The Hundred Years' War

The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts between England and which other kingdom?

And the answer: France.    

Despite its name, the Hundred Years' War actually lasted for 116 years throughout the 14th and 15th centuries. It began with disputed claims to the French throne, but eventually expanded across Western Europe, leaving a long impact on European history.

Photo credit: © Everett Historical/ 

In 1337, Edward III was up to no good. The English king captured French lands and, upon declaring himself rightful heir to the throne, consequently incited a war that outlived generations. In 1340, the first of sixty major battles took place between the neighboring kingdoms: the Battle of Sluys. This conflict marked the first British win of the war, in a startling upset to the dominant and organized powers of France.

Theoretically, the French kings possessed the financial and military resources of the most populous and powerful state in western Europe, therefore holding the advantage over the smaller, more sparsely populated English kingdom. However, the English army was extremely disciplined (not to mention well-trained at long-bow) and held fast against the French cavalry. Ultimately, the English military proved repeatedly victorious over much larger French forces.

Some hundred years later, though, it was the young and unsuspecting Joan of Arc who brought the warring countries to peace. After her expedition (which ultimately saved France), Philip the Good, the Duke of Burgundy, opened negotiations in 1432 with the French king Charles VII. Years later, the Treaty of Arras terminated the civil war – an act which began a series of deescalation treaties that marked the end of the war.

Learn more about the Hundred Years' War below.

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