Hundred Years War. Important milestone in European history
The background of the confrontation
One of the reasons after which the Hundred Years War began was the struggle for the disputed territory that was located between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees and at that time was called the English Gascony. The preservation of the rule of the English kings over this terrain made the position of the French unreliable. In turn, for the monarchy of England, this area was a springboard for the return of former dominions on the continent. In addition, they vied for economic and political influence on independent Flanders. Another object of the sharpest contradictions of that period is Scotland. Her freedom was under constant threat of British expansion, so the rulers of this mountainous state tried to seek the patronage of France.
In 1337 the king of England Edward 3 made a declaration of war against France, declaring himself ruler of the two countries. The first days of the war stretched over several decades and lasted until 1360,when peace was made in the town of Bretigny. I must say that it was signed on quite humiliating conditions for the French feudal lords. The military superiority of that time was entirely on the British side, as was proved in the two largest battles of Sluis (the battle took place in 1346) and at Poitiers (remembered by the capture of the King of France and occurred in 1356). The French knights, though famous for being the best cavalry of Europe, could not oppose anything to archers who had gone through the hard school of conquering the mountainous Scotland. Terrible defeats allowed the British invaders to plunder the country with impunity, and the Hundred Years War turned into endless looting. But at that time, peasants and townspeople rose to the defense, forcing Edward 3 to sign the peace. In this treaty, England departed a huge number of territories, but the French remained independent.
The world lasted for nine years, and the Fifty Year War resumed by Charles the Fifth, under the leadership of the talented commander Bertrand Duhecklen. They used the support of the people who helped the reorganized army drive the British troops out of the southwest.But several strategic large ports remained under British rule (Calais, Brest, Bordeaux, Cherbourg, Bayonne). The truce was concluded in 1396, mainly due to the extreme bilateral exhaustion of forces. But since it did not solve all the problems, the continuation of the war was inevitable.
It lasted five years from 1415 to 1420 and became the shortest and most dramatic for the French. The Hundred Years War during this period began with the expansion of Henry 5, King of England, who landed in the north of France and immediately inflicted a painful defeat at Azincourt. For five years, he subdued half of all the territories and, when signing a peace treaty in Troyes, indicated a point where both countries united under his authority. The masses again intervened in the fate of the war, but this time the measures taken were much more decisive.
Fourth stage. Joan of Arc
This period is the most famous in history, so we will not describe it in detail. We can only say that it lasted about thirty years and ended with the complete expulsion of the British. We add only that Joan of Arc played a significant role in the liberation, who later became a French heroine and is still worshiped
It remains to add that the memory of the war has survived to our time, and every Frenchman remembers how an ordinary territorial conflict almost ended in complete collapse for the whole country.