The End of the Hundred Years War and the Unification of France

Joan of Arc gave her life for France for good reason. The French gradually liberated their country from the English invaders. Charles VII entered Paris. In 1453 the English owned only the city of Calais in France, but soon lost it. The longest war in European history ended in the victory of France.

In France, they formed a single army, whose soldiers no longer served the lords, but the state, imposed a single tax for everyone. France became a strong centralized state.

After the death of Charles VII, the throne went to Louis XI – a talented politician.

Louis XI took not by force, but by cunning, relied more on negotiations and bribery. He believed that “he who does not know how to pretend is not able to rule.” The king easily made concessions to his enemies, but then skillfully went on the offensive. Intrigue against them, quarrel between them was his element. He did not trust anyone, his advisers “wore his horse on the back.” Was vindictive and cruel, defeated enemies kept in small iron cages, in which sometimes it was impossible even to stand upright.

With the help of political machinations, Louis XI deprived independence of one duchy and county after another. He united France, which suffered from feudal strife. For a long time it was not given to him only the powerful Burgundy duchy, whose independence was facilitated by the neighborhood with Germany. The Burgundian Duke Charles called Louis XI “the world’s spider”, although he was richer than he. He dreamed of a German throne, and the union of France desperately resisted. But Karl the Brave was direct and reckless, and Louis XI – clever, cunning and insidious. Therefore, the Duke of Burgundy lost. In 1477, the king bribed the commander, and he killed an unruly vassal. The Burgundian duchy was given to Louis XI. The long and painful process of unification of France soon ended.

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The End of the Hundred Years War and the Unification of France