So I’m curious, how much did you learn about the Hundred Year’s War in school?
I plan on giving you ample information today so you can say that you know about this war that occurred during the Middle Ages.
Here are 15 facts about the Hundred Year’s War…
Fact #1: The Players
The Hundred Year’s War was primarily England against France. Each of these Kingdoms had allies in the war that included:
- Duchy of Brittany
- Kingdom of Scotland
- Kingdom of Bohemia
- Duchy of Lorraine
- Republic of Genoa
- Crown of Castile
- Crown of Aragon
- Kingdom of Majorca
- Avignon Papacy
- Duchy of Brittany
- Duchy of Burgundy
- County of Flanders
- County of Hainaut
- Kingdom of Portugal
- Kingdom of Navarre
- Papal States
Fact #2: The Reason
Without too much detail, women were not able to take over the lead in France. As such, England felt they had the rights to the French throne.
Fact #3: Not Really 100 Years
The Hundred Year’s War should have really been named the 116 Year’s War. It went on from 1337 to 1453.
Fact #4: The Start
While I gave the primary reason, it didn’t actually start over that particular reason. When Philip VI confiscated the Duchy of Aquitaine, Edward III of England called for War.
Fact #5: The French Moon
Some French soldiers “mooned” an English detachment. It made the English so angry, they attacked. The English suffered heavy losses.
It seems they should have just admired the French Moon.
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Fact #6: Edward III, King of France?
When Charles IV of France died, he had no male heir. As such, the closest male relative should inherit the throne. And that was King of England, Edward III. But France could not allow this so they decided that males could not get their rights through their Mothers and the throne would go to Philip VI. But Edward III still claimed the seat.
Fact #7: Chicken Dinner
Towards the end of the Hundred Year’s War, cannons and gunpowder became increasingly popular. Armies would barrage walled cities, but precision was not an attribute.
In 1431, the Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, shot over 400 cannonballs into the town of Lagny. You would think there would be many deaths, but there was only one… A chicken.
Do you want a leg, breast or wing?
Fact #8: The First Years
The English dominated the first years of this long war. They did so on sea and with the famed English longbow. During the whole war, the English held the English Channel.
Fact #9: How The French Became Victorious
I mentioned earlier how the English decimated the French in the first years. And I mentioned how cannons were first used.
The French became more adept with guns and gunpowder and that is what led to an overall French victory in the end of the Hundred Year’s War.
Fact #10: The 9 Year Break
In 1360, a treaty was signed. The Treaty of Bretigny forced France to cede over Aquitaine and pay 3,000,000 Crowns for the ransom of King John. For 9 years there was peace between the two.
Fact #11: France Wins Back Ceded Territory
Charles V was leading France in 1369 when he sent troops to conquer back what was taken. Because England had been battling with the Scots and there was a peasant revolt, France easily took back Aquitaine.
Fact #13: Enter Joan Of Arc
England was eating France alive. But in 1428, Orleans was being devastated by England, Joan Of Arc convinced King Charles VII to send her to the battle. She said she had received visions from God that she would be the one to drive England out of France. She broke the siege of Orleans and also beat the English in another huge battle.
Joan of Arc was captured and the British burned her at the stake.
Fact #14: The Treaty Of Arras
In 1435, the Treaty to lead to the end was signed. Philip III broke alliance with England and Paris was given back to Charles VII. Charles reorganized the French army who was much stronger and they recaptured Normandy in 1450 and in 1453, the last battle had the French winning… The Battle Of Castillon.
Fact #15: The Final Treaty
In 1475, the Treaty of Picquigny was signed which formally ended the Hundred Year’s War. England renounced their claim to the throne of France.
Both France and England learned a lot from the Hundred Year’s War. Defending their homelands became a major undertaking.
Many lives were lost during this war. It is believed that France lost around ½ of its population while England lost upwards of 33%.
So what are your thoughts? What can we learn from this war of so many years ago?
Please leave your questions and comments below.
About The Author
Greg Boudonck is a full time freelance writer and the author of over 50 books. He served in the United States Army in the early 1980’s and enjoys writing about military subjects. You can see Greg’s books on Amazon by searching his name and you can also visit his website at Lancerlife.com.