Completion of the Hundred Years War and the reunification of France

The death of Joan of Arc, as the British had hoped, did not change the course of the war. The French troops continued to advance successfully. The Burgundian Duke, realizing the hopelessness of the position of the British, hastened to reconcile with the French king. In the spring of 1436 Charles VII took Paris.

He began to carry out the reforms begun once by Charles V the Wise. With the support of the States of the General, Charles VII achieved the introduction of a permanent tax. In the reform of the kingdom’s finances, the talented banker Jacques Coeur played a significant role. Thanks to financial stabilization, Charles VII carried out military reform. It provided for the creation of a permanent army, which is on state security. Royal vassals were forbidden to have armed detachments. From now on, it was possible to fight regardless of the political tastes of chivalry.

In 1453 the French completely freed the British from the territory of the country. England retained

on the mainland only the port of Calais, which retained more than a hundred years. The one-hundred-year war ended, although the peace treaty between England and France was not signed. France defended its independence. From the war the French came out as ardent patriots of their homeland.

The victory of France in the Hundred Years War created the prerequisites for the completion of its political unification. With this task, the son and heir of Charles VII, King Louis XI, was an experienced politician and an unbeatable diplomat, although by nature he is an insidious schemer. For the ability to drive his opponents into a dead end by cunning and deception, Louis XI was nicknamed the “world spider”. Even his own son, Louis XI taught: “Who does not know how to cheat, then he does not know how to rule.”

Between Charles VII and Louis XI there were conflicts and misunderstandings. For example, in 1456 the Burgundian Duke Philippe Dobry, the main enemy of the King of France, sheltered the disobedient Dauphin of Louis. About this, Charles VII once said: “My Burgundian cousin has warmed

a fox who will eat his own chickens.” This phrase, thrown in the hearts of the French king, was surprisingly prophetic.

The strongest and most dangerous adversary of Louis XI on the way to unification of France was his vassal, the Duke of Burgundy, Carl the Bold. He owned not only the duchy of Burgundy, but also the Netherlands, and the lands along the Rhine. Military strength and political influence Karl the Brave did not yield to the king, and his wealth even surpassed. The Duke could afford to maintain such a magnificent courtyard, which was not inferior to the most refined royal courts of Europe. Therefore, it is only natural that he sought to create an independent Burgundian state. About his intentions the duke spoke quite frankly: “I love France so much that I would like to see six rulers in it instead of one.” The struggle of Louis XI with Charles the Bold was inevitable.

It should be recognized that Karl the Brave was a worthy opponent, and success was first on his side.

For help the arrogant duke turned to the German emperor and offered his son the hand of his only daughter and heiress Mary. On her hand were many applicants, in particular the brother of the French king. The duke’s intentions angered Louis XI and he skillfully incited against Charles the Bold of his enemies. Having received financial aid from Louis XI, the Lorraineans and the Swiss declared war on the Duke of Charles. In one of the battles in 1477, the Burgundian army was defeated, and Karl the Brave was killed. Louis XI annexed the counties of Picardy and the duchy of Burgundy to his possessions, and subsequently the county of Provence. With the son of Louis King Charles VIII, the Duchy of Brittany also withdrew to France.

Consequently, at the end of the XV century. The unification of France was practically completed, and it became one of the largest states of Western Europe.

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Completion of the Hundred Years War and the reunification of France