The Hundred Years' War
Who won the Hundred Year's War?
Brief BackgroundThe conflict behind the Hundred Years' War stems from the English control over French land due to the marriage of the English King Henry II to Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages. As well as being the Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right, she was queen of France (1137-1152) and of England (1154-1189). In fact, Eleanor of Aquitaine is the only woman to have been queen in both France and England!
At first Eleanor was married to the King of France, Louis VII- but he annulled their marriage because they did not have a son together. It was common practice throughout the Middle Ages, that if the couple did not produce a son within a set number of years, the King would go to the pope and have the marriage annulled. When the marriage ended, Eleanor retained much of her lands in France and her lands were legally restored to her. She later married Henry II of England, so all the territory she controlled went to the King of England and his heirs. The King of England in the 1300s actually laid claims to or controlled more territory in France than the King of France. This sparks several centuries of warfare between England and France, and the first of these major conflicts in the Hundred Years' War.
Your task today is to analyze the war through the lens of both the French and the English and use text evidence to determine who you believe is the victor of the Hundred Years' War. Was it the English, the French, or both? You decide!
- Was is the English, who freed themselves from obligations to France and won all of the battles on French soil leaving their population and economy in despair?
- Was is it the French, who took back all of their lands controlled by English (except Calais) and developed a stronger monarchy and a sense of nationalism?
- Did both sides win? Both countries strengthened their sense of nationalism, feudalism began to decline soon to be replaced by stronger governments, and military weapons improved that will help both countries control more land around the world.
Resources for Evidence
Text assigned, your timeline, visuals and links below
Battle of Agincourt
It is immortalized in William Shakespeare's play about the King.
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
She was later captured by the English and tried by a church council who condemned her for heresy and had her burned at the stake.
Her bravery and courage inspired the French to keep fighting the English and in 1453 the French finally drove the English from France.
Testimony from Joan of Arc's Condemnation Trial
Testimony of Joan's friends from her Nullification Trial: Father Jean Pasquerel, Joan’s Chaplain starting with "When the Fort of Saint Loup was taken" (towards the bottom of the page and continues to page 2)
Politically: Who was the winner, English or French?
England spent much of the rest of the 15th century fighting the War of the Roses, between two royal rivals that almost destroyed its nobility. The English finally found strong monarchs in the Tudors, who brought England into a modern era strong and ready to expand.