Essay Sample on 100 Years' War: Dynastic Quarrel between France & England

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  891 Words
Date:  2022-12-28


"Hundred Years' War" took place between the 14th to 15th centuries. The confrontation was between France and England. The two nations had intermittent struggles, owing to a series of disputes between them. Majorly, the war sparked off when a dynastic quarrel ensued when William of Normandy conquered England, creating a state that spread to either side of the English Channel (Rogers 56). And in the 14th century, the kings of England took control over the Guinean territory in France and refused to pay reverence to the French kings for fear of a possible increased control by France.

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Precisely, the war began when Philip VI of France did not fulfill his pledge to England. The consequence was dissatisfaction of Edward III, who felt that Philip IV had betrayed his promise to restore a section Guienne that had been colonized by Charles IV (Carley 12). Edward III's goal was to regain control over Flanders, an English wool and cloth market. He also wanted to disrupt the support Philip gave Scotland against England.

During the war, the two fronts were commanded by various leaders in different eras. For instance, England was under Henry V from 1413 (when he rose to the throne), to 1422 (when he died). Just about the time when Henry V rose to power, a French lady called Joan of Arc was born (in 1412). She would later lead the French in battles against their rivals, from 1428 (Carley 23). Despite leading conflicting nations at different times, Joan stood out more than her opponent, Henry. Whereas Joan of Arc descends from no dynasty, Henry V's grandfather, King Edward III, was once a great king of England. Therefore, Henry V must have acquired his leadership qualities from his family lineage. Later, he used the attained leadership qualities to lead England against the French. Joan of the Arc, on the other hand, had no family member in leadership. However, she managed to solely depend on her claimed divine powers to lead a French troop against an Anglo-Burgundian army in 1429.

Stereotypically, males perform better in battlegrounds than their female counterparts. The success in males is expected to be even better when a troop has a male commander. Despite being a lady, Joan of Arc led a contingent of male French soldiers to Orleans and successfully took control of fortifications of England (Warner 14). Joan was not only a commander of the army; she was at the front line of the military. The war wounded her, and she sometimes had to stay away from the battleground as she waited to heal. That points to Joan of the Arc's strong spirit and courage, in relation to male-led armies.

For several months she was in captive after being captured in battlegrounds, Joan of Arc was subjected to various mistreatments and torture, but she never gave in to the threats. She had fallen off her horse as she, together with her troop, tried to defend Compiegne against Burgundian invasion (Warner 34). Burgundia was just one of the many towns she had managed to repossess from her rivals. When she was in captivity, she was under the watch of prison wardens, rather than church nuns watching over her. Ideally, this was meant to inflict in mental torture so that she could have an urge to set herself free by complying with the conditions of her opponents. It was until after a year in captivity that she relented and signed a confession denying being under divine guidance. Clearly, Joan of Arc was quite a tolerant leader, unlike most male equals.

Joan of the Arc was also wittier than her opponents. When she was under captivity, she was tried on several instances for as many as seventy counts. Among the charges against her were witchcraft and dressing like a man. Initially, she was tried in public. But when she bettered her accusers, her trials proceeded in private for fear of further embarrassment. In 1431, when she faced a dozen charges in a tribunal, she did not lose her humility and innocent appearance (Warner 23). The tribunal did not manage to find her guilty of the initial charges facing her. She even survived rape threats by tightly tying together her soldiers' clothes using strings. Eventually, they charged and found her of donning male dress code, of which she faced a death sentence. Unlike other females and male colleagues who would have given up their persistence while in captivity, Joan of Arc showed determination and focus in fulfilling her goals of deliberating French from the hands of intruders.


Indeed, Joan of Arc is the ultimate victor in the "Hundred Years' War." She endured suffering in the hands of male leaders, but never gave up her fight. Also, she was the first and the only female who took part in such wars during the time, challenging the gender on the battlefield. If she had not been killed, publicly in the market, she would have led France to win several battles against their rivals. Therefore, one would instead join the camp of Joan of Arc, rather than Henry V's.

Works Cited

Carley, James P., ed. The Libraries of King Henry VIII. Vol. 7. London: British Library, 2000.

Rogers, Clifford J. "The Military Revolutions of the Hundred Years War 1." The Military Revolution Debate. Routledge, 2018. 55-94.

Warner, Marina. Joan of Arc: The image of female heroism. Oxford University Press, USA, 2013.

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