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Hundred Years’ War

Rebeca Gaínza Fernández


Hundred Years’ War 

Was a series of wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the house of Valois and the house of Plantagenet.

The House of Valois claimed the title of King of France, while the Plantagenets claimed the thrones of both France and England.

The conflict lasted 116 years but was punctuated by several periods of peace, before it finally ended in the expulsion of the Plantagenets from France.


Background The background to the conflict is to be found in 1066, when William, Duke of Normandy, led an invasion of England.  He defeated the English King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings, and had himself crowned King of England.  As Duke of Normandy, he remained a vassal of the French King and it was considered humiliating. 


War’s phases

It is commonly divided into four phases: 

the Edwardian War (1337–1360)

the Caroline War (1369–1389)

the Lancastrian War (1415–1429)

the slow decline of Plantagenet fortunes after the appearance of Joan of Arc (1412–1431) 


European conflicts directly related:    

the Breton War of Succession the Castilian Civil War the War of the Two Peters the 1383-1385 Crisis


Major battles 

Battle of Sluys (1340): Edward III destroys the

Franco-Genoese fleet of Philip VI of France off the coast of Flanders ensuring England will not be invaded and that the majority of the war will be fought in France. 

Battle of Crécy (1346): English longbowmen

soundly defeat French cavalry near the river Somme in Picardy. 

Siege of Calais (1346/47): Calais falls under English control.


Battle of Poitiers (1356): Edward the Black

Prince captures King John II of France, France plunged into chaos. 

Battle of Agincourt (1415): English longbowmen under Henry V defeat the French under Charles d'Albret. Captured French nobles.

Siege of Orléans (1428): English forces

commanded by the Earl of Salisbury, the Earl of Suffolk, and Talbot (Earl of Shrewsbury) lay siege to Orleans, and are forced to withdraw after a relief army accompanied by Joan of Arc arrives at the city. 

Battle of Castillon (1453): Jean Bureau defeats

Talbot to end the Hundred Years' War. This was also the first battle in European history where the use of cannon was a major factor in determining the outcome


Hundred Year’s War Map


Historial significance 

dynastic conflict

ideas of both French and English nationalism

introduction of new weapons and tactics

For all this, as well as for its long duration, it is often viewed as one of the most significant conflicts in the history of medieval warfare


Consequences ď Ž

The war accelerated the process of transforming France from a feudal monarchy to a centralised state.

ď Ž

On France, farmlands were laid waste, the population was decimated by war, famine, and the Black Death, and marauders terrorized the countryside.

ď Ž

England ceased to be a continental power and increasingly sought expansion as a naval power.


The Hundred Years' War