Joan of Arc

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Joan of Arc One hundred years before the time of Joan of Arc France was developing a situation, which would thrust it into turmoil. At the time the ruler of France, King Charles IV, was sick and without an heir. Charles decreed that if the child that his wife was pregnant with turned out to be a boy, the boy would become king of France. However, the boy would rule with a regent until he reached an age of enough maturity to rule on his own. Charles’s decree also stated that if the child were to be a girl, then the twelve peers and the great barons of France should convene to decide upon the new rightful ruler of the country. The reason for this in a girl’s case was that there was an old French law that forbade women from claiming ownership of property, this meant that a woman could not be the heir to the throne. The child turned out to be a girl so the twelve peers and the barons convened with their meetings in Paris. While the meetings were taking place to make the momentous decision, the English sent a diplomat, which argued that the King of England had a claim to the throne of France. The English’s reasoning for this was based behind the fact that King Edward III was born by a French princess. The old French law would apply to the newly born French princess. However, Edward’s mother had married an English king, this in turn made her English and English women were allowed to own property. Edward III would then inherit the throne. The French, however, did not agree with their logic saying instead that they wished to follow their law and Charles’s decree. The committee chose Phillip of Valois as the new king of France. The English then went home without any land and thinking of the lands of France they had left behind. Shortly after began the Hundred Years’ War. The English won the majority of the battles and all of the large conflicts. They were, however, unable to conquer France. They were able to win the battles and take control of cities, but it is nearly impossible to rule a hostile people. After the majority of the war had past, the people of France began to divide and the favor eventually rested with the English. The Duke of Burgundy was one of those who allied themselves with England.

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