The Black Death or “The Plague” was one of the most deadliest diseases to be known. It originated in Italy and spread rapidly killing more than 137 million people. Most people didn’t know how the disease got its name but the most popular reason was because of the blackish, purplish spots the disease would leave on the skin. Along with being one of the worst diseases ever, it was in effect during one of the longest wars in history. As in the name, the war of “The Hundred Years War” lasted over a hundred years.
It was a series of off and on problems but in the end, England was defeated. Of course with a war lasting that long there had to be some changes made to the nation afterwards. At the time, the Black Death, also known as the Bubonic Plague, was going around which was a very nasty and deadly disease that began in 1328 AD in Asia. It was bacteria that fleas were infected with and when humans were bitten, they were then infected which caused the spread of the disease.
Of course it had a great effect. It spread through Central Asia, China, and Western Europe. It swept through Italy then went through France,Spain, Germany, England, and other parts of North America and Europe. Town population began to fall, prices would go up when trade was declined so trade decreased, serfs would leave their owners and look for better jobs, and Jews were sacred all around Europe, etc. Back in this time, people didn’t really have any knowledge on germs and thought people were just poisoned.
Of the bumps and boils that came with the disease, some people would use a knife or something to get into them and draw out the poison and some people would survive by this method. Giovanni Boccaccio, an italian writer during the time, said “This scourge had implanted so great a terror in the hearts of men and women that brothers abandoned brothers, uncles their nephews, sisters their brothers, and in many cases wives deserted their husbands. But even worse, . . . fathers and mothers refused to nurse and assist their own children.
” The first part of the Hundred Years’ War was affected really bad for the North and France. The English king controlled much of France. When Eleanor Aquitaine married Henry II, the lands of the south went under English control. All of the destruction from the war caused the economy to become disorganized and a third of the population died from the Black Death.
It also decreased the church’s prestige. People went to the church for everything and once they realized that God or the Pope wasn’t getting rid of the horrifying disease, they lost their faith in the church. France took a lot of damage during their battle.
One reason was because of routiers. Routiers were soldiers who stole to survive. Another reason was because the armies put together “bloody raids” take down the ruler of their opponents and kill civilians. In 1300, Pope Boniface VIII tried to enforce his authority as other popes did but King Phillip IV of France rejected him and captured him for trial. After being rescued, a month later he was killed.Later during the war, the English introduced what was called the “Longbow,” was invented.
It was exactly what the name said it was which was a long bow and arrow. The English went into battle with the French equipped with these longbows and the French had crossbows. The English let fly the arrows of the longbow and the French saw it was too much to handle and they retreated. Ultimately, the longbow was an invention that resulted in great success for the English. They went on to win two more battles that the longbow assisted them in. This was a war over territory and power. Taxation increased greatly and was one of the most felt causes of the war. In 1429, a teenage girl named Joan of Arc started getting urges from God to Help the French in battle against the English.
On May 7, 1429, she took the army of the French into battle in New Orleans. Initially, the French army gave up in despair but Joan of Arc and a few others of the army charged back into battle and the rest of the army followed and in result, Joan of Arc had led the French army to victory over the English. The long war finally ended in 1453 and both France and England went through some changes. For example, nationalism came about in both England and France.
The king was now thought of as a national leader as opposed to a feudal leader. Prestige of the French monarch rose, etc. The Hundred Years’ War marked the end of medieval European society. Frances died and he had no successor. The French won many battles and booted British out of France.
National identity was strengthened in both England and France. Overall this was a very long and tough time for just about every one. Both experienced a great amount of change.
The fact that one of the most deadliest infections was in perfect sync with one of the most deadliest and longest wars in history, it only made things that much worse. Since England wouldn’t help anymore, Bordeaux surrendered in October and left the last Calais English possession in France. This was accepted as the end of the war until “The War Of Roses.” The French recovered Calais in 1558.
Because of the long hard fought war, national identity was strengthened in both England and France. It also created mutual antagonism and that lasted ever since then. England was able to separate themselves from the rest of Europe.