Plantagenets, English or French ?

Feb 2019
62
Ariaca
they were one of the most iconic dynasty that ruled parts of England and France. i always used to think that they were English kings who used to rule parts of France but after reading some meterials i was surprised to find that,

1) their parent house is house of Anjou of France.

2) their language was french, most of kings of that dynasty were not even able to speak english language despite being born in England.

3) Richard the lion-heart is considered to be an English king but he famously said that he is ready to give us England if he can get crown of France, some even claim that he saw english as an inferior country/People/Language.

were they more French than English despite ruling England for many centuries ? how they took over Crown of England despite being from France ?
 
Apr 2010
1,045
evergreen state, USA
There was no surviving male heir to succeed Henry I. So his daughter Maude married the Duke (or count?) of Anjou and started the Plantagenet line. Their son Henry II had to fight to gain the throne; a civil war or etc. Or something like that.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,807
Definitely French.

Anjou on one side and Normandie on the other, and then through Queen Eleanor they inherited Aquitane, i.e. decent chunk of southern France. Richard the Lionheart, Eleanor's favourite son, ruled Aquitane and wrote his poetry in Occitan (not French) already before he was king, and clearly favoured Aquitane over England.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gvelion and Haesten
Jul 2019
6
California
They were French but after the Hundred Years War when they lost their French lands they got more and more English over time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gvelion
Jan 2009
1,270
Kings of England, culturally French. I could argue that more English than French from John onwards, but the shift definitely accelerated even more with HYW. Henry IV took his coronation oath in English.
 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,513
Japan
Definitely French at the start. They became more English though.
I’d argue Edward the III was more English than French as were most of them from then on.
 
  • Like
Reactions: efftee
Apr 2017
732
Lemuria
They were French but after the Hundred Years War when they lost their French lands they got more and more English over time.
The Anglo-Saxon elites were replaced. They usually married among themselves up this day. However, the ruling Angevin house itself was replaced by a Welsh house (Tudor) after an invasion sponsored by France. The Tudor themselves were later on replaced. The French house in England ironically died after their failure to claim the French throne (strangely England could have been French speaking had the English won the war). But the general lower elites didn't disappear and are still in place to this day.
 

Haesten

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,926
The Anglo-Saxon elites were replaced. They usually married among themselves up this day. However, the ruling Angevin house itself was replaced by a Welsh house (Tudor) after an invasion sponsored by France. The Tudor themselves were later on replaced. The French house in England ironically died after their failure to claim the French throne (strangely England could have been French speaking had the English won the war). But the general lower elites didn't disappear and are still in place to this day.
How would a few ruling elite change the language in England? Edward III passed the pleading in English act at the start of the HYW.
 
Apr 2017
732
Lemuria
How would a few ruling elite change the language in England? Edward III passed the pleading in English act at the start of the HYW.
Back then, the English population was not that big and only had a small buffer against immigation. Well, had the English King won the 100YW, he would have most likely moved the combined throne to France. Granted the French historically didn't like to migrate, they would still have slowly but surely migrated to the South of England. This was what was happening after the Norman invasion but this migration trend stopped after the English were defeated at Bouvines and cut off from their land in France. England losing the 100YW was a better outcome for the native Britons and the Anglo-Saxons and possibly the rest of Europe. The Angevins would have focused their expansion East and South of France into Germany and Spain respectively. France is always at war.
 

Peter Graham

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,635
Westmorland
They were neither English nor French. We have to be careful about using modern ethnic terms.

France (as we now understand the term) comprised various different polities. People were Breton, Burgundian or whatever else first. The French king attempted to claim overlordship, although that didn't always mean very much in practice.

England had become a single polity, but one subject to Norman rule after 1066. Norman rule evolved into Angevin rule and then Plantaganet rule. I think it is right that the only two kings who spent mor etime in England than in France were the two who now have the worst reputations - Stephen and John.

The Plantaganets were a powerful dynastic family with interests and lands on both side of the Channel. The Hundred Years War and conflicts like it only now see to us as national struggles between England and France because of our own preoccupations with nationality which we unthinkingly assume have always been constant. The Englsh may have founght on the Plantaganet side, but what we are really looking at is a massive power struggle between leading Francophone dynasties.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lalli