Centennial war began in 1337, but before that, France and Britain had accumulated many years of gratitude and resentment. In the 12th century, the French believed that the canary and the French king could not effectively expand their territory in the middle of the 12th century.

in 1340, the British fleet defeated the French Navy at the battle of sluys. The Centennial war began.

this article is extracted from World History: Renaissance to the 16th century, published by new world press in September 2014.

the hundred years’ war has complex causes, including political, economic, social, international relations and other factors among countries. Although it is generally believed that the Centennial war began in 1337, France and Britain had accumulated resentment for many years before that. Britain’s Plantagenet Dynasty owned a large amount of land and property in France as early as the 12th century. Since the Plantagenet family owned land in France, they considered themselves princes of the French king, but the French king did not trust their British cousins. On the contrary, they believe that the existence of the British prevents them from acquiring the land occupied by the British, and then from territorial expansion and effective centralized rule.

in the late Middle Ages, the right of eldest son inheritance meant everything. The death of Philip the fair in 1314 triggered a serious crisis. According to the rules of succession to the throne, the throne should be inherited by Philip’s three sons. Later, Philip’s three sons died without any male offspring. So far, in 1328, the male offspring of the French Capet Dynasty, which began in 987, were extinct. It is reasonable to say that the crown of the king of France should fall on Philip’s grandson, because his mother is Isabella, Philip’s daughter; Unfortunately, however, the grandson happened to be King Edward III. The French nobles unanimously opposed the granting of the crown of the French king to the king of England. Therefore, they specially elected Philip’s nephew and the leader of the Valois Dynasty as the new French king. In 1328, Philip’s nephew was crowned as Philip VI. Edward reluctantly accepted the result.

after the battle of Cressy, Edward III was counting the number of people killed in the war.




politics make the problem of dynasty succession more complicated. Philip decided to continue the Royal expansion policy and continue to strengthen centralization. The special feature of this centralization was that Philip wanted to expand the area controlled by the monarchy to Aquitaine, which was Edward’s main territory in France. As Duke of Aquitain and Prince of Philip VI, Edward enjoyed the independent status of holding duchy and not subject to the French king. Philip and Edward did not consider compromising with each other. In fact, as real medieval knights, they both had the idea of fighting a knight war. In 1337, Philip asked Edward to recover Aquitaine territory, which triggered the Anglo French war that lasted for more than a century. Edward flatly refused Philip’s territorial claim and launched an aggressive offensive against Philip. In 1340, Edward declared that he was the real king of France in view of his blood relationship with the beautiful man Philip. Over the next 400 years, as long as it was a public ceremonial occasion, the British royal family would repeatedly reiterate Edward’s statement.

in addition, there are a series of other reasons for the origin of the war. First of all, France has been providing assistance to Scotland for many years. For this reason, the Scots have always been unwilling to submit to Britain and often cross the border sneak attacks, which gives the British a headache. But perhaps more importantly, economic problems are the culprit of the bad relationship between the two countries. Britain’s economic lifeline and the normal operation of the royal treasury depend largely on the wool trade. Flanders was a wool trading center in the late Middle Ages. The British who produce wool sell wool here, and most of the goods made of this wool (wool) return to England in the same way. As both exporters of wool raw materials and importers of wool woolen products have to pay taxes to the king of England, Flemish wool manufacturers and dealers are naturally willing to support British interests. However, the Earl of Flanders was a French monarch, and the Flanders nobles also recognized themselves as the king of France. For them, the French princes naturally want to enjoy the wealth of Flanders alone, but also can kill two birds with one stone to harm the economic interests of their old rival, the British.

in 1346, at the battle of Crecy, the British defeated the French mountain noble knights by relying on the cavalry volunteers with long bows.

the first battle of the Centennial war broke out in 1340. In this battle, the British fleet defeated the French navy in sluys, gained the sea power of the English channel, and opened the sea passage for Britain to attack France. Six years later, at the battle of Cr é cy, the British defeated the French mountain noble knights by relying on cavalry volunteers with long bows. In 1347, the British captured Calais, an important port city in France. In 1356, in the battle of Poitiers, the British army defeated the French king’s coalition again. All the Knights of the French king were annihilated, and the French King John II and his sons, together with many family ministers, were captured to Britain, and they had to pay a fine to be redeemed. So far, the first stage of the Centennial war ended with the signing of the Treaty of BR é tigny in 1360. Under the treaty, Edward acquired Aquitaine, Calais and some other territories. In addition, the French king had to pay a compensation of 3 million gold coins. As a condition, Edward gave up his claim to the French throne.

at the beginning of the war, people could not believe that the combat effectiveness of the French was so weak. At that time, France’s population was three to four times that of Britain, and France’s financial resources were much stronger than Britain’s. In addition, the war is going on in France, and the French should be more familiar with the environment. However, France faced countless obstacles to its victory. Relying on the backward chivalry wrongly led to the tragedies of the battles of cressis and Poitiers. In addition, the disastrous defeat of the French army was also related to the poor ability of French kings Philip VI and John IIRelated to insufficient level. The cost of the war was very large. The French royal family lacked stable and institutional means to raise funds to deal with the cost of the war. As a result, the military expenditure was insufficient, which restricted the development of French military operations. In addition, the power of French princes is not centralized, and their power is scattered among various interest groups, including aristocratic groups. The relationship between the king and the nobility was always tense. During the war, many nobility took the opportunity to expand their power, but weakened the overall strength of the country. The small but important middle class – businessmen and craftsmen – also took the opportunity of war to oppose the monarchy and demand reforms in their favor. In any case, the farmers who are always dissatisfied with the situation are now added with an additional burden: paying for the war, so they set off a rebel movement. The jacqueries uprising or various peasant uprisings swept through France. Finally, the first few years of the Centennial war suffered from the black death. From 1348 to 1349, the terrible Black Death took the lead in attacking the European continent, including France. A considerable proportion of the population died, business was interrupted, there was a serious shortage of labor, and many fertile land was abandoned. After the defeat of the battle of Poitiers, the scattered soldiers wandering around the Poitiers area aggravated the influence of the black death on them, resulting in the loss of the prestige of the French king.

although the British King won the war, the war still brought many difficulties to the British king. The first problem facing Edward and his successors was how to raise enough money to meet the war expenses. Solving this problem not only depends on new methods, but also has a meaningful impact on future development. Since then, the British royal family gradually handed over the tax right to Parliament. Parliament was originally an institution of the nature of a National Congress. At this time, it has developed into a regular meeting on behalf of businessmen, small nobles and large capitalist interest groups.