The Hundred Years War

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The Hundred Years War

The Hundred Years’ War was a war between England and France in which France

defended its’ crown against British rule. This war had a great impact on the people of each country.

The origin of the war goes back to the conquest of William for England. In 1066

William, the Duke of Normandy, led an army into England. He won this battle and

became the king of England. This was possible under feudalism. Feudalism is a form of

social classification in which the members of an upper class are granted fifes, or pieces

of land, by higher ranking noblemen return for their military service. The vassal, the

person receiving the land, had to go through ceremony in which they would say that they

would be faithful to their overlord and fight for them if needed. In return the overlord

would protect the vassal (Lace 12).

Many years later Isabella, the wife of King Edward II of England, plotted to kill

Edward II making her son Edward III king (Lace 12). Because Edward III was very

young she would be able to rule the country through him. Edward II sent his son and

Isabella to pay homage to Charles IV in 1325 for French land that Edward II owned.

Isabella took her lover, Roger de Mortimer, with them and while there they began to

make their plans. After homage is paid to Charles IV the three went to Hainault. While

there Isabella and Mortimer convinced the Count of Hainault, William, to help them

overthrow the king. In 1327, with the help of William’s troops, Isabella and Mortimer

successfully overthrew Edward II and made Edward III king. During their overthrow,

King Charles IV of France, Isabella’s brother, died. When he died he had no children to

leave the throne to, but his wife Jeanne was pregnant. When she gave birth though she

had a stillborn daughter. This enabled Charles’ cousin, Philip of Valois, king. Some of

the people objected. Some thought that since Isabella was his sister she was closer to the throne than Philip and that she should be queen. Others thought that since Edward was

his nephew he should be king, but the majority of the French were against Edward

becoming their king (14). Philip was favored for many reasons: He was older: Philip was

35 and Edward was 15, Edward was under the control of his mother and Mortimer;

Edward was a well known warrior, and Edward was considered a foreigner ...

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...eople because he was no longer able to

feed them. The English would not let them through though. Philip eventually showed up

to defend Calais in July. Philip sent Edward a challenge, but edward refused because he

felt he had the city secured. Philip then left the town to its own fate. The next day Jeanne de Vienne rode out of town giving up his sword and the keys to the city (Lace 40).

Between the years of 1348 and 1350 the Balck death invaded Europe. This

horrible disease was spread by infected rats and fleas and killed 1/4 to 1/3 of the

population of Europe. Although the disease was most commonly found among the poor

in over populated cities Edward III’s daughterJoan died from it in Bordeaux. This caused

a huge deficit in soldiers and caused the war to come to a stand still for five years (Lace 41).

In 1349 a plot to retake Calais was discovered. The force was quickly put down

by a small English army. In 1350 Edward led an English fleet against the spanish from

Castille and won. This would be edward’s last victory and major battle. He turned over

his powers to his son Edward the Black Prince just two weeks before Philip of Valois

died (Lace 42).
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