Henry V’s most important accomplishment was that of the creation of the treaty of Troyes, according to C. T. Allmand, “This was the most important treaty of the Hundred Years War”. This treaty secured the French crown for the English, achieving the goal Edward III possessed when he first invaded France. Henry V had two major areas of impact, his first campaign into France in 1415, in which he captured a powerful tool in the form of the castle Harfluer. During the same campaign he won a decisive victory at Agincourt, smashing the French opponents even when heavily outnumbered.
His other area of significance was his second campaign into France, in which he would eventually conquer all of Normandy and take the French crown for England. Henry V achieved all of the goals during his lifetime; he conquered and occupied all the northern areas of France. Most importantly though, is that he secured the throne of France for England. The Hundred Years War originated from a time where England was still a vassal state of France, requiring the kings of England to pay homage to the French crown.
By the 1330’s, England had a strong sense of national identity, and during this time, England gradually came into a state of hostility with France, for which one of the main reasons was the dispute and friction over Gascony, a region in the south of France, which was under English rule. By establishing that England required paying homage to the French crown for Gascony created a tension between the two sides, as according to Orton, “England and France were nations growing apart”.
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When the king of France – Charles IV – died, Edward III saw an opportunity to gain the throne of France. Edward claimed that he was the rightful heir of France, because he was the closest living relative to the deceased Charles IV (His mother being the sister of Charles IV, making Edward his nephew).
The French crown was given to the cousin of Charles IV, who was Philip VI, and when Edward heard this, he declared war on France. The claim that Edward laid on the French crown was a great tool of propaganda for him; he could now wage war on the hostile nation of France.
Now it did not appear that he was simply a rebellious vassal, instead, he could fight under the terms that he was denied his inheritance. Because of this, he could fight the French without appearing as a dishonourable king; he had a legitimate claim. By the time Henry V had ascended to the throne, two phases of the war had been fought, and twice had the two rivals made peace. The French, during the middle phase of the war, had unrightfully invaded lands around the area of Gascony that had been given to the English from the Treaty of Bretigny.
His father, Henry IV according to Matusiak, “Had no burning ambition to secure the French crown, and during his reign, Aquitaine (Gascony) suffered from relative neglect. The war had moved, well and truly, towards more northern parts of France”. Henry V, two years after he ascended to the throne in 1415 renewed the English claim to the French crown. His main objective was the, “systemic conquering and occupation of the great towns and fortresses of northern France” (Encyclopaedia Britannica).
He claimed, according to Barker, that the lands of Normandy and Gascony were his by inheritance and that they were withheld from him wrongfully and unrightfully. He demanded that the French not only give the English power over these lands, but an English Chronicle from the time indicates how he indeed demanded for the French crown himself, saying that it was his inheritance and his right and that it had been seized by violence and kept from him for too long. When the French refused his demands, he resorted to force of arms because, “It was his duty to recover them” (J. Barker).
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An English Chronicle indicates that because of the French refusal, Henry V would “Get help with the sword of Jesus”. This gave Henry what the people of England saw as a honourable and righteous cause to fight the French, not only was he denied of his rights and his inheritance, but because of this, he would get help in securing his ‘rightful’ throne from Jesus, meaning that the people saw him as the god appointed king of both England and France. The people of England because of this gave him full support. Henry V began his preparation by organising his financing of his projected invasion.
He did this mostly through borrowing huge sums of money from other nations, and partly through taxation of England, “The generosity of which reflects his success in arousing national enthusiasm for the war” (Encyclopaedia Britannica).
The French politically were divided into two factions, the Duchy of Burgundy, and the Armagnacs, who were in control of Paris and the Royal court at that time. Henry took advantage of this situation, according to Barker, “by simultaneously negotiating with both parties and offering his military services to the highest bidder in an effort to secure his rights and inheritances by diplomatic means”.
This however is in contradiction of what an English Chronicle indicates, which is that Henry V, after being denied his demands for the French crown, invaded France with no negotiations with outside parties. The English Chronicle however, was written directly from an English perspective, and so it contains a bias for the English. The writer would not have put this information in because otherwise it would be negative propaganda value; instead the chronicle is depicting Henry to be a headstrong leader for England, not negotiating with the enemy who is unrightfully withholding his inheritance from him.
Negotiations with the two parties of France failed and after this, he went to war on his own account, setting sail for Normandy with one thousand five hundred ships. Henry V began his invasion of France with the capture of Harfluer; a town at the mouth of the river Seine, which, according to Barker was a “strategically significant and powerful town”. Henry posted a garrison of one thousand two hundred men, personally commanded by his own uncle. His second action with Harfluer was to pack it full with English settlers and to emove many of the French people who lived there. Henry’s intentions were to turn Harfluer into a completely converted English town, in which it could serve as a base camp for launching future operations and invasions into France. This indicates how Henry was committed to his goal of completely conquering Normandy and France, and “compared to the spasmodic operations of England in France in the previous century” (Encyclopaedia Britannica), his organisation and military strategy stood a much greater threat to the French then they had faced before.
