The Hundred Years' War: Overview of The Main Aspects

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About this sample


Words: 2050 |

Pages: 5|

11 min read

Published: Aug 14, 2023

Words: 2050|Pages: 5|11 min read

Published: Aug 14, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. English and French monarchies at the time of the war
  3. The economic status of both the countries
  4. Main Phases of The Hundred Years' War
  5. The first phase of the war (1337-60)
    The second phase of the war
    The third phase of the war
    The fourth phase of the war
  6. The end of the war
  7. Conclusion
  8. References


The Hundred Years' War turned into a protracted conflict between England and France over the French throne's succession. It became more efficaciously known as the '116 Years' War' because it lasted from 1337 to 1453. The war starts with a sequence of stunning British victories, and English soldiers manipulate France for decades. According to legend, the Hundred Years' War started on May 25, 1337, whilst French King Philip VI confiscated the English-held duchy of Guyenne. This seizure, alternatively, has been preceded by using ongoing disputes over English fiefs in France dating back to the twelfth century. This essay aims to reflect the various aspects of The Hundred Years' War.

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English and French monarchies at the time of the war

The English monarchy turned weaker for an extended time, and the French had the top hand. Although each King has been secure in their positions, their methods of succession - Philip's by way of tycoon desire and Edward's with the aid of his father's dismissal - introduced sure flaws. The way assembled an army by the end of July 1328. As opined by Curry (2003), Philip led his forces to a cavalry-based victory over the Flemish on August 24, and Louis was restored. However, the difficulty of Flanders lingered as Louis became driven out all over again in 1339, permitting Edward to shape an alliance with the Flemish townspeople.

Conflict may have erupted due to problems generated with the aid of the English King's holding of domains in France. The French had previously tested their assertiveness. However, the English had been not about handy over their territory without a battle. When Robert I died on June 7, 1329, his five-yr-old son, David II, ascended to the kingdom. Edward Balliol, the son of John who was proclaimed King in 1291, risked his arm in an invasion of Scotland in 1332 (Beauregard, et al. 2018). Edward III may additionally have given his approval in secret. Balliol's victory at Dupplin Moor on August 12, 1332, and subsequent crowning on September 25 caused Edward to assist.

Military organizations and arms are associated with both nations.

Both had the previous military enjoy, so arming troops changed into 2nd nature. In France, the monarch used his feudal privileges to compel the aristocracy to serve and summon the populace through the arriere-ban. In truth, the latter was frequently utilized to acquire funds instead of doing service (Curry, 2003). These rights were much less explicit in England, but the monarch ought to count on the aristocracy and shire levies for army assistance. All troops in each kingdom were paid, a machine that started underneath the reigns of Edward I and Philip IV.

Because they had to ship troops across the water, the English had been at a drawback. This mission became notably eased in their holdings in the southwest of France by using the deployment of Gascons in their defence, which was helped by the remarkable wide variety of minor nobles within the area (Caudrey, 2019). This method would possibly increase between 5,000 males. They were thankful for the opportunity to serve for cash and in defence in their fatherland. An English monarch is more excellent than a French king who's closer at hand.

Furthermore, mainly inside the wine exchange, commercial links drew Anglo-Gascon pastimes nearer together. Defections to the French have been an opportunity. The counts of Foix, Albret, and Armagnac, for example, were explicitly essential tenants and neighbours of the king-duke. Gunpowder weaponry has been scarce and primitive at the start of the war (Cusack, 2019). As illustrated with the aid of the illuminations, they existed and had been employed at Sluys and other battles. Still, they were not utilized in enormous numbers until the latter part of the century, when wrought- and cast-iron portions became available.

The economic status of both the countries

The French monarch had the advantage of funding his forces, usually from his domains, which generated 28 tonnes of silver every 12 months. During the time of Philip IV, the idea of the King's strength to charge a defence tax without consulting any legislative meeting had arisen, based totally on men and women paying for exemption from military responsibility. Even though there have been various exemptions no longer least that of the aristocracy have been considered (Fulton, 2018). The English monarch depended on taxes to supplement his landed earnings, which became simply 6 tonnes of natural silver each yr. Taxes on movable belongings had commenced in earnest underneath King Edward I and had ended up almost yearly under Edward II, even though they required the Commons' approval. This turned into no longer necessarily a downside as it allowed the King to announce his plans and rally the populace behind him. The crown needed to recruit extra broadly because English aristocracy turned into less than that of France. King Edward III, like his predecessor, relied heavily on loans.

Main Phases of The Hundred Years' War

The first phase of the war (1337-60)

Philip became suspected of organizing a navy invasion of England from Normandy in 1339. When it arrived in May, the attack changed into shorter than anticipated. However, it turned into sufficient to harass the beaches of Devon, Sussex, and Kent. In July, the English just assembled enough ships to oppose a planned assault at the Cinque Ports. The role of England might have been considerably greater difficult if not for a rebellion of Philip's Genoese sailors. With a pressure of 10,000-15,000 men, Edward and his supporters marched into Cambrésis, where he had jurisdiction due to his imperial vicariate (van den Broek, 2020). They entered France on October 9, the feast of St Denis, not in all likelihood on purpose. They have been sporting little components, signalling that they expected Philip to be dragged into battle without delay. The 1340 campaign became greater at once, tied to Edward's declaration of the throne. In the summertime of 1345, Edward broke the ceasefire, strengthened by the adoration of no longer best John de Montfort, who had fled France, but also Godfrey de Harcourt, a renegade Norman nobleman. Armies were to be dispatched to Brittany, Gascony, and northern France beneath the command of Henry of Grosmont.

