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Chapter 12
Late Middle Ages
The Hundred Years War
1337 - 1453
• The Treaty of Paris
1259
– The English King
agreed to become - for
himself and his
successors – vassal of
the French crown for
the duchy of
Acquitaine
Causes of War
• French expansionist
wanted the French
Kings to resolve and
absorb the duchy of
Aquitaine.
• Philip VI of France
confiscated the duchy
in 1337 – ending the
Treaty of Paris
agreement with
England.
Causes Continued
• Edward III – King of
England claimed he
had the right to the
French crown as the
only male heir to the
Capatian dynasty.
– Saw this as the only
way to secure his
claim to Aquitaine.
Causes Continued
• Economic Factors:
– Struggle for control of
the Flemish towns.
– Flanders was a fief of
the French crown.
– Flemish / English wool
trade was the
cornerstone of both
countries economies.
Support for the war
• England
– To win back the rightful
claim of their King.
(Aquitaine)
– Promise of military
conquest & spoils of
war.
– Opportunity to display
chivalric behavior.
– Propaganda stressing
the evils of the French
monarch.
• France
– Defense of French
lands.
– French expansionist
policy.
– Fascination with the
glories of war.
– Promise of
employment for
soldiers.
Events of the War
• 1346: Battle of Crecy
– English longbow men
defeat the French
Knights.
• 1356: Poitier
– French King was
captured and held for
ransom.
• 1415: Agincourt
– English defeat of a
superior French force.
Joan of Arc
1412 - 1431
• Believed that God spoke
to her through visions.
– 1428: She convinced the
Dauphin to claim his place
as the rightful King of
France.
– Persuaded Charles VII to
raise an army to lift the
English siege of Orlean.
– Captured by the
Burgundians in 1431 – sold
to the English who then put
her to death.
French Victory
• Patriotism inspired by a
new sense of nationalism
led to French victories on
the battle field.
• French drove the English
out of France during the
last 30 years of the war.
• Only English claim in
France that remained
was Calais.
Cost & Consequences of the War
• England
– Destruction of
southern ports.
– Breakdown of civil
order in England.
– Decline in wool trade.
– Failed promises of
wealth.
– Massive war debt.
– Rise of Parliamentary
power.
• France
– Destruction of land
and property.
– Massive civilian &
military loses.
– Breakdown of trade
system with Europe
and internally.
– Civil ands social
conflicts.
Winners & Losers
• Winners
– French expansionist.
– French monarchy
which was able to
consolidate more
power.
– Parliamentary
assembly in England
who gained more
power over the
monarchy.
• Losers
– England
– Civilian farmers and
merchants.
– Soldiers of the war.
– French Barons who
supported England
Parliamentary development in
England
• Representative
assemblies consisting
of Nobles, Bishops,
Knights, and
Burgesses
(commoners)
– Assembled at the
request of the King to
raise funds and
support for foreign and
domestic needs.
• Two Houses Develop:
– House of Lords
• Nobility & Leaders of
the Church.
– House of Commons
• Knights & Burgesses
who recognized the
power they had over
the purse strings of the
Kingdom.
• Statute of 1341: Gained
the power to approve or
disapprove of taxes
imposed by the
monarchy.
French Government
• Provincial Assemblies
– Both the Monarch and
the Barons of the
provinces avoided the
assembling of a
national assembly.
– Language,
geographical,
economic, legal and
political differences
kept the government
from centralizing.
• French identified with
the area / province in
which they lived.
– ie. Norman,
Burgundian.
Nationalism
• Feeling of unity based on language,
common ancestry and customs, as well as
living in a common area.
– National pride grew with the propaganda of
the war and the victories of armies.
• Especially in France.