100 years war poll

who would you side with France or England and why


  • Total voters
    29
Jan 2014
2,514
Westmorland
#41
As an aside, I've been taken to task by another of members for framing the Hundred Years War as being fought by the "English," against the "French." He said there was no England or France back then and that was a terribly unsuitable way to describe the conflict. It was better he said, to say the war was fought between the house of Valois and the house of Plantagenet. Imo, that, too is an oversimplification. Ergo, imo, some generalization is helpful in matters like this and "England vs France," is an acceptable way to frame the war. Thoughts?
Whoever told you there was no England or France back then is wrong. Both countries existed as nation states, even though their territorial reach was not the same as it is now.

That said, characterising the Hundred Years' war as a dynastic struggle between two rival houses seems right to me. Although we are conditioned to think of 'England' and 'France' as we understand those terms today, it really wasn't the same back then. With the exceptions of John and (I think) Stephen, who were probably the two most hated kings of medieval England, the kings of England up to the end of the War generally spent far more time in France than they did in England. They spoke French and operated in a world in which France was the prize. Anyone who has ever been to the Perigord region of France can see the evidence in the enormous castles and the fortified bastide towns that face each other across rivers such as the Dordogne.

This doesn't mean (as one poster suggested) that had 'England' won, England would later have had to fight a war of independence agaist France. Such a hypothesis assumes that what we have now in terms of two neighbouring nation states was inevitably going to be the end result. That is a totally unwarranted conclusion. Had 'England' won and had the centre of power remained in France, we might (or might not) now be living in something like the Grand Nord region of France comprising the existing French departments in and around Picardy and the Pas De Calais together with departments with names like Trans-Manche, Severn et Trente, Vielle Bretagne, Bas-Angleterre and Haut-Angleterre. In keeping with historical precedent, it may well be that the inhabitants of Trans-Manche and Bas-Angleterre (being the lowland regions of England) had much more in common with their cousins across the Channel than those of us living in the northern uplands of Haut-Angleterre (aka la Pays de Pluie). English speech - or the hybridised pidgin of English and French known as le Langue Du Nord - may only have been spoken in this area, with multilingual road signs and our own flag showing two whippets rampant being pretty much the expression of our independence from Paris, which we'd undoubtedly despise as much as we currently despise London!
 
Feb 2019
599
Serbia
#42
Okay. When was France a country?
Depends on how you look at it. The history of the Franks as a unified state is considered to begin with Clovis and his baptism, thus Clovis can be considered the first ''King of a united Francia''. Phillipe Augustus is the first king to actually use the title ''King of France'' instead of ''King of the Franks.'' Capetians can also be considered as the first rulers of a state of France. A concept of a Westphalian nation state doesn't get properly defined until 1648, so you can argue that no one was a country before then.
 
Feb 2019
599
Serbia
#43
I voted for France. While I see England as the more ''romantic'' of the sides in the war I also see them as the aggressors. I think that France had the right to its own succession and that it had the right to do what it wanted with Aquitaine,Angevin etc. barons, those territories were their fiefs after all.
 
Sep 2018
22
Salonica
#44
We
Depends on how you look at it. The history of the Franks as a unified state is considered to begin with Clovis and his baptism, thus Clovis can be considered the first ''King of a united Francia''. Phillipe Augustus is the first king to actually use the title ''King of France'' instead of ''King of the Franks.'' Capetians can also be considered as the first rulers of a state of France. A concept of a Westphalian nation state doesn't get properly defined until 1648, so you can argue that no one was a country before then.
Well france was quite complicated and it seems the in the 14th century there was not a lot of national spirit for the french side.During the 100 years war lot of french lords deserted to the English side.In the contrary the same did not happen on England the English were known to be xenophobic and had acquired a national unity from the scottish wars.So except of some examples of patriotism like that of ringois of abbevile who when brought to big cliff in england where he was imprisoned and asked to desert the french or die he jumped off the cliff and died.We dont talk about national feeling in france bu rather dynastic if that makes sense.for example if the king was prestigious wise and pious more would commit to his cause.
 
