Taking a Look at the One Hundred Years War

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The 100 years war had three phases, first was the Edwardian war which lasted from 1337 to 1360, second the Caroline war from 1339 to 1389 and lastly the Lancastrian war 1415 to 1453. In the Edwardian war the English beat the French. Edward III was one of the longest reigning kings in English history he ruled for about 50 years and like his grandfather, Edward I, he was a great military leader. When the last of the Capet kings of France died without any successor he claimed the throne of France opposed to Philip VI of Valois . The conflict was temporarily resolved by ceding the fiefdom of Gascony to the king, but this deal did not last long and in 1337 Edward renewed his claim. The first battle was a exceedingly decisive naval battle at Sluys which effectively destroyed the French navy. This was followed up, six years later, by the famous Battle of Cressy, where a small force of English archers routed a large French army, including over 1000 fully armed knights. The victory at Cressy so demoralized the French that they were unable to raise the subsequent siege of Calais, and one of the largest and most important port cities on the coast of France fell into English hands, where it remained for over 200 years. For ten years after securing Calais. England now controlled both the northeastern-most region of France, directly across the English channel, and also Gascony in the southwestern-most corner. The Black Prince (king Edward III son) was based in Gascony, and in 1356 led a raiding party into the Loire valley in central France. John II of France (Philip VI had died in 1350), was with an army and they wanted to attack the Black Prince . The Black Prince tried to retreat back into English territor... ... middle of paper ... ...bury, marched to Castillon, and attacked the lines of the besiegers, but were taken in flank by a sortie from the French entrenchments and totally defeated, Talbot being slain. On October 19 following, Bordeaux opened her gates to the French. Although in terms of military tactics, weapons, and organization, England was clearly superior, France was too large and heavily populated to be occupied permanently. It had been the civil war within France that had created the opportunity for English, and when the quarrel was healed, and France unites against England. It took many years to drive England all the way out of France, and the city of Calais didn't fall until the 16th century. But France had learned her lesson well, and the feeling of French nationalism was greatly enhanced by French victories over the English in the final years of the Hundred Years War.
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