Fractured Politics: Diplomacy, Marriage, and the Last Phase of the Hundred Years War

Open Access
Weber, Ariel Celeste
Area of Honors:
Medieval Studies
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Benjamin Thomas Hudson, Thesis Supervisor
  • Benjamin Thomas Hudson, Honors Advisor
  • Robert Roy Edwards, Faculty Reader
  • Hundred Years War
  • Henry IV
  • Henry V
  • Katherine of Valois
  • Charles VI of France
  • medieval diplomacy
  • marriage
The beginning of the Hundred Years War came about from relentless conflict between France and England, with roots that can be traced the whole way to the 11th century, following the Norman invasion of England. These periods of engagement were the result of English nobles both living in and possessing land in northwest France. In their efforts to prevent further bloodshed, the monarchs began to engage in marriage diplomacy; by sending a young princess to a rival country, the hope would be that her native people would be unwilling to wage war on a royal family that carried their own blood. While this method temporarily succeeded, the tradition would create serious issues of inheritance, and the beginning of the last phase of the Hundred Years War, and the last act of success on the part of the English, the Treaty of Troyes, is the culmination of the efforts of the French kings of the early 14th century to pacify their English neighbors, cousins, and nephews.