The Hundred Years` War

Chapter 12
The Hundred Years’ War &
Decline of the Church
 Hundred Years War
 England & France forged their identities
 Fought intermittently between 1337 & 1453
 Began as a feudal war – developed two powerful &
territorially integrated states
 Challenges to the Catholic Church
Kings sought greater influence over the clergy
 Theologians rejected many of the church’s positions
 Legitimacy of its power
 Damaged prestige
 The Babylonian Captivity
 The Great Schism
 Social Change
Growing cities
Tightening membership in Guilds
Stratification of gender roles
Peasant and urban revolts
Sexual issues became public concern
1337 – 1453
England and France
fought over English
feudal claims to the
French throne
116 years of
intermittent war
England won every
important battle
Except the last one
Inherited in the 12thC by England (Capetian dynasty)
Capetian dynasty died out in 1328
 French nobles did not want England’s king Edward III to
exercise his royal claim in France.
 French nobles seeking to weaken French monarchy supported
 Econ competition over the rich Flemish wool-producing
 Flemish aristocracy supported France
 Merchant class suported England
The war presented many opportunities for honor,
advancement, and wealth for nobles
• Importance
• Nationalism grows
• Both countries sesationalized the evils of the other
• Fostered mutual hatred
• Military
• Ended medieval tactics and chivalric rules of war
• England won most of the battles
• Used artillery for the 1st time & the longbow,
• Which unhorsed knights in armor, superior to the crossbow
• The cannon meant stone castles were obsolete
• France won the war
• Joan of Arc – spurred nationalistic fervor
• Joan of Arc
• Peasant girl
• 16 years old
• Heard voices urging her to help the dauphin (uncrowned king)
• Convinced king to allow her to accompany an army to the siege of
• Her leadership inspired the soldiers
• 10 days later England withdrew
• 10 days after that Charles was crowned
• Joan was captured by Burgundians
• Sold her to England
• Tried and executed for witchcraft and heresy
• Cut her hair
• Wore men’s clothes
• Claimed to hear directly from God
• Became one of two patron saints of France
• Consequences
• Death Toll was huge in contrast to medieval wars
• Economies in France where the battles were fought, were devastated.
• England’s economy suffered due to the stunning costs of the war
• Plunder soldiers brought back added to their coffers
• Gov raised taxes on wool – making it harder to sell aboard, thus
hurting the econ
• Parliament grew - Constitutional Monarchy advanced
• Edward III called Parliament into session 37 our of the 50 years of his
reign to ask for finances for the war.
• Commons separated from the Lords
• Commons – knights and wealthy burgers
• Right to approve non-feudal levies – financial power
• England only had one Parliament – other countries had dominate
regional/provincial assemblies
• Seeds of change – Parliament
• Limited monarchy (nearly 800 years)
• Origin
• The Magna Carta
The barons of England forced King John to sign – 1215
Estab. Limitations on royal power
Restricted judicial powers of the king
Protected the barons, clergy and burghers (wealthy townsmen)
from arbitrary arrest or cruel punishment
• Granted trial by jury
• Required the “common consent of the realm” for new taxes
• During the 100 Years’ War
• The king needed the common consent to acquire more
(and more) funds for the war
• Parliament became more powerful
• A feudal origin the Magna Carta guaranteed right to the ruling
elites, that were extended over the centuries to all royal
• Catholic Church
• Inadequate and
conflicted leadership
• Putting it under the
domination of powerful
• Demand from within to
restructure from a
papal hierarchy to
councils made up from
the clergy
• The growth of lay piety
• Mysticism
• The Babylonian Captivity 1309 – 1376
• The popes resided in Avignon
• Under the domination of the French king (not in Rome)
• Focused on internal administrative reforms
• Return to Rome (after nearly 70 years)
• Dispute over who should be pope
• Fueled by nationalism
• Two popes were elected
• Urban VI – Italian
• Clement VII – cousin of the king of France
• States supported according to their political interests
• The Great Schism
• Effort to reform the monarchical organization of the church by sharing
power with church councils representative of all Christians
• Defensor Pacis of 1324 - Marsiglio of Padua
• Intellectual underpinnings of the conciliar movement
• Argued that the church must be subordinate to the state
• The church had no right to own property
• Led to his excommunication
• John Wyclif (later his ideas were used by Martin Luther)
• The only source of Christian doctrine & practice – the Scriptures
• Scriptures should be read in the vernacular by the laity
• Common religious practices were illegitimate
Veneration of saints and pilgrimages
Simony (buying/selling of church offices)
Pluralism (holding several offices at the same time)
Absenteeism (holding an office, but living in another place)
Property ownership
• AP Tip
• Pilgrimages and veneration of saints were also an
important part of the urban economy
• Pilgrimages fostered trade and the founding of
towns along their routes
• Lollards
• Wyclif’s supporters
• Used his ideas to justify peasant revolts -1381
• Same time as 1st Eng. Translation of the Bible
• Women
• Lollard’s supported women preachers
• Significant impact – 15thC
• Bohemia
• Czech priest John Hus
• Preached in native language – not Latin
• Not a radical – but
• Argued for Scripture to be accepted
• Denounced abuses of the church
• Communion for clergy and laity
• Czech nobles used ideas to push independence from Habsburg
(Gr overlords)
• Council of Constance 1415 – tried and executed for heresy
• Hussite Wars – Nobles/people rebelled against Habsburgs
• Council called an end to the Great Schism
• Martin V – pope
• Councils lose power – papacy wins power
AP tip!
• Religion & Politics
• Wyclif & Hus reveal the degree to which religious reform was
tied to politics
• Seeds of Change
• Martin Luther would use their ideas a century later
• Martin Luther was able to bring about reform they could
not (Wyclif and Hus opposition too powerful – supports
too weak)
• Lay Piety gain prominence
• Disorder & disunity
• disputes among various orders
• particularly Franciscans & Dominicans
• Disappointing performance of some priests
• Absence of priests
• The Black Death took many priests

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