The Hundred Years War

The Hundred Years War The Hundred Years War was a war between England and France in which France defended its crown against British rule. This war had many effects on the people of each country. The origin of the war goes back to the conquest of William for England. In 1066 William, the Duke of Normandy, led an army into England. He won this battle and became the king of England. This was possible under feudalism.

Feudalism is a form of social classification in which the members of an upper class are granted fifes, or pieces of land, by higher ranking noblemen return for their military service. The vassal, the person receiving the land, had to go through ceremony in which they would say that they would be faithful to their overlord and fight for them if needed. In return the overlord would protect the vassal (Lace 12). Many years later Isabella, the wife of King Edward II of England, plotted to kill Edward II making her son Edward III king (Lace 12). Because Edward III was very young she would be able to rule the country through him. Edward II sent his son and Isabella to pay homage to Charles IV in 1325 for French land that Edward II owned.

Isabella took her lover, Roger de Mortimer, with them and while there they began to make their plans. After homage is paid to Charles IV the three went to Hainault. While there Isabella and Mortimer convinced the Count of Hainault, William, to help them overthrow the king. In 1327, with the help of Williams troops, Isabella and Mortimer successfully overthrew Edward II and made Edward III king. During their overthrow, King Charles IV of France, Isabellas brother, died. When he died he had no children to leave the throne to, but his wife Jeanne was pregnant. When she gave birth though she had a stillborn daughter.

This enabled Charles cousin, Philip of Valois, king. Some of the people objected. Some thought that since Isabella was his sister she was closer to the throne than Philip and that she should be queen. Others thought that since Edward was his nephew he should be king, but the majority of the French were against Edward becoming their king (14). Philip was favored for many reasons: He was older: Philip was 35 and Edward was 15, Edward was under the control of his mother and Mortimer; Edward was a well known warrior, and Edward was considered a foreigner (14).

Edward then decided that he was tired of being controlled. On October 19, 1330, Edward gathered a small army together and burst into Isabella and Mortimers bedroom. He seized Mortimer and hung him the next morning. He left Mortimers body hanging for 2 days and nights. Isabella was treated more carefully.

She was imprisoned and confined to several castles for life (16). In 1337 Edward III would return to France to claim what he felt what was rightfully his. (Time Life 17). On October 19, 1337, Edward III drafted a document to Philip of Valois that said that Edward was the rightful king of France and that Edward would no longer pay homage to Philip of the French lands that he owned. This letter was given to him by Henry Burghersh, the bishop of England.

Philip just sat back and smiled and prepared for war (Time Life 17). Edward drafted this document because he disagreed with the way that Philip was ruling the land that he owned. There were dukes and lords appointed by Philip to rule over the lands of Edward III. Edward wanted to rule them himself. The two tried to work out their differences, but failed.

This situation was made more awkward because of other economic problems between the 2 countries. England and France depended on each other. France was Englands main supplier of salt and France depended on England for wool. English also held the port at Bordeaux in France enabling them to control transportation along the English Channel. Philip of Valois wanted to control the sea traffic so he began to form links with Scotland, Englands hostile neighbor. England and Scotland were not on good terms with one another and had been fighting since the 1290s (19).

In 1314 the English, under Edward II lost to the Scottish at Bannockburn. Edward III made a treaty with the Scottish in 1328 but intervened in 1329 when their leader Robert Bruce, died. The English then deposed David II, Bruces son and the new king. To help form a bond with the Scottish the Philip gave David shelter in France (Lace 18). Edward III got his revenge on the Scottish in 1332. He got a small group of Scottish rebels together and after winning a series of major battles named Edward Baliol their leader.

Baliol acknowledged Edward III as his overlord. The Scottish chased Baliol over the Scottish border in December. Edward marched north and surrounded them at Berwick. The Scottish sent an army, but Edward defeated them at Halidon Hill in July,1334 (Lace 18). Philip of Valois then moved some of his ships from Mediterranean ports to a harbor at Normandy. Edward III saw these ships and thought that this was an attempted attack on him.

He challenged Philip to a battle in 1337, but Philip declined (Time Life 20). As the war began both sides had distinct advantages and disadvantages. The French were backed by plentiful material resources such as a broad fertile kingdom, 21 million people, and many mountains as well as plains (Lace 21). The English were backed by the loyalty of Edwards nobles and he was also able to get parliament to raise taxes to fund the war. France was plagued by the lack of political and financial support accompanied by the inability to raise taxes. Philip was afraid that the people of Ypres, Ghent, and Bruges would declare Edward their king because they depended on English wool to keep their economy running.

The Englishs problems were that they were much poorer than France and that with a population 1/4 the size of France they would have a much smaller army.Farmland was also a problem because it was only good in the east (Time Life 21). The two social classes of t …