Unraveling the Hundred Years’ War Causes, Key Battles, and Outcomes

The Hundred Years’ War was a protracted conflict between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France, along with their respective allies, that spanned over a century, from 1337 to 1453. It was a complex and multifaceted war marked by numerous causes, key battles, and significant outcomes. Here is an overview of the Hundred Years’ War:


  1. Dynastic Disputes: The war was ignited by competing claims to the French throne. The English monarchs, beginning with Edward III, laid claim to the French crown through their connection to the French royal family.
  2. Feudal and Territorial Disputes: The war also involved disputes over feudal rights, including the control of territories in France that were held by English kings as vassals of the French crown.
  3. Economic and Trade Rivalries: Economic tensions existed between the two kingdoms, as both sought to control lucrative trade routes and markets.
  4. Nationalism: The war fostered a sense of nationalism in both England and France, contributing to a desire for territorial and political sovereignty.

Key Battles and Campaigns:

  1. Battle of Crécy (1346): This battle saw the English, led by Edward III, achieve a significant victory over the French. The English longbow played a crucial role in their success.
  2. Battle of Poitiers (1356): Edward, the Black Prince, scored another major English victory, capturing King John II of France. The Treaty of Bretigny (1360) followed, granting extensive territories to England.
  3. The Jacquerie (1358): A peasant revolt in France, known as the Jacquerie, erupted in response to the harsh conditions brought about by the war.
  4. The Siege of Orléans (1428-1429): This prolonged siege marked a turning point in the war. Joan of Arc emerged as a key figure in leading the French to victory and helping to raise the siege.
  5. Battle of Castillon (1453): This battle marked the final engagement of the Hundred Years’ War, resulting in a French victory and the end of English territorial ambitions in France.


  1. Treaty of Troyes (1420): This treaty temporarily ended the war and recognized Henry V of England as the heir to the French throne. It was ratified by the French king, Charles VI.
  2. Joan of Arc and French Resurgence: Joan of Arc’s efforts rallied the French and contributed to their resurgence in the latter stages of the war.
  3. English Retreat: After the death of Henry V and Joan of Arc’s victories, the English position weakened, leading to a gradual retreat from French territories.
  4. End of the War: The Hundred Years’ War officially ended with the French victory at the Battle of Castillon in 1453. By then, the English only held the town of Calais in France.
  5. Legacy: The war had profound effects on both England and France. It strengthened national identities, contributed to the decline of feudalism, and marked the end of the medieval era. It also left a lasting legacy of political and territorial tensions between the two nations.

The Hundred Years’ War was a pivotal chapter in European history, characterized by shifting fortunes and significant developments in warfare. Its enduring impact can still be seen in the historical and cultural legacy of both England and France.

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