How long did the Hundred Years War last? The answer is actually a surprising 116 years. The Hundred Years war is the name given to the series of on and off warfare fought between the kings of England and France, from 1337 to 1453. The war consisted of sieges, raids, sea and land battles, and long periods truce ("Hundred Years War", 222). The war shaped the way the time period ended and the way western Europe looks today. The events of the Hundred Years War created a framework for the way we look at the Middle Ages.
A major cause of this outbreak of battle was the battle over Flanders, an industrial center of northern Europe. The counts of Flanders were vassals to the king of France, but the English saw Flanders as their major center of foreign trade due to its cloth manufacture. This caused fighting between the two countries to begin. The English also controlled southern France after Eleanor of Aquitaine married King Henry II in the mid-12th century. Therefore, the French allied the Scots to control a northern stronghold, called the "Auld Alliance". The two countries also fought over control of the English Channel and the North Sea. All of these forces caused the long war to begin (Nelson).
The Hundred Years War is broken up into three stages or phases. The first lasted until the signature of the Treaty of Bretigny in 1360 (1337-1360). The second phase lasted from 1360-1413 when Henry V became king, and the third phase lasted from 1413-1453. The first phase was marked by English victories in France and alliances with French feudal lords. The second phase was marked by English inactivity and French raids keeping the English on the defensive. The third phase began with major and dramatic English victories but ended in defeat and England's nearly complete withdrawal from France ("Hundred Years War", 223).
In 1337, King Philip VI of France moved his troops to the English control of Aquitaine. In 1340, the English won a major naval victory at Sluys....