The “Hundred Years’ War” which is also known by the name of “Guerre de Cent Ans” in French refers to a war that was fought as a series of war between the then kingdoms of France and England during the later “Middle Ages.” The war started in the year 1337 and continued till the year, 1453. The primary reason behind the initiation of such a long series of war was a dispute raised on the French throne. The dispute was thus raised and continued between the “French Royal House of Valois” and the “English Royal House of Plantagenet.” The war was started between two heavy weight nations back then namely France and England; However, this war soon started the power struggle in whole Western Europe which was later greatly fueled by new and emerging nationalisms on both sides of the war that is France and England. It is to be noted that this war which was soon transferred into a struggle of power in whole Western Europe is considered as one of the most notable fights in whole Europe that lasted for over 116 years. It is also to be noted that this particular war did not last for 116 years on a continuous basis, rather have been interrupted numerous times owing to truces between leaders on both sides. This struggle for supremacy in the Western Europe not only did last for 116 years but saw the fall and rise of at least five generations of rulers or kings ruling on both sides fighting against each other for the Western European supremacy. It is to be noted that this particular war which was fought for the supreme and most powerful throne in the whole Western Europe had a lasting effect on the whole Europe as a continent but also resulted into numerous innovations in the military on both sides which is considered as the primary reason behind advanced military units of both countries in the modern times. The aim of this essay is to investigate into the great “Hundred Years’ War” which was held between the great kingdoms of France and England between “1337 and 1453” that changed and innovated the way of modern warfare.
The “Hundred Years’ War” which is considered as one of the longest struggles for the power and supremacy in the Western Europe finds its root causes traced back to the “Crisis of Europe” in the 14th Century. The primary cause of the war can be said to be the interruption which occurred within the “direct male line” or appropriate legal hair to the throne of the “Capetian Dynasty.” It is to be noted here that the “Capetian Dynasty” is also know by the name of “House of France” which is the oldest “royal houses” in whole Europe. This was a “Frankish origin” dynasty and has been chronologically traced as the branch of the popular “Robertians.” So, the primary cause of the long struggle for power in the Western Europe is the non-availability of male descendants within the “Capetian Dynasty” that led to a series of war being break out between the Kingdom of France and England. It is to be specifically noted here that in order to specifically understand the true cause of the “Hundred Years’ War” in particular, one has to delve deeper into the true origin of the “English Royal Family.” The English Royals are originally French by origin and they historically held lands and titles within France. This is one of the major issues that led to the struggle of power between the English and the French Kingdoms way before the happening of the “Hundred Years’ War” itself. The French Kingdom always wanted to keep a check on the English and the English on the other hand, always wanted to acquire more land and titles within France. The English as known to everyone have attacked Scotland numerous times in history who was a then ally of France. Whenever, the English Kingdom attacked the kingdom of Scotland, France took the advantage and wiped-out numerous territories, lands and tiles held by the English within the Kingdom of France. This have always proved tensions between the France and England.
Now, mentioning about the continuation and end of the War, it could be seen that the War did not continue for one hundred and more years on a spontaneous basis. On the contrary, there were two peace and truces signed by both parties within the 1337 to 1453. The War was formally stated on 30 April, 1337 with the rejection of invitation of England by the “Philip of France.” The “First Peace” stated between 1360 and continued till 1369 with the capture of “John II” the then French King along with whom the English have also held numerous French people as hostages. The again started under “Charles V” in 1369 and continued till 1389 under his leadership. The “Second Peace” was thus started in 1389 and continued till 1415 with the War being extremely unpopular in 1389. Then finally, the War again resumed in 1415 under the leadership of “Henry V” of England and continued till 1429. The French Kingdom won the War in 1429 and such motion continued till 1453 when the War finally came to a close with the conclusion of the “Battle of Castillon.”
After a thorough analysis of all the factors and conditions of the “Hundred Years’ War”, it can be said that this War was considered as one of the fierce and longest wars in the history of the world especially concerning the Western Europe. This is not all, this particular War marked the conclusion of a long struggle for power within the Western Europe and paved the way for the modern countries of “England” and “France.” Therefore, on a concluding note, it can be said that this is one of the longest and the most crafted warfare in medieval history that paved the way for the modern warfare and modernisation of the military power within the world especially within the continent of Europe.
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