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The capture of Harfluer was of great impact for the outcome of the Hundred Years War during Henry’s lifetime, as it served as the beginning point in which Henry would conquer all of Normandy, and eventually France. Although the capture of Harfluer was a success, it had taken much longer then expected, six weeks to be exact, and now Henry’s forces were tired and suffering from disease and illness. On 25th October 1415, the exhausted and diseased army of Henry V marched towards the English town of Calais.
Intent on returning home to England to retrain and prepare for a second invasion of France, they pressed on, when a much greater French blocked its route, set on exacting revenge for the loss of Harfluer. An English chronicle records the size of the French army as one hundred and twenty thousand, while the English had only eight thousand men, most of these lightly armoured longbow archers. This number however would be heavily exaggerated as it is from an English primary source, containing a clear bias.
More recent historians such as Barker, put the English numbers to around six thousand and the French number to be four to six times this number. By the end of the battle at Agincourt, “Thousands of Frenchmen were killed, including three royal dukes, eight counts and four of the most senior military officers in France. In stark contrast, the English had lost only two noblemen, a handful of men-at-arms and perhaps a hundred archers. ” (Barker).
In military terms, the great success Henry had achieved at Agincourt merely allowed him to escape the danger of being destroyed and pass to the town of Calais in safety.
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Politically though, its impact was enormous, observes Wilde. Not only did it portray him as a brave, chivalric military genius, which the people of England would follow loyally into a war, but it put the French into disarray, with a huge number of nobles and important military figures killed or captured by the English force. Not only this, but the victory destroyed much of the French army, and those that were not in the battle itself were afraid to face an enemy that eradicated a much greater foe in battle before.
Instead they fought what appeared to be a much lesser foe: the opposing French faction. Proof of this is seen when in Henry’s later campaigns in France, when “Admittedly, warring between the French factions meant little national opposition was organised and Henry was able to keep resistance relatively local”. The success at Agincourt was a large part of Henry V’s impact on the events of the Hundred Years War, giving him an honorable name amongst his people, and one that his enemies feared. It put the French army into disarray and ensured that his future conquest was successful.
Henry V’s campaign of 1415 was of great impact to the outcome of the Hundred Years War during Henry’s lifetime. Henry reopened the conflict between the French and the English, laying his own claim to the French crown as it being his inheritance. He successfully captured and occupied the town of Harfluer, a strategically important town, having access to inner France via the river Seine, which would be a major part of his 1417 invasion. He decisively defeated a French army that greatly outnumbered his own, striking fear into the people of France, and winning the hearts of his own people.
The importance of the 1415 campaign was that it served as the beginning to which Henry would achieve the goal of defeating the enemy and becoming heir to the throne of France. Henry V’s huge success of his 1415 campaign was only the beginning of what would be the eventual conquest of Normandy and France. Barker considers the point that shocking victory at Agincourt had reverberated throughout Europe, and to all that this battle was seen as the confirmation that his cause had divine approval, and that God was on his side.
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Barker states “Henry was far too much of a realist ever to have imagined that the success of the Agincourt campaign would force the concessions he wanted from the French. Further military actions would be needed. ” He began his preparations of invasion first off, by prioritizing the security of the captured town Harfluer, which had been under French attack and siege, both by land and sea. Relief came on 15 August 1416 when an English fleet defeated the French at sea and previsioned the town.
Secondly, he managed to secure an agreement with the Duke of Burgundy that caused the Duke to not act in hostility towards the English cause. His continued possession of Harfluer and the neutrality of the Duchy of Burgundy indicate how Henry V was carefully plotting his invasion, leaving nothing to chance, and assuring that his first conquest of Harfluer remained as a foothold into Normandy. On 30th July 1417, the great invasion force set sail. His objective, described by Allmand and Barker was the conquering and occupation of all of Normandy, and to claim the crown of France.
Henry V operated his invasion with great strategy, catching the French by surprise when he landed only 10 miles from the heavily supplied and garrisoned French town of Honfluer, which the French presumed he would attack, and then marched in the opposite direction to capture the castle of Caen. Caen was sacked and any opposition that had once been there was destroyed, the surrounding towns and smaller castles agreed to surrender. Soon after this, Englishmen were invited to settle in the town.
The capture of Caen is described by Allmand as one of the most important, it being the first example of what Henry was planning for all of Normandy, how he planned to invade and occupy. After securing the neutrality from the Duchy of Brittany, he plunged into lower Normandy. His next target was Rouen, a powerful town on the river Seine. For six months did he starve out the city, when the French sent the starving women and children out of the city, “Henry remained inexorable. When asked to take pity on them, he simply replied that ‘they were not put there by my command” (Barker).
