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Prior to the Norman Conquest of 1066, there were no armed conflicts between the Kingdom of England (established 829) and the Kingdom of France (established 840). The kings of France were weak, and barely able to project power beyond their own royal demesne; England was subject to repeated Viking invasions, and its foreign preoccupations were primarily directed toward Scandinavia.  - A Stan Klos Website

Anglo-French Wars

Wars between England  and France


Prior to the Norman Conquest of 1066, there were no armed conflicts between the Kingdom of England (established 829) and the Kingdom of France (established 840). The kings of France were weak, and barely able to project power beyond their own royal demesne; England was subject to repeated Viking invasions, and its foreign preoccupations were primarily directed toward Scandinavia.

Such cross-Channel relations as England had were directed toward Normandy, a quasi-independent fief owing homage to the French king; Emma, daughter of Normandy's Duke Richard, became queen to two English kings in succession; two of her sons, Harthacnut and Edward the Confessor later became kings of England. Edward spent much of his early life (1013–1041) in Normandy and, as king, favored certain Normans with high office, such as Robert of Jumièges, who became Archbishop of Canterbury.

This gradual Normannization of the realm set the stage for the Norman Conquest, in which Emma's brother's grandson, William, Duke of Normandy, gained the kingdom in the first successful cross-Channel invasion since Roman times. Together with its new ruler, England acquired the foreign policy of the Norman dukes, which was based on protecting and expanding Norman interests at the expense of the French Kings. Although William's rule over Normandy had initially had the backing of King Henry I of France, William's success had soon created hostility, and in 1054 and 1057 King Henry had twice attacked Normandy.

Breton War, 1076-1077

Henry I's son, Philip I of France, who was king at the time of the Conquest, was no more friendly to the Conqueror, but lacked the power to do more than check his moves. William's attempted seizure of territory of Brittany in 1076 was halted by Philip, bringing the first period of Norman expansion to an end; peace was reestablished in 1077. This was strictly a Norman-French feudal war, not an Anglo-French national one (England remained peripheral to Norman concerns for some decades after the Conquest) but it was the first armed conflict between an English and a French monarch.

 Vexin War 1087

In 1077, following the monastic retirement of its last count, William and Philip partitioned between themselves the Vexin, a small but strategically important county on the middle Seinethat controlled the traffic between Paris and Rouen, the French and Norman capitals. With this buffer state eliminated, Normandy and the king's royal demesne (the Île-de-France) now directly bordered on each other, and the region would be the flashpoint for several future wars. In 1087, William responded to border raids conducted by Philip's soldiers by attacking the town of Mantes, during the sack of which he received an accidental injury that turned fatal.

 Rebellion of 1088

With William's death, his realms were parted between his two sons (England to William Rufus, Normandy to Robert Curthose) and the Norman-French border war concluded. Factional strains between the Norman barons, faced with a double loyalty to William's two sons, created a brief civil war in which an attempt was made to force Rufus off the English throne. With the failure of the rebellion, England and Normandy were clearly divided for the first time since 1066.

 Wars in the Vexin and Maine 1097-1098

Robert Curthose left on crusade in 1096, and for the duration of his absence Rufus took over the administration of Normandy. Soon afterwards (1097) he attacked the Vexin and the next year the County of Maine. Rufus succeeded in defeating Maine, but the war in the Vexin ended inconclusively with a truce in 1098.

 Anglo-Norman War 1101

In August 1100, William Rufus was killed by an arrow-shot while hunting. His younger brother, Henry Beauclerc immediately usurped the throne. It had been expected to go to Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy, but Curthose was away on crusade and did not return until a month after Rufus' death, by which time Henry was firmly in control of England, and his usurpation had been recognized by France's King Philip. Curthose was, however, able to reassert his control over Normandy, though only after giving up the County of Maine.

England and Normandy were now in the hands of the two brothers, Henry and Robert. In July 1101, Robert launched an attack on England from Normandy, and achieving a successful landing at Portsmouth, advanced inland to Alton in Hampshire. There he and Henry came to an agreement by which they accepted the status quo of the territorial division, Henry was freed from his homage to Robert, and agreed to pay the Duke an annual sum (which, however, he only did until 1103).

 Anglo-Norman War 1105-1106

Following increasing tensions between the brothers, and evidence of the weakness of Curthose' rule, Henry I invaded Normandy in the spring of 1105, landing at Barfleur. The following Anglo-Norman war was longer and more destructive, involving sieges of Bayeux and Caen; but Henry had to return to England in the late summer, and it was not untili the following summer that he was able to resume the conquest of Normandy. Curthose took the opportunity of the interim to appeal to his liege lord, King Philip, but could obtain no aid from him. The fate of Curthose and the duchy was sealed at the Battle of Tinchebray on 28 or 29 September 1106; Curthose was captured and imprisoned for the rest of his life. Henry was now, like his father, both King of England and Duke of Normandy, and the stage was set for a new round of conflict between England and France.

 Anglo-French War 1117-1120

In 1108, Philip I, who had been king since before the Norman Conquest, died and was succeeded by his son Louis VI, who had already been conducting the administration of the realm in his father's name for several years.  Louis had initially been hostile to Robert Curthose, and friendly to Henry I; but with Henry's acquisition of Normandy, the old Norman-French rivalries reëmerged. From 1109 to 1113, clashes erupted in the Vexin; and in 1117 Louis made a pact with Baldwin VII of Flanders, Fulk V of Anjou, and various rebellious Norman barons to overthrow Henry's rule in Normandy and replace him with William Clito, Curthose's son. By luck and diplomacy, however, Henry eliminated the Flemings and Angevins from the war, and on 20 August 1119 at the Battle of Bremule he defeated the French. Louis was obliged to accept Henry's rule in Normandy, and accepted his son, William Adelin's homage for the fief in 1120. As belligerents

·         Wars of Henry II of England and Philip II of France

·         Stephen and Matilda conflict

·         Saintonge War (1242)

·         War of Saint-Sardos (1324)

·         Hundred Years' War (1337–1453)

·         Parts of the Italian Wars (1511–1559)

·         War of the League of Cambra

·          Anglo-French War (1627–1629)

·         War of the Grand Alliance (Nine years war) (1688–1697) (formerly the League of Augsburg

·          Williamite War in Ireland (1689–1691)

·         King William's War (1689–1697)

·         War of the Spanish Succession (1702–1713)

·         War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748)

·         Seven Years' War (1756–1763)

·         American Revolutionary War (1775–1783

·          French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars (1792–1815)

·         The term "Second Hundred Years' War" has been proposed for the series of conflicts between 1688 and 1815.

The term "Second Hundred Years' War" has been proposed for the series of conflicts between 1688 and 1815.

 As allies

The Crusades
Parts of the Italian Wars (1511–1559).
The Eighty Years' War (1568–1648)
The Fronde (1648–1653)
The Anglo-Spanish War (1654–1659)
The War of the Quadruple Alliance (1718–1720)
The Crimean War (1854–1856)
The Boxer Rebellion (1900–1901)
World War I (1914–1918)
World War II (1939–1945)
The Korean War (1950–1953)
The Suez Crisis (1956)
The First Gulf War (1991)
The War in Afghanistan (2001–present)

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