France 1453 CE

The kingdom of France has emerged victorious from the 100 Years War.

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What is happening in France in 1453CE

Many unresolved claims and counter-claims between the French and English kings led to war between them lasting, on and off, for more than one hundred years. There were major English victories, at Sluys (1340), Crecy (1346) and Agincourt (1415), but recently the French have driven the English back, until by this date (1453), they only have Calais left to them. The most remarkable aspect of this French triumph is the leading part played by a young French peasant girl, Joan of Arc.

The struggle with the English was greatly complicated by the emergence of a new state on the French flank. The duchy of Burgundy started as a fief granted to a French prince, and has grown through inheritance and conquest to become a major player in European politics. It now controls most of the Netherlands and Flanders – amongst the wealthiest areas of Europe – as well as its original Burgundian territories.

Victory in the 100 Years War has greatly strengthened royal power within France. Another factor bolstering the French kings’ authority has been their close relationship with the papacy. Indeed, between 1309 and 1377 a succession of popes actually based themselves in France because Rome had become too unruly for them. The popes lived in an enclave within France called the Venaissin, which was, and remains, papal territory.

Next map, France in 1648

 

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