Ancient history

The Hundred Years War - History of the Hundred Years War

Usual name given to the various armed conflicts, interrupted by truces and peace treaties, started in 1337 and ended in 1453, between the two great European powers of the time:England and France. The immediate pretext for the cessation of hostilities was the claim of the kings of England to occupy the throne of France. Edward III of England, of the House of Plantagenets, claimed to be the legal heir to the French throne, as his mother Isabella was the sister of King Charles IV of France, who had been killed in the year 1328. The French response held that the crown could not be inherited by the female line.

Thus, the throne was occupied by Felipe VI, cousin of the late king. In fact, the reason for the dispute lay in the fact that the kings of England, since William I the Conqueror, controlled large regions of France as fiefs, which posed a threat to the French monarchy. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, French sovereigns tried, with increasing success, to re-establish their authority over these territories. Edward III feared that the French monarch, who exercised great authority over the feudal lords of France, would deprive him of the duchy of Guyenne, maintained as the fiefdom of Philip VI.

Although there have been previous crises, in general, the date of 24 May 1337 is considered as the beginning of the war:on that day Philip VI snatched Guyenne from the English. Edward's animosity towards the French monarch intensified when France aided Scotland in the wars that Edward and his father had started against the Scottish kings to seize that country's throne. Also the rivalry between England and France to dominate the trade with Flanders was considered a determining cause of the origin of the conflict.

Among the most important battles are those of Crécy (1346), Agincourt (1415) and Patay (1429).

This war caused thousands of human losses on both sides, as well as enormous devastation of territories and property in France. It had important political and social consequences for that country:it helped to establish an idea of ​​a nation, ended all English claims on French territories and made possible the creation of some centralized government institutions that foreshadowed the emergence of the absolutist monarchy. Furthermore, this conflict was linked to other issues related to international relations in Europe, such as the Castilian civil war, the clashes in Sicily between the French and the Crown of Aragon or the tribulations of the Avignon Papacy.

Middle Ages

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