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Hundred Years War

Medieval life and Times

Important Facts about the Hundred Years War
Interesting information and important facts about the one Hundred Years War:

  • Key Dates relating to the event: The one Hundred Years War raged from 1337 - 1453
  • The Hundred Years War actually lasted for 116 years
  • All of the battles of the Hundred Years War were fought in France

  • The Hundred Years War was fought between between England and France and later Burgundy
  • Joan of Arc was a major figure in the Hundred Years War
  • Key English People relating to the one Hundred Years War:
  • Key French People relating to the one Hundred Years War:
    • King Philip VI the Fortunate 1328-1350
    • King John II the Good 1350-1364
    • King Charles V the Wise 1364-1380
    • King Charles VI the Well-Beloved or the Mad 1380-1422
    • Louis I of Anjou 1380-1382 Regent for Charles VI
    • King Charles VII the Victorious 1422-1461
    • Philip III, Duke of Burgundy
  • Why the one Hundred Years War was famous and important to the history of England: The high number of sieges in the Hundred Years War led to the development of technology with new siege engines and the use of the longbow as an English weapon - the power of the mounted knights came to an end
  • What ended the Hundred Years War?  The Wars of the Roses left England in no position to wage war in France and so the one Hundred Years War ended.
  • Calais remained in English possession until 1558 and the title of King of France was claimed by the British until 1 January 1801

Famous Battles of the one Hundred Years War
During the period of the Hundred Years war their were many famous battles. The names, dates and results of these famous battles can be accessed from:

Battles Timeline of the One Hundred Years War

Interesting Information about the History of the Hundred Years War
Interesting information and important facts about the history of the Hundred Years War. In 1328, the Capetian dynasty in France came to an end with the death of Charles IV, the son of Philip the Fair. An assembly of French barons gave the crown to Philip VI of Valois, the nephew of Philip the Fair.

Causes of the Hundred Years War
Edward III, king of England, asserted that he in fact had a superior claimed to the throne because his mother was Philip the Fair's daughter. This, then, was one of the primary causes of the Hundred Years' War. Another cause of the Hundred Years' War was clearly economic conflict. The French monarchy tried to squeeze new taxes from towns in northern Europe which had grown wealthy as trade and cloth-making centers. Dependent as they were on English wool, these towns through their support behind English and Edward III.

The Hundred Years War and the Mercenaries
To make matters worse, war had become a more expensive proposition in the 14th century. Larger, healthier and better-trained armies were needed. Most governments began to rely on paid mercenaries to do their fighting for them. The problem with mercenaries is that they were expensive to obtain an even more expensive to retain. More often than not, the mercenary had no allegiance to anyone king and fought for the highest bidder. Furthermore, mercenaries were a competitive and quarrelsome lot.

The Hundred Years War - the Taxes
To counteract the high price of war, European monarchs imposed even more taxes upon the people. The French were most adept at this: there were taxes on salt, bread, and wine as well as taxes on the rights to use wine presses, grindstones and mills. And of course, there was the poll tax.

The Hundred Years War - the Factions
The last cause of the Hundred Years' War was factional conflict. By the 14th century the European nobility had become diluted with men who had entered the nobility not because they had a claim by virtue of birth but because of their wealth. Meanwhile, the older nobility was losing income due to declining rents. Many older nobles joined forces with mercenaries in order to maintain their position and status. Other nobles married into wealthy families while still others tried to improve their situation by the buying and selling of royal offices. What all this boiled down to was conflict. Nobles tended to join factions united against other factions. These factions included a great family, their knights, servants and even workers and peasants on the manorial estate. They had their own small armies, loyalties and even symbols of allegiance. The bottom line is that these factions were beginning to form small states within a state and contributed not only to the overall violence of the 14th century but also to the need of monarchs to keep their nobility under constant surveillance. This explains why Louis XIV, the Sun King, housed his nobility at Versailles -- it was so he could keep an eye on them.

The Hundred Years War - Aquitaine
The most pressing issue during the Hundred Years' War was the status of Aquitaine, a large province in south western France. According to feudal law, Edward III held Aquitaine as part of his fiefdom. Philip attacked this territory, claiming it was rightfully his. Edward's response was to join forces with the Flemish in 1337 and this was the main cause of the war.

The Hundred Years War
The war, fought entirely on French soil, raged off and on for more than 100 years. English victories were followed by French victories, then a period of stalemate would ensue, until the conflicts again rose to the surface. During periods of truce, English and French soldiers -- most of whom were mercenaries -- would roam the French countryside killing and stealing. After the battle of Agincourt in 1415, won by the English under Henry V, the English controlled most of northern France. It appeared that England would shortly conquer France and unite the two countries under one crown. At this crucial moment in French history, a young and illiterate peasant girl, Joan of Arc (c.1412-1431), helped to rescue France.

The One Hundred Years War and Joan of Arc
At the age of 13 Joan believed she had heard the voices of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret bidding her to rescue the French people. Believing that God had commanded her to drive the English out of France, Joan rallied the demoralized French troops, leading them in battle. Clad in a suit of white armor and flying her own standard she liberated France from the English at the battle of Orleans. Ultimately captured and imprisoned by the English, Joan of Arc was condemned as a heretic and a witch and stood trial before the Inquisition in 1431. Joan was found guilty and was to be burnt at the stake but at the last moment she broke down and recanted everything. She eventually broke down again and faithful to her "voices," decided to become a martyr and was then burnt at the stake and became a national hero.

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