The Impact of the Hundred Years War on England and France

Categories: Joan Of ArcWar

The Hundred Years War stands as a pivotal chapter in history, marked by its prolonged and harrowing nature. Stretching across a century, this conflict wrought profound changes in the social and economic landscapes of involved nations. The toll it took, not only in lives lost but also in the shadow of the Black Death, reverberated through English and French societies, leaving an indelible mark on their destinies.

Joan of Arc's Divine Intervention

A remarkable figure emerges from the chaos of war—Joan of Arc, a French peasant girl whose divine guidance played a crucial role in turning the tides in favor of the French.

Claiming to receive instructions from God, she asserted that King Charles VII must be crowned and that French soldiers needed to refrain from immoral conduct to secure victory. In documents six and seven, Joan's letters to the king reveal her commanding tone, urging the English monarch to return what was taken from the French people.

Document six emphasizes her divine mission, stating, "She is sent by God to reclaim the royal blood, and is fully prepared to make peace, if you will give her satisfaction.

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" In document seven, a stern warning is issued to the King of England: "If you do not do these things, I am the commander of the military and in whatever place I shall find your men in France, I will make them flee the country." Joan's threats, backed by her perceived connection to the divine, illustrate her determination to reclaim French territories.

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The Toll on France: Invasion and Desolation

Contrary to the notion of substantial gains, France suffered considerably during the war. Documents 1, 3, and 5 detail the English intrusion and its devastating impact. Document 3 vividly describes the marauding English forces, "assembled without captain or armor," committing atrocities against the French populace, robbing, burning, and killing indiscriminately.

Documents 1 and 5 further highlight the ruthlessness of the English, sparing no one, including farmers. The wanton destruction led to a scarcity of agriculture in France, with vast tracts of land left uncultivated. The surviving agriculture was restricted to areas near cities and urban centers to protect crops from theft. Despite the eventual recovery of territories, the scars of war lingered, and the town of Calais remained under English control.

The Aftermath and Reflections

The conclusion of this tragic century-long war brought about lasting consequences for both England and France. The enduring impact extended beyond the physical and territorial losses, as the memory of the conflict faded into the background. At times, it seemed as though the reasons behind the war were forgotten amid the suffering it caused.

Rooted in the dispute over Aquitaine, the war's origin points to a failure in diplomatic resolution between England and France. A decision on the rightful owner of Aquitaine might have altered the course of events, sparing countless innocent lives from a horrific fate. As the war concluded, France regained much of its lost territory, reclaiming Normandy and expelling the English from Aquitaine, though Calais remained an enduring reminder of the conflict.

In reflection, the Hundred Years War serves as a somber reminder of the devastating consequences that arise from prolonged conflicts. The war's impact on society, economy, and the psyche of both nations underscore the importance of diplomatic solutions and the human cost of unresolved disputes. While the war eventually ended, its echoes continued to reverberate through the collective memory of England and France, shaping their histories in ways that would endure for generations to come.

Updated: Dec 29, 2023
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The Impact of the Hundred Years War on England and France. (2016, May 21). Retrieved from

The Impact of the Hundred Years War on England and France essay
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