In the year 1204, Philip Augustus of France wrested control of the duchy of Normandy from King John of England. The long Capetian-Plantagenet struggle for power, however, was not yet over and would reach another decisive point a decade later at the Battle of Bouvines, 1214. This time the leaders of the other main power of the western Europe, Germany, would be brought into the conflict, and so also have important consequences for central Europe and Italy. And so for this episode I will get us up to date with the political situation in Germany.
A recent guest episode for the History of England podcast on the End of the Hundred Years War, in brief the years after Agincourt 1415, but focusing on the last four years from 1449-1453 and the Battles of Formigny and Castillon. In England the victories at Agincourt, Crecy and Poitiers are well known, but less so, the events around the end of the war, and how the French eventually drove the English from all the continent, except for Calais.
Maps courtesy of http://xenophongroup.com
King John of England in his first year or two of rule achieved some successes, but his lack of tact and diplomacy, plus poor decision-making lost him many allies in France. The focus of the escalating conflict between the Plantagenets and Capetians became Chateau Gaillard, a magnificent fortress in the key borderlands between Normandy and the French royal demesne around Paris.
The Inner Bailey today of Chateau Gaillard
Location of Chateau Gaillard in France
Reconstruction of how the castle looked
The sons of King Henry II of England, impatient for power of their own and encouraged by Louis VII and then Philip II Augustus of France, rebel against their father and end up damaging the cause of their dynasty, the Plantagenets.
The story of France in the High Middle Ages, the reigns of Louis VI and Louis VII. As the twelfth century opened the kings of France barely controlled much land beyond Paris, but these two monarchs began to build the foundations for the French kings’ great rise in power and prestige.
William the Conqueror’s conquest of England in 1066 and the division of his lands between England and Normandy sowed the seeds for centuries of Anglo-French conflict. This episode covers the reigns of Henry I of England, the Anarchy (civil war over Henry’s succession) and the formation of the Angevin Empire of France and England under Henry II