October 1, 2023

Hundred Years' War (may 24, 1337 – oct 19, 1453)


In February 1328, the King of France, Charles IV, died of tuberculosis at age 33. He had no sons and so by the law at the time, he had no heir to the throne. It was at this point that the King of England, Edward III, claimed his right to rule, as Charles was his uncle. This did not go down well with the French, however, who did not want a foreign king. Charles' cousin Phillip VI thus rose up and claimed his right to the throne instead, being crowned King of France in the April of 1328.

Edward III reluctantly accepted this decision as England was still at war with Scotland. Scotland, however, had formed an alliance with the Kingdom of France sometime earlier, detailing that if ever England were to invade one of them, then the other would invade England. It was then in 1336, that Phillip VI assembled a large naval fleet off the coast of Normandy and threatened Ed-ward III. Edward again claimed that he had the right to the French throne and so in the May of 1337, the two nations began a war that would last for over a century.

In a time span of what actually amounted to 116 years, five different generations of kings fought each other over the right to the French throne. England already owned several provinces within France and their battles were successful right into the 1420s; but after the appearance of Joan of Arc, a woman who claims to have been sent by God, the French had a revival of spirit in defending their kingdom and soon French victories became more fre-quent.

Eventually, various treaties were made that handed English provinces back to France; and after the Battle of Castillon in the July of 1453, the Hundred Years' War essentially came to an end when the English were defeated. France remained under the rule of its own monarchy, and England was left in a state of civil unrest.

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may 24, 1337
oct 19, 1453
~ 116 years


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