Effects Of The 100 Years War

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The Late Middle Ages was a time of great social, political and military upheaval in Western Europe. Of the numerous major events which marked the age, the Hundred Years’ War was perhaps one of the most significant. The term Hundred Years War is a relatively modern invention meant to describe a series of protracted wars waged by two royal houses, the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, over who was the rightful sovereign of the Kingdom of France. The conflict, which lasted from 1337 to 1453, had numerous consequences for both England and France. For the purposes of this paper I shall focus primarily on the aspects of military innovation and revolution while attempting to describe how these innovations relate to the political and social changes which also occurred during the period. However, before we can adequately understand these consequences we must first have an understanding of the conflict and its background. In 1066 William, Duke of Normandy conquered England. Having made himself a king via conquest, William remained a vassal to the French king by way of his holdings in Normandy. This was the starting point of the Anglo-French rivalry, being that it was humiliating for one king to be vassal to another. The French Capetian kings, likewise, resented a neighboring king holding vast tracts of land within their realm. The result of this situation was constant strife between the kingdoms of France and England. Furthermore, in 1154 Henry Plantagenet, Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou, and a close cousin to the king of France, succeeded to the English throne. Two years prior to Henry’s coronation, he married Eleanor, duchess of Aquitaine, the former wife of the King of France. This marriage made Henry more powerful than his feudal overlord Louis VII and with his ascension to the English throne the animosity between the two kingdoms was greatly

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