- held fortress. This was the last battle of the 100 Years War. No treaty was ever signed skirmishes just stopped.
France Becomes Unified! France in 1337 France in 1453
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