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Hundred Years' War between England and France 1337-1453

Author : 🕔01.01.2002 📕31.218
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IV. The Third Period of the Hundred Years' War

Taking advantage of this confusion, the new English king Henry V, son of Henry IV, landed in Normandy in 1415. Thus ended the second period of the Hundred Years' War and began the third, and final. In the same year, Henry defeated a six-fold French force at the Battle of Azincourt, using the same tactics as Edward and the Black Prince at Krescak and Poitiers. Henri conquered the whole of Normandy, and in 1420 made the Treaty of Troyes with Queen Isabella of France and the new Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good. According to the treaty, Henri was to take as his wife Charles VI's daughter Catherine and, upon her father-in-law's death, ascend to the French throne. It was also then that the English found a powerful ally in the Duke of Burgundy.

Henry V did not receive the French crown, for he died in 1422, seven weeks before Charles VI. He left behind a nine-year-old son, Henry VI, who was recognized as the King of France north of the Loire and in Guyenne. In England, the Duke of Gloucester ruled for him, and in France his uncle, the Duke of Bedford.

In other parts of France, the capricious Dauphin Charles, son of Charles VI, a lazy youth of nineteen, ruled. He was opposed by the Duke of Bedford, whose troops had advanced beyond the Loire and by 1428 were besieging Orléans, the last major French military position, where the famous Dunois, known as the Bastard of Orléans, was the commander. However, the French defended themselves until the arrival of reinforcements led by a simple peasant girl, Joan of Arc. She succeeded in freeing Orléans in 1429, earning her the "martial" name of Maid of Orléans. In the same year, Prince Charles was crowned King Charles VII at Reims.

With the accession of Joan of Arc, popular forces were increasingly brought into play in this contest between the two feudal states, and the war against the English took on a national character. Trouble poured in on the English from all sides - their friendship with the Duke of Burgundy began to harden, the English troops in France began to suffer from lack of reinforcements and war material. Moreover, the two most powerful men in the Lancastrian Empire, the Dukes of Gloucester and Bedford, did not like each other very much.

After the liberation of Orléans and the defeat of the English at Patay and Jargeau, the tide of the war thus turned. The high nobility, however, envied Joan her position, were jealous of her, and resented that a mere peasant had brought salvation to France. Joan was finally expelled and returned to the fight. During the liberation of Compiegne, she was captured by the Burgundians, handed over to the English and burned as a witch in Rouen in 1431. But the course of events could not be reversed, the English losing one position after another.

In 1435 a congress was called in the city of Arras, to which envoys from almost every European state were present. The fate of France was to be decided peacefully, but this did not happen because of the inability to reach an agreement between the English and French sides. The war therefore continued. But the English lost their Burgundian ally, who, in return for defecting to the French side, received many territories and the right of fief independence from the French king until Charles's death.

Then one English defeat after another followed. In 1436 the French conquered Paris, in 1449 Normandy. In 1453, the English lost the Battle of Castillon and had to end the war. In France, only the port city of Calais and its surroundings and the Channel Islands remained in their control. Calais fell to the French in 1558, leaving the Channel Islands as the only reminder of English expansionism during the Hundred Years' War to this day.

 

Edited by Tomas Halada, III/2001
(www.volny.cz/tomas.halada)

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Author : 🕔01.01.2002 📕31.218