Important Moments & People
– Hundred Years War (Joan of Arc too)
– The Black Death
– Renaissance in Italy
– Humanism
– Renaissance Art
– Machiavelli

– Kings of (Capetian) France & (Norman) England build strong traditional relationships stressing loyalty with the lesser toward the higher
– English King Edward III is the grandson of the French King, Philip the Fair
– Edward III claims the French throne when Charles IV (son of Philip) dies without a male heir
– French Barons do not want Edward (15 years old at the time)
– Choose Philip VI of Valois (a first cousin of Charles IV)
– Edward is a vassal of Philip, who holds several French territories as fiefs
– Flanders is a French fief, but heavily influenced by English commerce and trade
– Prejudice

Flanders had grown to be the industrial center of northern Europe and had become extremely wealthy through its cloth manufacture. It could not produce enough wool to satisfy its market and imported fine fleece from England. England depended upon this trade for its foreign exchange. During the 1200’s, the upper class English had adopted Norman fashions and switched from beer to wine.
(Note that beer and wine were very important elements in the medieval diet. Both contain vitamin and yeast complexes that the medieval diet, especially during the winter, did not provide. Besides, the preservation of food was a difficult matter in that era, and the alcohol in beer and wine represented a large number of calories stored in an inexpensive and effective fashion. People did get drunk during the Middle Ages, but most could not afford to do so. Beer and wine were valued as food sources and were priced accordingly
The problem was that England could not grow grapes to produce the wine that many of the English now favored and had to import it. A triangular trade arose in which English fleece was exchanged for Flemish cloth, which was then taken to southern France and exchanged for wine, which was then shipped into England and Ireland, primarily through the ports of Dublin, Bristol, and London.
But the counts of Flanders had been vassals of the king of France, and the French tried to regain control of the region in order to control its wealth. The English could not permit this, since it would mean that the French monarch would control their main source of foreign exchange. A civil war soon broke out in Flanders, with the English supporting the manufacturing middle class and the French supporting the land-owning nobility.

Details of the War
– France had 3 times the poplulation – more money & fought on its own soil
– Unitl 1415 the English won most victories (see maps on 427)
– France troubled by internal struggles – still not quite centralized in its rule
– France had incompetant leadership, English had superior leaders and discipline
– English long bow – 5 arrows a minute

Stages of the War
– English victories as a result of an embargo of wool – urban rebellions (guilds & merchants), Flemmish cities sided with England, acknowledging Edward as King of France
– Black Death caused truce in 1347 to 1356
– 1356 England won a great battle at  Poitiers – French political power collapsed
– French Barons & Noblemen took control of France and established a Magna Carta like agreement, but remained divided among themselves – could not gain control effectively
– French privileged classes forced peasants to pay taxes & repair, for free, the damaged properties of the noblemen – rebellion ensued (called Jack)
– 1360 – Edward renounced his claim to the thrown in return for sovereignty over his lands in France
– After Edward’s death (1377), Richard II – England had its own rebellions – under John Ball (secular priest) & Wat Tyler (journeyman)  — it divided England for decades

Related posts

Leave a Comment