The conflict that raged between the Plantagenet and the Valois kings from 1337 to 1453, and spread over the whole of Occidental Europe, turned out to be the longest military struggle in history. In this module, you will explore how the Hundred Years War shaped the fate of two kingdoms, two nations and two peoples at the threshold of modernity. A wide variety of primary sources in translation (ex. treaties, treatises, manifestos, contracts, chronicles, legal suits, ordinances, royal remissions, official and private correspondences) will give you the opportunity to discuss key historical themes and debates, such as the rise of modern state, military revolutions, the cost of war, 'bastard feudalism' and the waning of the middle ages.
Part 1 begins with a detailed examination and contextualization of the feudo-dynastic origins of the war. Then, you will investigate the fourteenth century phase of the war (up to 1396), which, after a shaky start, was marked by two distinctive periods for the English crown: a wave of military and political successes, between 1346 and 1360, was followed up by a spectacular reversal of fortune, between 1369 and 1396. Analyzing these ebbs and flows, you will consider individual agency, political culture, chivalrous kingship, military strategy, logistics and recruitment.