EUROPEAN MONARCHIES AT WAR
Some kings gave chartes of privilege to the bourgeoisie, freeing them from the control of the feudal lords. Bourgeoisie also was given the monopoly on business and licences to open markets.
In exchange for these privileges, the kings received money from the bourgeoisie to pay for their armies and support in their conflicts with the nobles. The determination of some monarchies to consolidate their power and establish clear borders between kingdoms led to serious conflicts such as the Hundred Years´ War (1337-1453) between England and France.
THE HUNDRED YEARS´ WAR
How did it start?
Border disputes between France and England had taken place for years. However, King Edward III of England declared he was the legitimate king of France.d been going on between the French and the English for years. This self proclamation started the confrontation between both countries although the rivalries extended to other countries. The control over the wool trade, problems with borders and the French support to Scotland made the conflict longer.
Edward III considered he was the rightful heir to the French crown through his mother Isabella. His first claim to the throne took place when King Charles IV of France died without a male heir. However, the Frech preferred Philip to be their king ruling as Philip VI of France. Philip VI conquered Aquitaine to the English in 1337 so king Edward III invaded France claiming his right to the French throne. However, he decided to make raids by burning crops and sacking cities to cause devastation and destruction.
THE BLACK PRINCE
From 1350s, the English army was led by king Edward´s son, the valiant Edward the «Black Prince». The Black Prince with his chivalry had major victories over the French. At the battle of Poitiers, the Black Prince captured King John II, the King of France.
King John II was realeased after paying a ransom of three million crowns and some additional land to king Edward III. Once King Edward died, his grandson Richard II became king. Richard II was 10 years old. so there was a period of peace between both countries.
BATTLE OF ANGINCOURT
King Henry V of England claimed his rights to the French throne again. He invaded France and defeated the French army at the battle of Agincurt. This victory led to the proposal of King Henry VI becoming king Charles VI heir.
JOAN OF ARC END OF THE WAR
The French from the southern France disliked the English rule. So the English invaded France in 1428 besieging Orleans. Then a young peasant, Joan of Arc, led the French army after having a vision from God. She led the French to a victory at Orleans in 1429 and other places. She was captured by the English, accused of heresy and burnt at the stake.
END OF THE WAR
At the end, the French reconquered Bordeaux in 1453 and the English were sent out of France. This was the end of the Hundred Years War.
THE AGRICULTURAL CRISIS AND REVOLTS IN CITIES AND THE COUNTRYSIDE
At the beginning of the 14th century there was an agricultural crisis caused by a series of bad harvests over years and by cultivating poor quality land. This caused periods of hunger which combined with long wars caused high mortality rates. In the middle of the 14th century, the plague broke out in Europe causing many deaths. Social tensions increased due to the rising prices.
As the crisis spread across Europe, revolts broke out in cities and in the countryside. These revolts were surpressed by the nobility, the bourgeoisie and the kings.