100 Years War
|Place||France and Castile.|
|Belligerents||France vs. England.|
The 100 Years’ War was a warlike conflict between the kingdoms of France and England , between the 14th and 15th centuries . It began in 1337 and ended in 1453 .
During the 116 years that the state of war between the two crowns lasted, military campaigns alternated with periods of peace, which were reached after the signing of temporary agreements .
At first, the war actions favored the English who, amid the advance of the Black Death , obtained three resounding victories: those of Crécy (1346) , Poitiers (1356) and Azincourt (1415) . But the decisive intervention of Joan of Arc, a French peasant woman who defeated the English several times, changed the course of the war.
The conflict ended in 1453, after the formation of an alliance between the kingdoms of France, Scotland, Castile, Aragon and Navarre, which ended up defeating England.
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Stages of the 100 Years war
The 100 Years’ War can be divided into 4 major stages.
First stage (1337-1360)
It was started due to the ambitions of King Edward III of England, who questioned the coronation of Philip VI of Valois and claimed his rights to the crown of France.
Most of the battles of this stage favored the English, who inflicted heavy defeats on the French, and managed to capture King John II the Good during the Battle of Poitiers .
In 1360 the Treaty of Brétigny was signed , by which France granted several territories to England in exchange for Edward III renouncing his claims on the French Crown.
Second stage (1360-1396)
Hostilities resumed because France and England got involved in the civil wars that took place in Castile, one of the Christian kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula.
During this period, the French took advantage of the death of Edward III, and his son the Black Prince, to regain territories that they had previously ceded to the English.
Third stage (1396-1421)
It began due to the support of France for the independence claims of the kingdom of Scotland, which resisted the attempts of English domination.
England responded with an invasion led by King Henry V, who won several battles, including that of Azincourt .
This period ended with the signing of the Treaty of Troyes , which in 1420 established that the French monarch Charles VI would be succeeded by the descendants of Henry V and Catherine de Valois, who were united in marriage.
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Fourth stage (1422-1453)
Its main protagonist was Joan of Arc , a French peasant who claimed that God had entrusted her with the mission of defeating the English.
His victories raised the morale of the French and allowed access to the throne of Carlos VII de Valois. This recovered the crown that the Treaty of Troyes had yielded to Henry V of England and his successors.
After the ascent to the throne of Carlos VII, Joan of Arc was betrayed and fell into the hands of the English. She was accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake in 1431.
Towards the end of the reign of Carlos VII, an alliance between Castilians, Aragonese and Scots supported the French, who defeated the English at the Battle of Castillón in 1453. After this defeat, the English evacuated France and only kept the port of Calais.
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Causes and consequences of the 100 Years War
The main causes of this war were the following:
- The enmity between the crowns of France and England , dating back to the Norman conquest of England in 1066.
- The claim of the English kings to inherit the French crown after the extinction of the Gallic dynasty of the Capetians, in 1328.
- The independence ambitions of the territory of Flanders , who wanted to separate from France and who sought the support of England.
- The commercial interests that England was in Flanders , where wool produced a highly appreciated for making carpets.
- The support given by France to the kingdom of Scotland , which was fighting to ensure its independence from the English Crown.
- The pretensions of the English monarchs to dominate all the coasts of the English Channel, which divided the dominions of France and England.
- The attempted occupation by the French Crown of the Duchy of Aquitaine , the fiefdom of the English King Edward III in Gallic territory.
Among the main consequences of this war, the following can be mentioned:
- The recovery by France of all the territories conquered by England during the first and third stages of the war. The English only preserved the port of Calais, on the banks of the English Channel.
- The death of a large number of French nobles, which contributed to the gradual dissolution of feudalism in France.
- The establishment of a centralized monarchy in France , by Charles VII who recruited a permanent army and reorganized the economy with the help of the bourgeoisie.
- The formation of a feeling of belonging and common identity among the inhabitants of the different territories that made up the kingdom of France.
- The weakening of England that, after the long conflict with France, suffered the War of the Two Roses, which marked the transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age in the British Isles.
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