Question: What does the term 'Hundred Years' War' mean?
This name is given to the protracted conflict between France and England from 1337 to 1453, which continued through the reigns of the French kings Philip VI., John II., Charles V., Charles VI., Charles VII., and of the English kings Edward III., Richard II., Henry IV., Henry V. and Henry VI. The principal causes of the war, which broke out in Guienne in 1337, were the disputes arising in connection with the French possessions of the English kings, in respect to which they were vassals of the kings of France; the pretensions of Edward III. to the French throne after the accession of Philip VI.; Philip's intervention in the affairs of Flanders and Scotland; and, finally, the machinations of Robert of Artois.
During Philip VI.'s reign fortune favored the English. The French fleet was destroyed at Sluys on the 24th of June 1340. After the siege of Tournai a truce was arranged on the 25th of September 1340; but the next year the armies of England and France were again at war in Brittany on account of the rival pretensions of Charles of Blois and John of Montfort to the succession of that duchy. In 1346, while the French were trying to invade Guienne, Edward III. landed in Normandy, ravaged that province, part of the Île de France and Picardy, defeated the French army at Créçy on the 26th of August 1346, and besieged Calais, which surrendered on the 3rd of August 1347. Hostilities were suspended for some years after this, in consequence of the truce of Calais concluded on the 28th of September 1347.
The principal feats of arms which mark the first years of John the Good's reign were the taking of St Jean d'Angély by the French in 1351, the defeat of the English near St Omer in 1352, and the English victory near Guines in the same year. In 1355 Edward III. invaded Artois while the Black Prince was pillaging Languedoc. In 1356 the battle of Poitiers, in which John was taken prisoner, was the signal for conflicts in Paris between Stephen Marcel and the dauphin, and for the outbreak of the Jacquerie. The treaty of Brétigny, concluded on the 8th of May 1360, procured France several years' repose.
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