Hundred Years War

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    Thank you for these great lectures, they have been extremely educational. I was wondering if you could provide some references pertaining to the Hundred Years War and how it contributed to the growth of central governments in England and France. This seems to be a critical point in history in this regard, and one where governments were able to use a crisis to expand power significantly–i.e., taxation, standing/mercenary armies, growing bureaucratic apparatus generally, nationalism, etc. Perhaps this also laid the groundwork for further centralization after the war. Any comments would be appreciated, and perhaps (as mentioned above) some suggested readings on this topic, if there are any. Thank you very much.

    Jason Jewell

    Hi, John. If you are looking for primary sources, the most famous is Froissart’s “Chronicles,” a 14th-century work which provides a lot of information about the first half of the Hundred Years War.

    Desmond Seward writes engaging works on medieval history. His book on the Hundred Years War is focused on the military and political stuff in a chronological format:

    If you want a book that is more topically organized, the volume on the war in the Cambridge Medieval Textbook series has dedicated sections to things like taxation:

    Rothbard discusses the politics of the 14th century very briefly in his History of Economic Thought as well.


    There’s a very cheap PB edition of Froissart. When I was in college, Barbara Tuchman wrote a very popular book on the 14th century called A DISTANT MIRROR. I remember finding it slightly dull, but other people I knew thought she was a wonderful writer.

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