The Hundred Years War was a series of conflicts from 1337 to 1453 waged between the House of Plantagenet of England and the House of Valois of France. This thesis will analyze the affect that the Hundred Years War had on the societies of both England and France, and in doing so will show that the war was a catalyst for bringing England and France out of what is recognized as the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance and Early Modern Period. The thesis will do this by looking at three sections of English and French society: the royalty and nobility who commanded and who arguably started the war, the soldiers and mercenary companies who fought the war, and the non-combatants who either contributed to the war or were affected by it in positive or negative ways. The evolution in the power and role of the monarchs will be analyzed, while the nobility will be analyzed in their capacity as the leaders during the war and how their station in society was affected by the war. Analysis of those that served and fought in the war are of equal importance, as the Hundred Years War saw the rise of paid professional armies comprised mostly of the peasantry. Mercenary companies will also be looked at, especially in France where they contributed much to pillaging and acts of violence against the people. While the experiences of the combatants are important to understanding the history of the war, the experiences of those that did not directly engage in the war is important to understanding how the war affected society as a whole. Those peasants whose farms were destroyed by raiding armies, mercenaries, or bandits suffered greatly because of the war. Yet some, such as merchants, profited from the war and became greatly enriched. The church and its role in attempting to mediate and bring peace, while others of the cloth served as outlets of propaganda in support of their kingdom, will also be looked at in this thesis.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Orlando (Main) Campus
Whittington, Kody E., "The Social Impact of the Hundred Years War on the Societies of England and France" (2016). Honors in the Major Theses. 115.