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From 1337 to 1453 the French and the English had a horrifying war, which lasted 116 years. It is the longest war in history. The war started with conflict between the Plantagenet King of England and the Capetian King of France. In 1314, Charles IV died, and he only had a daughter. On the other hand, his sister, Isabella, had a son who was Edward III, the King of England. Because France denied right of succession to females, the royal Edward III could not be heir to the French throne. For this reason, Edward III started to detest the French royalty. In 1328, Charles IV’s cousin, the King of the Valois, Philippe VI, had his coronation. Edward III was unwilling to accept the result and this became a factor leading to war.
In addition to the dispute of succession, the Hundred Years War was fought for the resource-rich Flemish areas and Aquitaine in France. The region had close economic ties with Britain. The French occupied the area in 1328, and King Edward III banned the export of wool to the area after the refusal of the French throne.
First is a summary of the Hundred Years War, which is roughly divided into five phases. The first phase began in 1337 when Edward III led the army against France for Flanders’ rich land. Then, in 1360, the French King John II was captured by England’s Edward the Black Prince in the Battle of Crécy. As a result, France needed to sign the unfair Treaty of Brétigny, which ceded all the territory south of the Loire to the Pyrenees Mountains. In addition, the King had to pay compensation of 3 million gold coins as a condition for Edward III giving up the claim to the French throne.
In the second phase, Charles V of France came to the throne, leading the new artillery and fleet to attack Britain, and the British were worried about losing their territory to France in 1396 for a 20-year armistice.
The third phase, in 1407, was when France engaged in “The Armagnac-Burgundian Civil War” involving two royal families in France, the Armagnac Faction and Burgundian Faction. Flanders in the Burgundian State had trade of textile with England, so they took England’s side more. On the contrary, the Armagnac defended France. At that time, it also started a schism between the churches of the country. This civil war almost sustained until the end of The Hundred Years War, and with it the peasant revolution started began to rise.
The fourth phase was in 1415 when England’s King Henry V defeated the French army in the Battle of Agincourt. 5 years later, Charles VI signed the Treaty of Troyes and ceded the north of the Loire River to England. The treaty made Henry V become King Regent of France, and this meant that when King Charles VI died, Henry V would become the new King of France. Coincidentally, in 1422 both Henry V and Charlie VI died in that same year. The war continued. Henry VI and Charlie VII continued the fight for France’s land.
The last phase occurred after 1424 when the French army was at a disadvantage. In 1428, England sieged Orléans and things were in a bad way for France; royal support declined, the aristocracy were useless, and the peasant rebels formed an organization. On 27 April 1429, Joan of Arc convinced the Dauphin to send her to the siege, and lead 4000 soldier. She stated that she had received a revelation from God telling her to drive out the English. She then won the Battle of Orleans and occupied an advance for France. Charles VII, the France Dauphin, marched to Reims for his coronation.
In the 1430s, Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians at the siege of Compiègne. Henry VI, who was King of England, transferred Joan to England and she was charged with being of a Heresy and a witch. She burned at the stake on 30 May 1431. The death Joan of Arc inspired French soldiers to fight. After the Battle of Formigny in 1453, England’s army surrendered. In 1435, Charlie VII signed the Congress of Arras with Philippe III, which recognized the Burgundian State was independent from France. This treaty ended the Armagnac-Burgundian Civil War. The final battle of this war which lasted a long time was the Battle of Castillon in 1453.
There is evidence which shows that this long and tiring war was hugely influenced by religion. Religion is the belief in and worship of a higher power that is superhuman and divine, especially involving a god (or gods). A philosopher, Walter Kaufmann, thinks religion is a strong faith usually expressed in the belief that there is not enough evidence to convince every rational person.
If someone has no religion at all, that person may still have their own faith. Most people think that for human beings to be seen as real people, they need some faith. It would balance the human society. However, there are also some people who think that religions and faith can make human society more inharmonious. Whether religion is good or bad, there has no definitive answer. After all, faith has very disparate effects on different people.
At the time of the Hundred Years War, religion was more fanatical than now. Churches actually had more power than the King. The church’s loyalty was to the Pope, and they had their own army, their own rules and their own ethics. Catholicism was the religion which was most widely believed at that time. In fact, because of the Crusades in the previous century, France and England had the same religion. In the 13th century, the dictatorship of the Catholic Church was in decline.
This begs the question, therefore, how did religion influence the Hundred Years War? Both royal families appealed to divine authority to justify their political claims. The Great Schism of 1378 complicated matters further, dividing England and France along religious as well as political lines. The domestic clergy of each country also played a fundamental role in promoting royal propaganda, in bankrolling English armies, and even taking up arms themselves.