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This act of ruthlessness caused fourteen other neighboring towns and castles to surrender, fearing the same fate that those of Rouen had suffered. At this point, Henry was in control of almost all of Normandy, having achieved his first goal; he set his sights on the control of the French crown. The towns of Rouen and Caen, according to Barker, were “The two most important towns in Normandy”, and there capture led to many of the neighboring towns and castles to surrender without resistance and, less then a month after the fall of Rouen, he became the Duke of Normandy.
Henry V was the first English king to have ever successfully conquered and held Normandy, and Curry speculates that he would have been content with this title, if it was not for the French’s attempt to reunite against Henry. Instead, he marched eastward down the river Seine, towards Paris. Henry V, after claiming the Duchy of Normandy, he once again set his eyes on the crown of France. After hearing the news of Henry’s coming, the royal court of France fled to the city of Troyes.
It was here that the opposing faction – the Armagnacs, assassinated the Duke of Burgundy – John the Fearless. This ended any chance of a French unification against Henry (Barker), and the successor to John, who was Philip, reopened negotiations with Henry. The two parties agreed upon an entirely new structure of demands, this treaty was to be the “final peace” between England and France. The main terms were that Henry was to marry the daughter of the French king, Catherine Valois, and was to be heir to the throne until the current king Charles VI died.
The Treaty of Troyes came to be known as the “Final Peace”, but historians such as C. T. Allmand oppose this, instead they consider that “the treaty did little to unite France, but served rather to underline the divisions which had existed for decades”. This was true, for while Henry had occupied much of Northern France, the son of Charles VI, Charles VII, still controlled much of southern and central France, and still considered Henry his enemy. This was the flaw of the treaty; it was a commitment for the war to continue between the two sides of Henry V, and Charles VII
The treaty of Troyes remarks Allmand was the most important treaty of the hundred years war. It arranged a supposed peace between the English and French kings, and honoured Henry as heir to the French crown, which in future, his son would be come to known as king of England and France. Not only this, but it was a commitment for Charles VII to continue the war against England, one which he would eventually win after Henry’s death. Henry V made a significant impact on the outcome of the Hundred Years War.
During his 1415 campaign, his capture of Harfluer and his incredible success at Agincourt secured the beginning of his incredible invasion of 1417. In which his systematic occupation and conquering of the northern towns and castles of France achieved. Finally though he achieved the goal that had begun the Hundred Years War, which was take control of the French crown, giving the power to the royal house of England. He had an incredible significance for the kingdom he ruled, Allmand states, “What Henry V achieved while living remains of immense significance for England and France. His actions during the war influenced not only the outcome during his lifetime, which was that of a complete English victory, which Allmand describes as being on such a scale that his predecessors had never done before. What he did as king also affected the complete outcome of the war even after his death. Allmand discusses his tunnel vision and long-term damage of his actions account to the eventual downfall of the English in France.
His continual actions against France led Charles VII to exact revenge on his legacy, with the end result being the French victory of the Hundred Years War, and the capture of all English territory in France. Henry had a significant impact on the outcome of the Hundred Years War, his incredible victories and conquer of the French lands led to complete English success, and then complete English defeat after his death. Bibliography Wilde, R. (n. d. ) Henry V of England. [online] Available at: //europeanhistory. about. om/od/famouspeople/a/personhenryveng_4. htm [Accessed: 7 Apr 2013]. The Hundred Years War: England and France at War C. 1300-c. 1450 By C. T. Allmand Henry V 2013. Encyclop? dia Britannica Online School Edition. Retrieved 26 February 2013, from //school. eb. com. au/eb/article-3114 An English Chronicle of the Reigns of Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI Written Before the Year 1471 Agincourt: The King, the Campaign, the Battle By Juliet Barker Conquest: The English Kingdom of France in the Hundred Years War By Juliet Barker United Kingdom. ” Encyclop? dia Britannica. Encyclop? dia Britannica Online School Edition. Encyclop? dia Britannica, Inc. , 2013. Web. 11 Mar. 2013. <//school. eb. com. au/eb/article-44821>. Curry, Anne (2005) Henry V’s conquest of Normandy 1417-19: the siege of Rouen in context. XXXI Semana de Estudios Medievales Estella 19-23 de Julio 2004, 237-254. Treaty of Bretigny 2013. Encyclop? dia Britannica Online. Retrieved 12 March, 2013, from //www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/78946/Treaty-of-Bretigny
Thomas Frederick, T, & J. R. L. , H 2012, ‘Edward III. ‘, Britannica Biographies, p. 1, History Reference Center, EBSCOhost, viewed 21 February 2013. Edward III 2013. Encyclop? dia Britannica Online School Edition. Retrieved 20 February 2013, from //school. eb. com. au/eb/article-2029 United Kingdom 2013. Encyclop? dia Britannica Online School Edition. Retrieved 20 February 2013, from //school. eb. com. au/eb/article-44808 Orton. The shorter Cambridge Medieval History 2. (p. 872)(Charles William Previte-Orton)