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Hundred Years' War and The Things Brought by It

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Words: 685 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Apr 11, 2019

Words: 685|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Apr 11, 2019

The Hundred Years' War was a long struggle between England and France over succession to the French throne. It lasted from 1337 to 1453. The war starts off with several successes on Britain's part, and the English forces dominate France for decades. Then, the struggle goes back and forth. In the 1360s, the French are winning. From 1415-1422, the English are winning. After 1415, King Henry V of England revives the campaign and he conquers large portions of France, winning extraordinary political concessions. From 1422 onward, however, the French crown strikes back. The teenage girl Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc), a remarkable young lady, leads the French troops to reclaim their lands.

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Theoretically, the French kings, possessing the financial and military resources of the most populous and powerful state in western Europe, held the advantage over the smaller, more sparsely populated English kingdom. However, the expeditionary English army, well-disciplined and successfully using their longbows to stop cavalry charges, proved repeatedly victorious over much larger French forces. In 1360, King John of France, to save his title, was forced to accept the Treaty of Calais, which granted complete independence to the duchy of Guyenne. However, his son Charles V, with the help of his commander in chief Bertrand du Guesclin, had succeeded in reconquering almost all the ceded territory by 1380, notably by a series of sieges. After a short break, Henry V of England renewed the war and proved victorious at Agincourt, conquered Normandy, and then attempted to have himself crowned as the future king of France by the Treaty of Troyes. His military successes were not matched by political successes. Although allied with the dukes of Burgundy, the majority of the French refused English domination. Thanks to Joan of Arc, the siege of Orleans was lifted. Then Paris and the lle-de-France were liberated, and after the French army had been reorganized and reformed, Charles VII recaptured the duchy of Normandy, and then seized Guyenne. The end of the conflict was never marked by a peace treaty but died out because the English recognized that the French troops were too strong to be directly confronted. France, at last free of the English invaders, resumed its place as the dominant state of western Europe.

This war is significant because of many things. The war gave impetus to ideas of both French and English nationalism. Militarily, it saw the introduction of new weapons and tactics which broke down the older system of feudal armies dominated by heavy cavalry in Western Europe. The first standing armies in Western Europe since the time of the Western Roman Empire were introduced for the war, thus changing the role of the peasantry. For all this, as well as for its long duration, it is often viewed as one of the most significant conflicts in the history of medieval warfare. In France, civil wars, deadly epidemics, famines and marauding mercenary armies turned to banditry reduced the population by about one-half.

The war affects us today in many ways as well. Artillery, like the longbow before it, revolutionized military strategy at the expense of the aristocracy, which became increasingly superfluous. By the end of the Hundred Years War the knights of England and France had relinquished their pre-eminent military positions. Longbows replaced lances, infantry replaced cavalry, and the social contours of military service were redrawn. Unlike people under feudalism before, people were then and now are feeling a great sense of citizenship and duty to their country.

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Overall, the Hundred Years’ War has brought many great things. Although a time of headache and suffering, the war proved to be worth it in the end. Perhaps the most lasting impact of the war, especially in England, was the emergence of a much greater sense of patriotism and national identity. This was in part due to publicity spread to gather tax for the fighting, and partly due to generations of people, both English and French, knowing no situation other than war in France. Today, we learn from the mistakes made during the war to avoid making them in the future.

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Hundred Years’ War and The Things Brought by It. (2019, April 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/hundred-years-war-and-the-things-brought/
“Hundred Years’ War and The Things Brought by It.” GradesFixer, 10 Apr. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/hundred-years-war-and-the-things-brought/
Hundred Years’ War and The Things Brought by It. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/hundred-years-war-and-the-things-brought/> [Accessed 25 May 2024].
Hundred Years’ War and The Things Brought by It [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Apr 10 [cited 2024 May 25]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/hundred-years-war-and-the-things-brought/
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