Likes: Menshevik

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,240
here
#45
Whoever told you there was no England or France back then is wrong. Both countries existed as nation states, even though their territorial reach was not the same as it is now.

That said, characterising the Hundred Years' war as a dynastic struggle between two rival houses seems right to me. Although we are conditioned to think of 'England' and 'France' as we understand those terms today, it really wasn't the same back then. With the exceptions of John and (I think) Stephen, who were probably the two most hated kings of medieval England, the kings of England up to the end of the War generally spent far more time in France than they did in England. They spoke French and operated in a world in which France was the prize. Anyone who has ever been to the Perigord region of France can see the evidence in the enormous castles and the fortified bastide towns that face each other across rivers such as the Dordogne.

This doesn't mean (as one poster suggested) that had 'England' won, England would later have had to fight a war of independence agaist France. Such a hypothesis assumes that what we have now in terms of two neighbouring nation states was inevitably going to be the end result. That is a totally unwarranted conclusion. Had 'England' won and had the centre of power remained in France, we might (or might not) now be living in something like the Grand Nord region of France comprising the existing French departments in and around Picardy and the Pas De Calais together with departments with names like Trans-Manche, Severn et Trente, Vielle Bretagne, Bas-Angleterre and Haut-Angleterre. In keeping with historical precedent, it may well be that the inhabitants of Trans-Manche and Bas-Angleterre (being the lowland regions of England) had much more in common with their cousins across the Channel than those of us living in the northern uplands of Haut-Angleterre (aka la Pays de Pluie). English speech - or the hybridised pidgin of English and French known as le Langue Du Nord - may only have been spoken in this area, with multilingual road signs and our own flag showing two whippets rampant being pretty much the expression of our independence from Paris, which we'd undoubtedly despise as much as we currently despise London!
Thanks, Peter. If you or anyone else is interested in the finer details of that specific discussion, it's here: Germany's Military Reputation:

See posts #48-56
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,240
here
#46
Look at the later stages of the warfare, and the tables were completely turned, with the French victorious and the English getting lost in the hubristic mythology of themselves.

In English everyone only looks at these things through a lens of the battles of Crezy and Agincourt. Switch to French and you can do it through the battles of Patay and Castillon.

Why is it implicit that Crecy and Agincourt form a sound basis for assumed essential national characteristics for the French and English? But Patay and Castillon does not? I mean, I really would recommend against doing it like that either war (not a fan of that kind of "moral theory of history"), but on the face of it there is nothing more "essential" about the English kings' victories early in the war than there is about the French late in the war.

Except maybe how it's how it ends that really matters, and then the French won the battles and the war.
Good points.

Personally, I don't factor in those two later battles because I was unaware and/or ignorant of their existence. I will have to study them to have a more accurate and fair assessment of the conflict and the various sides involved.

As to why others simply choose to frame the conflict as culminating at Agincourt with an English victory, I don't know, for certain. But it does seem like that is quite a prevalent take on the 100 Years War. Maybe it's ignorance? Maybe here in the US and the English speaking world, we're at the mercy of English historians who have a bias? Just speculation.
 
Jan 2019
9
Northumberland-England
#47
Well, I'm English and an archer (in my spare time) so you can guess my vote.

There were many unpleasant episodes during the war, mainly perpetrated by the English in the early days, but the English Crown did have a legal right to Aquitaine passed down from Henry the second's wife Eleanor. And, after King Jean and Edwards 111's Treaty after Poitiers, a whole lot more. Pity the French reneged on it as it gave the English Crown just about everything it wanted.

I think it's a pretty fair summation to say that France didn't win the war, but rather that the English lost it. Henry V1 was a pretty useless King, having inherited his French grandfathers madness. Although he didn't think he was made of glass (no sources on that one), he was certainly made of low grade putty.

