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HIST3188 War and Society: England at War, c.1300-c.1400 Part 1

Module Overview

The Hundred Years War was fought between France and England and it had a profound effect on both countries. The focus of this module is not on the political background of the conflict. Rather it will concentrate on the impact of war on both countries including how all levels of society were involved in the war effort and how people responded to it. You will focus on the nature of the ‘warrior community’ and whether such a term is valid. In order to answer these questions, you will focus on the recruitment of troops, the organisation of the armies, and the evolution of these processed during the fourteenth century. These questions are important because they had an impact on how war was fought in particular on strategy and tactics. The maritime aspect of the war will be given as much attention as the war on land. Logistical sophistication and intensification of the war effort put a strain on the trade and resources of the English kingdom. This economic impact on society will be examined through the peasants’ revolt in 1381 and the deposition of kings. All of these fascinating themes will be explored through a large corpus of sources which you will study in English. These include financial and administrative war-related records such as indentures, contracts and accounts, as well as chronicles, and biographies.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- introduce you to the ‘warrior community’ during the Hundred Years War - compare and contrast warfare on land and at sea during this period - assess the war’s social and economic impact upon French and English society respectively.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • why men fought and the social composition of armies and naval forces
  • the role that gentry and coastal communities played in the Hundred Years war
  • the medieval states ability to organise logistical operations
  • the impact requisition and purveyance (forcible collection of ships, military equipment and foodstuffs) had on different sectors of society
  • the economic impact of large-scale warfare
  • the wider impact intensive warfare had on political opinion, voiced through parliament and popular protests
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify and solve historical problems
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • analyse the relevance of a wide range of primary sources, appreciate the particular contexts in which those sources were produced and comment succinctly on their significance in a source-related assessed essay and in an examination in which answers will informed by a knowledge of sources
  • draw connections between different historical periods
  • identify and critically assess scholarly views and arguments
Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • explore the dynamic and complexity of the different forms of interactions between war and society in England and France during the Hundred Years War
  • explore that nature of the warrior community
  • examine how armies were mustered and managed and the impact of this on late medieval warfare
  • consider the extensive militarisation of French and English society in this era


Themes to be covered may typically include: - Why men fought - The recruitment of army and of naval forces - Strategy and tactics: the changing social composition of armies - The logistics of war: harnessing the nation’s wealth to fight extensive campaigns - War’s impact on politics and society: the deposition of kings and the peasants’ revolt

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: - Two weekly seminars - Group work - Tutor-led guidance on the sources, on the preparation of assessed essays and gobbets (including practice session), on the conventions used in the presentation of written work. - Student-led seminars, with the module convenor acting as guide and learning facilitator - Individual consultation in person and by email about assessed work on the module. Learning activities include: - Preparatory reading for seminar discussions - Preparation of brief reports on particular questions as directed for classes - Preparing and delivering presentations - Discussion of set topics - Further reading and independent research for the essay and dissertation - Preparation and completion of the module assignments Knowledge and understanding will be developed through continuous study and analysis of primary sources. You will develop your research skills (namely how to find relevant material and secondary literature and how to use primary material) in groups and in consultation with the seminar tutor. Independent study and researching and writing essays will further develop your intellectual skills, while you will develop your verbal communication skills via discussion and oral presentations.

Independent Study276
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

J. Sumption (1990). The Hundred Years War: Trial by Battle. 

C. J. Rogers (2000). War Cruel and Sharp: English Strategy Under Edward III. 

A. Curry and M. Hughes (1994). Arms, Armies and Fortifications in the Hundred Years War. 

C. J. Rogers (1999). The Wars of Edward III: Sources and Interpretations. 

F.J. Watson (2005). Under the Hammer: Edward I and Scotland, 1286-1306. 

Michael Prestwich (1996). Armies and Warfare in the Middle Ages: the English Experience. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 50%
Timed Assignment 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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