Hundred Years' War - Middle Ages for Kids
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Hundred Years' War


Here's a scene from a great 1989 movie
of the Shakespeare play about Henry V

When the last French king in the direct Capetian line died in 1328 AD, the English king Edward III, who already held a large part of France, claimed the right to rule all of France - to be the king of France as well as the king of England. At this time Edward III was only eighteen years old. War broke out in 1338. At first the English won some big battles.

But the war went on and on, even after Edward III died in 1377. Partly because of the Black Death, neither side could really end the war. Under their new young king Henry V, the English won a especially big battle at Agincourt in 1415, where Henry used a new weapon, cannons, to help him win the battle.

joan of arc
The place where Joan was burned in Rouen

The English managed to take over almost all of France. But Henry V died young, in Paris, and after he died, the French started to win again under a great military leader, a woman named Joan of Arc, who recaptured the towns of Orleans and Reims, among other places, for her king, Charles VII.

Margaret and Henry VI
Margaret of Anjou (age 14) marries Henry VI

Even though the English eventually captured Joan and burned her alive in Rouen in 1431, the French continued to win the war and in 1453 the English king Henry VI (the son of Henry V) gave up his claim to rule France. Henry suffered from mental illness, and his wife Margaret of Anjou ruled for him. Henry and Margaret lost all England's land in France except the port at Calais (kal-AY).

Learn by Doing: Joan of Arc Project
More about Late Medieval France

Bibliography and further reading about the Hundred Years' War:

Henry V directed by Kenneth Branagh. It's Shakespeare, so the kids may find it hard to understand, but it's a great movie.

More about Late Medieval France
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Copyright 2012-2014 Karen Carr, Portland State University. This page last updated 2014. Powered by Dewahost.

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