What were the political and social consequences of the Hundred Years' War? 

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The Hundred Years War spanned such a long period of time that many of its most important consequences were also related to other events that occurred during the same time. Many changes that took place may have happened without the war. But one of the major political legacies of the conflict was the growth of nationalism in both England and especially France. Both sides used propaganda to portray the other as brutal and savage, and both saw the emergence of what can best be described as a national consciousness. This accompanied the development of England and France into nation-states, with increased administrative and coercive powers over their populations. The conflict also had major demographic implications for France, where it coincided with major famines and epidemics, including the Black Death in the earlier years of the conflict. The labor shortage contributed to the weakening of the manorial relationships between lords and peasants. The social tensions unleashed by these changes were reflected in a number of peasant uprisings, most notably the Jacquerie. The feudal relationships around which both societies were organized were further corroded by  changes in warfare itself. The effectiveness of bowmen and new weapons using gunpowder meant that the days of heavy cavalry, were numbered. Since nobles had historically owed their status to their service as heavily armed knights, this weakened their claim on privilege. 


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