The second phase of the war

Even though England and France were legally at peace inside the 1360s, foot soldiers from both international locations were engaged in various formal and router operations. The civil battle raged in Brittany till Sir John Chandos' force of English and Bretons beat and murdered Charles of Blois at Auray on September 28, 1364. The French civil struggle with Charles of Navarre continued until May 15 1363, whilst du Guesclin won at Cocherel (Curry, 2003). The French captured Abbeville, the capital of Ponthieu, in April. In February, the English sent 350 men there, but they were insufficient to preserve the territory. Because of the fall of Ponthieu, other forces destined for Gascony were redirected to Calais in May, and a new commander changed into selected with 800 men, Gaunt's son, the Earl of Hereford. Between 1369 and 1380, the English army's attempt essential in this period was extraordinarily substantial and costly, with nearly 30,000 soldiers raised for expeditionary forces.

The third phase of the war

At the request of Henry, Prince of Wales, a navy of 800 guys-at-hands and 3,000 archers led by way of the Earl of Arundel became dispatched to Burgundy in October 1412. In addition to the chances given by French inner differences, these precedents no truly push Henry V to take an uncompromising method toward France (Curry, 2003). His rugged diplomatic stance became observed via a massive navy attempt in 1415 to mount an excursion. In 1418, Henry changed into aid using a force of at least 12,000 squaddies, with more excellent reinforcements arriving in succeeding years. The renovation of navy subjects and accurate ties with the civilian populace obtained special attention.

The fourth phase of the war

Between 1430 to 1431, the English poured nearly 7,000 guys into Paris, mainly because Charles misplaced his courage. As a result, the English were capable of keeping away from extra casualties. After protracted sieges, Louviers was recaptured, reuniting England with most of the people of Normandy. After her trial in Rouen, Joan was arrested and brought from the scene in May 1431 (Curry, 2003). In December 1431, the youthful King Henry VI became able to visit Paris in relative protection for his coronation. The English and the French agreed to a ceasefire on May 28, 1444, the first end-hearth since 1415. As a result, they have the most extended non-stop period of combat of the whole Hundred Years' War between these dates.

The end of the war

The culmination of the Hundred Years' War brought a sense of closure to a conflict that had spanned generations. By the mid-15th century, the war had taken a toll on both England and France, leading to war fatigue and a growing desire for peace. The final phase of the war witnessed a series of diplomatic efforts and negotiations that gradually paved the way for its conclusion.

One of the key turning points came with the Treaty of Arras in 1435, which saw Burgundy, a significant player in the war, switching sides to align with France. This shift in alliances signaled a shift in the balance of power and weakened England's position. The treaty marked the beginning of a process that would lead to the eventual winding down of hostilities.

In 1444, a significant development occurred with the signing of the Truce of Tours. This truce marked the first prolonged period of peace in the conflict, lasting for nearly a decade. It was a respite that allowed both nations to reassess their positions, rebuild their economies, and tend to their war-weary populations. The truce also set the stage for more comprehensive negotiations aimed at a lasting resolution.

The decisive turning point that eventually brought an end to the war came with the signing of the Treaty of Picquigny in 1475. This treaty, negotiated between King Louis XI of France and King Edward IV of England, was a landmark moment that effectively ended the hostilities. A significant aspect of the treaty was the payment of a large sum of money by the English to the French, in exchange for which the French agreed to permanently halt their support for rebellious English subjects.

The Treaty of Picquigny marked the practical end of the Hundred Years' War, although it wasn't formally acknowledged as such. Over time, the war's importance diminished, and the dynastic and territorial issues that had fueled the conflict became less relevant. As the years passed, subsequent generations shifted their focus to new challenges and opportunities, and the once-pervasive conflict began to fade from the forefront of political and cultural consciousness.

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The Hundred Years' War stands as a complex and multifaceted conflict that spanned over a century, leaving an indelible mark on the histories of England and France. As this essay has explored, the war was not merely a continuous clash of arms but a saga of shifting alliances, political ambitions, military strategies, and socioeconomic factors that evolved over its four distinct phases. It forever shaped the destinies of England and France, leaving behind legacies that would influence their futures for centuries to come. The war's impact extended beyond the battlefield, influencing cultural, political, and socioeconomic aspects of both nations.


  1. Curry, A. (2003). The Hundred Years' War, 1337-1453. Osprey Publishing.
  2. Beauregard, M., LoPrete, K. P., Moore, E., & Smith, A. C. (2018). The Hundred Years' War: A data-driven exploration. Journal of Medieval Military History, 16, 189-210.
  3. Caudrey, P. G. (2019). The Battle of Crécy: A Case Study in the Practical Limitations of Siegecraft and Late Medieval Warfare. In Fortifications and Siegecraft (pp. 63-74). Springer.
  4. Cusack, C. M. (2019). Gunpowder Artillery and the Hundred Years' War. In Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe (pp. 151-170). Routledge.
  5. Fulton, H. (2018). The Hundred Years' War and Late Medieval Society: A Bibliography. In The Hundred Years War (pp. 257-272). Routledge.
  6. van den Broek, C. P. (2020). The Hundred Years' War and the struggle for Normandy, c. 1310–1356. Journal of Medieval History, 46(1), 37-53.
  7. Allmand, C. (2016). The Hundred Years War: England and France at War c. 1300-c. 1450. Cambridge University Press.
  8. DeVries, K. (2006). The Norwegian Invasion of England in 1066. Boydell Press.
  9. Wagner, J. A. (2006). Encyclopedia of the Hundred Years War. Greenwood Publishing Group.
  10. Mortimer, I. (2010). The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century. Simon and Schuster.
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The Hundred Years’ War: Overview of the Main Aspects. (2023, August 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
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