Why did the Plantagenets want to rule France? When they already had Ireland and England to rule?

Nov 2016
75
Užice, Serbia
#4
Because if you have a legitimate claim to a throne and an opportunity to seize it, why wouldn't you? France was, as a central authority, incredibly weak and exploitable until the reign of Phillipe II Augustus. Controlling all of France also means full control over trade in the English channel, trough Champagne and access to the Mediterranean, among other amazing political, economic and military benefits. Plus, they were from France.
 
Likes: Futurist

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
13,555
Navan, Ireland
#5
Why did House Plantagenet want to rule France?

Why wouldn't they?

That's what Medieval Warlords/Houses did.

Bit of context Medieval France ,England, Scotland, Ireland are not the same as their modern equivalents.

But in 1066 a Norman/French warlord invaded and took the crown of England -- why did he do that? because he could? because he had a 'claim' to the throne? because he was at least as powerful as the French King but being a mere Duke was still 'lower' than the King, as King of England however he now is more powerful but bows to no one? because that is what a warlord is supposed to do? ---- Now a French Nobleman or warlord is as least as powerful as his Overlord.

William the Bastard has problem with succession in England and the 'Anarchy' rules for the better part of a century but eventually his grandson Henry II (thanks largely to his very formidable mother the Empress Matilda ) becomes King of England and rightful lord of more of 'France' that the King of the French. Is he (and his sons) French or English ? would they have cared?

His sons (especially the foolish John) lost much of the possessions but the Plantagenants wanted 'their land back' why do their house have any less claim than another to a crown?
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,710
#6
Because the revenues from just the province of Gascony, only one of the provinces in France the Angevin Plantagenets controlled through inheritance from Eleanor of Aquitane (of the Poitiers/Ramnulfide dynasty of Dukes of Aquitaine), was larger than from all their possessions on the British isles.

No point in making yourself unnecessarily poor by focusing on those dreary islands.

It's one of these fore-shortenings of perspectives that comes from effectively an19th c national history focus — French historians have underfocused on the Angevin empire of the Plantagenets in France, where the records are after all in France, in favour of a more "national" history of France, while British historians have rather focused on the Plantageneta as rulers of Britain (and the records of the more important French provinces are still in France.)

The Plantagenets at the time otoh were always perfectly aware that the real meat on the bones of their empire was on the French side, and that's where they put in the effort.
 
Aug 2015
2,258
uk
#7
The Plantagenets ruled parts of France, they spoke French; they were probably more French than English. After becoming king Richard I spent less than a year of his reign in England. As well as bringing in vast sums of money and making them more powerful monarchs, if they were in charge of France it meant that their enemies weren't.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,623
#8
It is not entirely accurate that the Plantagenates ruled Ireland, even if their official title said King of England, Ireland, and France. There was the Pale around Dublin which was under direct English rule, the area "beyond the Pale" ruled by noblemen loyal to the king, and "wild Ireland", which was not at all ruled by the English kings.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
4,391
Netherlands
#9
Because France was much richer and important. For example William the conquerer bequeathed Normandy, not England, to his oldest son.
Furthermore (with some exceptions) England was more stable for them as a king, than France was for the French king. So much more opportunity there. Ie try taking some lands in France was less risky and more rewarding, than trying to conquer Wales or Scotland.
 
Likes: macon
May 2016
277
Greater Manchester
#10
Because France was much richer and important. For example William the conquerer bequeathed Normandy, not England, to his oldest son.
Furthermore (with some exceptions) England was more stable for them as a king, than France was for the French king. So much more opportunity there. Ie try taking some lands in France was less risky and more rewarding, than trying to conquer Wales or Scotland.
Anglo-Saxon England was the richest country in Europe. It was so wealthy it paid millions of Danegeld to the Vikings to keep them away. It was also the first-time country in Europe.
 

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