The divine right of a King was also spread at that time in Europe. From 1386 to 1422 in England there was a King who believed that he could defeat France. His name was Henry V and his own target was to destroy Charles VI. Henry V, in English myth, is the ideal Englishman, plucky and persevering, austere and audacious, cool-headed, stiff-lipped and effortlessly superior, ‘simply the greatest man,’ His belief was in Roman Catholicism just like other Kings, including Charles VI. His belief was the phrase “Dieu et mon droit” meaning “God and my right”. It was adopted as the royal motto of England by King Henry V with the phrase “Dieu et mon droit” referring to his claim to the French crown. “In his personal Conduct he was chaste, temperate and sincerely pious. In his warfare, though he kept strict discipline and allowed no wanton violence, he treated severely all who had in his opinion transgressed.”
By 4 September1417 Henry V besieging the Norman town, after he ordered the advance the army attacked the town on three sides, using scaling ladders to climb the walls. When the struggle was over, Henry ordered that every male over the age of 12 be killed or so claimed a Venetian chronicler. Eighteen hundred people were put to death. A Dominican friar demanded of Henry how he could justify such killing. Henry replied: “I am the scourge of God sent to punish the people of God for their sins.”
He showed his greatest power, his leadership and his faith in what he did right his army also belief that they King was which one chosen by God. Most English think Henry V was one the greatest King in England. His people have every confidence in Henry V is a good man and a hero in the war, even his has cruel means and killing innocent people, just because of he said he was sent from God. This also shows that time people’s blind pursuit of religion.
During the last part of the Hundred Years War there was a woman called Jeanne d’Arc, known in English as Joan of Arc. Her presence, and particularly her religious beliefs, determined France’s victory. Her nickname was “The Maid of Orleans”. Joan of Arc was born in a peasant family in Domrémy-la-Pucelle. She said that she had received a vision from the Archangel Michael, who told her that Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret would visit her instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination.
In February 1429 she convinced Lord Robert De Baudricourt to provide an escort of soldiers to bring her to the court at Chinon, after two week she was allowed to present her case to the Dauphin Charles, He was encouraged by her speech but still send her to the city of Poitiers to be examined by a group of high ranking clergy, who stated: “nothing improper has been found in her, only good, humility, chastity, piety, propriety, simplicity.”
This approval prompted Charles to allow her to accompany an army to Orleans. She arrived on April 29th. Her troops took the English fortress built around the Church of St. Loup on May 4th, followed by the fortress of the Augustinians on May 6th, followed by Les Tourelles on the 7th. The English cancelled the siege the next day. This victory was followed by the capture of Jargeau on June 12th, the bridge at Meung-sur-Loire on the 15th, and the town of Beaugency on the 17th. Her insistence on her faith was particularly powerful, which made the people and the soldiers so enthusiastic that everyone felt she could bring victory to France, the next day witnessed a larger victory when the English lost over half their field army near Patay on June 18th. During this, she gained prominence. She completely changed the situation of Siege of Orleans.
In the 1430s, Joan of Arc was captured at Compiègne by the Burgundian Faction, which was allied with England, after which she was sold to England and put on trial by the Bishop of the Church of England. After Cauchon declared her guilty she was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431. Heresy was a capital crime only for a repeat offense, therefore a repeat offense of “cross-dressing” was arranged by the court, After Joan of Arc’s death French peasants and those soldiers rekindled morale. They launched vicious and strategic attacks against the English and had soon quickly taken back the French land.
However, despite this boost of morale due to a religiously influential woman, the Hundred Years War continued for twenty-two years after her death. The death of Joan of Arc became a real turning point, as it boosted people’s craving for faith. After the Joan of Arc died, the people who heard she before or people who in favor of her started to uprising in England and France.
The royal family and nobility’s influence declined with people turning toward religion to carry their hope, making that a great reason for them to fight. As mentioned above, The Great Schism at that time almost destroyed another church. After this, the religious history of Europe became a turning point, which led to people questioning the rights of the Pope and the protestant upsurge in England.
“The interaction between war and religion helped to create increasingly xenophobic and jingoistic societies, so that a conflict which began as a dynastic or feudal struggle increasingly came to be understood in terms of a national crusade.”
The increasing politicization and nationalization of both England and France churches made culture, technology and unity a rapid growth for their country. From 13th clergy on both countries were increasingly people criticize of the suffering caused by war, invade and power struggles.

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