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Three Phases of Conflict in the Hundred Years War

Hundred years war (1337-1453) was a series of wars fought between England and France. There were wars fought earlier between England and France, but this war lasted for a long period of 116 years and had disastrous consequences.
One of the immediate reasons for the war was the claim to the French throne by Edward III of England, when French king Philip VI of France tried to conquer the territory of Duchy of Aquitaine. In 1328, when the Charles IV the King of France died, there was no male heir to the throne. When the French people selected Philip of Valois, the grandson of Philip III as the successor, Edward the III, the king of England claimed the throne. In 1340, Edward III claimed that his title would be "King of France."

Economic reasons also triggered the war. Wool was the main English source of revenue along with the wine. These fleeces were produced by the pastures of England and had traded with Flanders for Flemish cloths. These clothes were exchanged in Southern France for wine. When the civil war broke out in Flanders, England and France took different sides. The battle for Flanders was one of the important reason for war. French support to Scots were other reasons for the Hundred Years War.

There was a long standing issue between English and French over the lands in France. The struggle for land can be cited as back as the Norman Conquest. The growing power of France and their powerful vassal, England created conflicts.
Some of the major battles were the Battles of Crecy, Poitiers, and Agincourt. Their competition to control English channel and North sea can be seen as the causes for war.
Course of the War: The key battles in the first phase of the war were the naval battle of Sluys(1340) and the battle of Poitiers. The first phase of the war was ended with the Treaty of Bretigny in 1360. The second phase of the battle was started by Charles V of France. English suffered losses during this phase. France regained most of the territories and the war was fizzled out after the death of Charles, the V. A truce was established in 1388 between both the countries. The final phase of the war began when Henry V of England claimed the throne of France, when France was in the midst of a civil war. The English won a major victory at the Battle of Agincourt. During the battle of Orleans, the French struck back under the leadership of Joan of Arc. French won series of victories against England during this period. The French drove away English at the Battle of Pattay. In course of time, Joan of Arc was captured. Gradually, English lost their territories one by one. The fighting came to an end in 1453 without any treaty. Only Calais left with England.

The war which lasted for a long time can be avoided since it was rooted for personal interests and gains. For example, in the beginning, if Philip had withdrawn himself from seizing Guyenne, the Edward III would not have claimed the kingship. If the treaties were effectively implemented, further conflicts could have been avoided. The Treaty of Bretigany in 1360 was broken by the French initiative. If the treaty was effective, the hostilities would not have arisen.

After Hundred years, there was a growth of nationalist feelings in England and France. People began to see the king as their national leader rather than a feudal Lord. It also ended the middle ages. The war united France and it became a powerful kingdom. The power and glory of the French monarchs had also increased. England who had a parliamentary system of government had the power to tax. There began the centralization of power and a professional army was created after the Hundred years

Solution Preview

Hundred years war (1337-1453) was a series of wars fought between England and France. There were wars fought earlier between England and France, but this war lasted for a long period of 116 years and had disastrous consequences.
One of the immediate reasons for the war was the claim to the French throne by Edward III of England, when French king Philip VI of France tried to conquer the territory of Duchy of Aquitaine. In 1328, when the Charles IV the King of France died, there was no male heir to the throne. When the French people selected Philip of Valois, the grandson of Philip III as the successor, Edward the III, the king of England claimed the throne. In 1340, Edward III claimed that his title would be "King of France."

Economic reasons also triggered the war. Wool was the main English source of revenue along with the wine. These fleeces were produced by the pastures of England and had traded with ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains about the causes, course and results of Hundred years. It also describes whether the war could have been avoided.

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