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Overview Began as a dispute over who was the rightful king of France Lasted from 1337-1453 (116 years) War consisted mainly of sieges, raids, sea battles,

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Presentation on theme: "Overview Began as a dispute over who was the rightful king of France Lasted from 1337-1453 (116 years) War consisted mainly of sieges, raids, sea battles,"— Presentation transcript:


2 Overview Began as a dispute over who was the rightful king of France Lasted from 1337-1453 (116 years) War consisted mainly of sieges, raids, sea battles, a few land battles, and long periods of tense truce Fought entirely in France By the end feudal armies had been replaced by professional armies – the first standing armies in Western Europe since the Roman Empire High loss of life as a result of new technologies in warfare Called “Hundred Years War” by later historians to encompass all of the conflicts that arose between France and England during this era

3 Background The French and English royal families had been tied together through marriage for centuries dating back to William the Conqueror and the Norman invasion of England The king of England held land in France as a vassal of the king of France – the kings of England and France had fought over these lands sporadically for centuries

4 Causes of the Hundred Years War 1.Controversy of the Succession of the French crown 2.French lands belonging to the English king 3.Conflict over Flanders 4.Struggle over Nationalism (later stages of the war)

5 Kings of France early 14 th century Philip IV d. 1314 Louis X d. 1316 John I d. 1316 (lived 5 days) Philip V d. 1322Charles IV d. 1322Isabella Princess of France Edward III King of England and Queen of England Succession Controversy

6 The French nobility selected Philip of Valois, (now the VI) cousin to the last French king through the male line – Founded the Valois dynasty that would last until the 16 th century King Edward III of England was rejected as the French crown could not pass through the female line Edward initially accepted this but when simmering tensions over land claims erupted into conflict Edward declared himself the rightful king of France

7 French Lands Belonging to English Kings For their lands in France, English kings had to pay homage to the king of France and were considered their vassal under the Feudal System English kings did not like this – proud English kings often refused to submit resulting in wars 1337 – Philip attacked Edward’s lands in France while Edward’s armies were fighting the Scots in the Scottish Wars of Independence

8 Conflict Over Flanders Wool industry in Flanders was highly valuable Flanders wanted independence from French control and appealed to the English for help Flanders would become an important trading partner with England With Flanders as an ally Edward would declare war on Philip VI as well as declaring himself the rightful king of France

9 Emerging Nationalism France was not a unified country before the war The French king only controlled about half the country As the war progressed the French began to resist the English because of the raiding and pillaging between conflicts

10 Military Characteristics Relatively few major land battles Many short raids and expeditions into enemy territory Long periods of tense truces and ineffective treaties Relative strengths of each country dictated the sporadic nature of the struggle

11 French Advantages Population of about 16,000,000 Far richer and more populous than England French could field far larger armies than the English, often outnumbering the English three-to-one

12 English Advantages Superior weapon technologies such as the longbow More unified than the French Experienced armies from wars against the Scots Understood its own strengths and weaknesses and employed successful strategies: – Avoid pitched battles – Engage in quick, profitable raids Steal what you can Destroy everything else Capture enemy knights to hold for ransom

13 The FrenchThe English Created a contract army in which soldiers were paid for military service – professional soldiers Peasant longbowmen formed the cornerstone of the English army Soldiers were also offered a portion of any loot collected Comparing Armies Maintained the feudal tradition of requiring vassals to devote 40 days a year to military service Hundreds of well armed knights were the cornerstone of the French army

14 In battle the English took a defensive position utilizing the longbow Adopted from the Welsh during the conquest of Wales by Edward I Could pierce an inch of wood or the armor of a knight at 200 yards More penetrating power, greater distance, and fired more rapidly than a crossbow The Longbow

15 9000 (5,500 longbowmen) English vs. 30,000 French Edward III picked the terrain and waited for Philip VI and the French Wave after wave of French cavalry charged – the best in Europe Mowed down by the English longbowmen Deaths and Casualties: – English 300 – French 10,000 Nobles had been annihilated by peasant archers – “There died that day…the finest flower of French chivalry Edward III would then move to take Calais in what would be the longest siege in Medieval history Battle of Crécy - 1346

16 At this time the Black Plague was sweeping across Europe Break time The Black Plague

17 When the war resumed the English won another important victory led by Edward III’s son, Edward the Black Prince Longbowmen again were instrumental in English victory The French king, John II, was captured along with many French knights A treaty was signed recognizing Edward III as the ruler of Aquitaine French paid a huge ransom to free their captive king Battle of Poitiers - 1356

18 1369-1395 – The French slowly take back the lost territory There were no large battles during this time The peasants suffered horribly from raids and scorched earth tactics used by both sides War Continues

19 The Order of the Garter Creating of National Symbols Created by Edward III – his was the most prestigious knightly order in English history Induction to the order was based on merit on the battle field – not family connections Modeled on the knights of Arthur’s round table – these men would be loyal to the king and by extension England above all else

20 St. George Creating of National Symbols Edward III also venerated St. George and would have his knights fight under the cross of St. George St. George was the personal saint of the English Royal Family The flag of England was thus created

21 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 1399. 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 English hostilities [for the time being, at least].

22 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 King Henry V (r. 1412 - 1422 )

23 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. Treaty of Troyes (1420)

24 Height of English Dominance

25 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 English 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. The French “ Reconquest ”

26 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 of Arc (1412 - 1432)

27 Turning point of the war. French gain the upper hand. Joan of Arc led thousands of soldiers and drives the English from their positions. The next day the English abandon the siege. Siege of Orléans

28 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.

29 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 won the last battle of the war at Castillon This was the first major engagement to be decided by gunfire There was no treaty, only a cessation of hostilities.


31 Legacy of the Hundred Years War The peoples of England and France and the countries in which they lived were deeply changed by the experience of the Hundred Years War. What began as a feudal and dynastic struggle between two monarchs ended as a national conflict. England’s defeat left it weaker and clearly inferior to France – the Wars of the Roses – a series of civil wars in England would follow and last almost 40 years France, with a powerful king, a professional army, and a strong sense of national identity would be the most powerful force in Europe

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