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The Hundred Years War Essay

906 words - 4 pages

This was a long and tiring war between the English and the French, lasting over one hundred years. Constant war and battles kept various rulers ready throughout the course of this war. This war lasted from 1337 to 1453, causing great anguish and great losses for both parties in this war.The English king controlled southern France, which didn't please the French king very well. Henry II got control of these with marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine, heiress to the region. The French feared an English attack from the south. The French then created an alliance with an arrangement that lasted into the 18th century. Both countries wished to control the North Sea and the English Channel by commissioning pirates to prey upon opposing ships. The final son of King Philip IV died in 1328. This caused the direct male line of the Capetians family to end after almost 350 years. Isabelle, Philip's daughter, married King Edward II of England. They had a son, Edward III, who would be the successor to the throne through Philip's daughter. The French didn't like this idea and brought about old Francish laws, which they called the Salic Law. This stated that the throne could not descend through a female. Philip of Valois, nephew to Philip IV, was given the throne. Edward III had a valid claim to the throne and wanted to pursue it, which was another event to help start this devastating war.Flanders is a place that grown to become an industrial center in northern Europe and eventually became wealthy through its cloth manufacture. Though, it couldn't produce enough wool to satisfy the market and imported fleece from England. The upper class enjoyed wine much during this time and the English could not grow grapes, which made a triangular trade arise. English traded fleece for Flemish cloth, which was taken to France so they could get wine. The counts of Flanders had been vassals of the French King, and he tried to take control of this region to get its wealth. The English didn't like this and a civil war broke out in Flanders.The beginning of the war seemed to favor the English. Edward III invaded the French lands, initiating the first period of the war. He won the Battle of Crécy, 1346, and the Battle of Poiters, 1356, both dramatic victories for the English. Though neither side could be at their strongest during those times in the war because of the Black Death which struck in 1345. This severely sickened and weakened both sides of the war. In the Battle of Poiters, where King John the Good was capture, which could be considered the high point of the first half of the war for the English. The French dauphin Charles, later new French king as Charles V, developed a military response to the losses. The Treat of Brétigny, 1360, ended the war...

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