Hundred Years War essay

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This war took place from around 1337 to the year 1453 in European history.  There were two ultimate causes of these war related to inheritance of the French throne and the takeover or ownership of some feudal land located in south western part of France  known as the Duchy of Aquilain. The Treaty of Paris that was effected in the year 1259 allowed the then King of England, Henry the third to administer over the Duchy within the Kingdom of France on condition of total allegiance to the King of France. This in itself raised doubts because how was it possible for a king to be subordinated at the same time in another kingdom during his active tenure? It later happened in the year 1328 that the king of France, Charles the fourth died and at that time he had no immediate male heir. At that time, his Vassal on the Duchy land, King Edward the Third of England had a legit claim on the Kingdom of France throne by virtue of being the eldest son to the late Kings’ sister. There was another claimant of the same throne, Phillip the fourth who took over eventually and in an attempt to consolidate his power attempted to grab the Duchy land. King Edward then led his troops into France to reclaim the Duchy and two years after the successful raid made himself the King of France.

            This war continued for so long because the two feuding sides namely; the house of Valois and the house of Plantagenet were both of French origin (Allmand, 1994). The only difference was that the former demanded the title of kings of France while the later lay believed and demanded not only the French throne but the English one too. The similar roots aspect complicated the war by making it difficult to choose allegiances. The Valois was purely French but Plantagenet was a line of English kings with French roots. The feud between the two also brought rise of other wars which made it more difficult to end because one war led to another over various geographical regions especially in France. Some of the wars included; Edwardian, Caroline and Lancastrian wars among others.

            The House of Valois enjoyed full support of the French military and had the advantage of fighting from within the French Terrain while the house of Plantagenet had the support of duchy land occupants in addition to part of the French military. The war further saw the emergence of improved weapons and fighting tactic for the military. The French employed the crossbow to their advantage because it was easier to handle and took less time to train the military how to effectively use it. The longbow was the English answer because, though it took long to master, it was efficient in de-capacitating an army including un-armored horses.

The House of Valois eventually won the war and drove out of France all the Plantagenet troops and members. The French took back all their land and additional wealth held by the English within France. The English lost their claims in France and were therefore left isolated as a nation for many years. There was a significant drop in Royal Authority exercised over citizens of England as they freely opposed the crown on taxes and other issues. The failure to collect tax and the effects of war soon was felt through the English crown going bankrupt. Therefore England began to venture more in off-shore territories.

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