Even after Henry V's death in 1422, the English had many notable successes, including Verneuil in 1424 where they comprehensively destroyed the French army as well as wiping out a large Scottish force which put an end to any further Scottish involvement in the HYW. During the following three decades the English basically lost interest. Funding became difficult, the King just wasn't interested in war, he just wanted peace at any price seemingly. And the French developed their field artillery which resulted in the disaster at Castillon (from an English perspective). The situation could still have been saved, but already the seeds had been sewn for an equally disastrous episode of English history, the Wars of the Roses. Still, when you factor in the population of England at the time was around 3 million compared to 16 million French, they did reasonably well if you ignore the costs, suffering, death and the legacy of distrust that still endures between the two countries today.
 
Likes: Menshevik

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,387
#48
Sure, the English didn't lose any war. They just "lost interest".

You are aware that English historiography is notorious for declaring defeats victories? Somehow "moral" ones... ;)

Might be reasons for that "loss of interest" after all. Beginning with the entire project being essentially impossible in the long run anyway.
 
Sep 2018
22
Salonica
#49
Well firstly its rather a rather foolish way to try and understand history 'siding' with one side or another its not really going to help with understanding if you want one side to be the 'good guys' or the 'bad guys'.

My question was purely just to see who would you join.History of course should not merge with morality



Sorry why were the English 'too brutal'? raid and counter raid was the main style of warfare in the supposed war (which wasn't 'a war' but rather an on going feud between to royal dynasties both of whom claimed the throne of 'France') and the French are hardly likely to pillage their own property.

Edwards claim was strong but it was useless he knew he could not claim the throne and various time he used his claim as a bargaining meter in peace talks.His target was to restore his ancestors' lands in france(Angevin empire)



So why is the French brutality acceptable? because they were supposedly had codes of chivalry-- which didn't apply to common folk by the way ---and why wouldn't English knight believe in this, they essentially come from the same gene pool?




So the French are the more powerful but are the 'underdog'? doesn't make much sense.
After crecy the sides were more or less equal with Engalnd having a.France had a way bigger population than England did but at that time a small part of the population were soldiers
There were 50000 English with their Flemish allies at the siege of calais number as big as that of a French army.England after sluys 1340 had a bigger navy and controlled the channel
In addition England had the wool trade and control over the wine trade of Gascony.Also in short the English tax system was more effective than the French one

And why are the English 'less honourable'? since the roots of the ruling class are much the same is it some tainting by 'English blood/culture' of French chivalry?
One example in N/ampton's army in 1346 in Brittany which consisted of criminals.while his succesor as lieutenant of Brittany Thomas Dagworth commanded a group of criminals
 
Sep 2018
22
Salonica
#50
Well firstly its rather a rather foolish way to try and understand history 'siding' with one side or another its not really going to help with understanding if you want one side to be the 'good guys' or the 'bad guys'.





Sorry why were the English 'too brutal'? raid and counter raid was the main style of warfare in the supposed war (which wasn't 'a war' but rather an on going feud between to royal dynasties both of whom claimed the throne of 'France') and the French are hardly likely to pillage their own property.

Edwards claim was strong but it was useless he knew he could not claim the throne and various time he used his claim as a bargaining meter in peace talks.His target was to restore his ancestors' lands in france(Angevin empire)



So why is the French brutality acceptable? because they were supposedly had codes of chivalry-- which didn't apply to common folk by the way ---and why wouldn't English knight believe in this, they essentially come from the same gene pool?




So the French are the more powerful but are the 'underdog'? doesn't make much sense.


And why are the English 'less honourable'? since the roots of the ruling class are much the same is it some tainting by 'English blood/culture' of French chivalry?
My question was purely just to see who would you join.History of course should not merge with morality

After crecy the sides were not equal Engalnd had quite an advantage.France had a way bigger population than England did but at that time a small part of the population were soldiers
There were 50000 English with their Flemish allies at the siege of calais number as big as that of a French army.England after sluys 1340 had a bigger navy and controlled the channel
In addition England had the wool trade and control over the wine trade of Gascony.Also in short the English tax system was more effective than the French one
Edwards claim was strong but it was useless he knew he could not claim the throne and various time he used his claim as a bargaining meter in peace talks.His target was to restore his ancestors' lands in france(Angevin empire)
 

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