Final Project 4: France and Charles VII

For my fourth blog, I will be addressing the political climate in France during the time of Joan’s birth and her relationship with Charles VII.

Joan was born in 1429 during the Hundred Year’s War, which began in 1337. At the time of Joan’s birth, the French military was losing the war, the economy was suffering, and the French people were still recovering from the Plague. French leadership was inconsistent and unreliable and the English had set up a puppet crown that controlled much of France. The French King, Charles VII, struggles with bouts of depression, which resulted in messy family dynamics and an unclear leader and heir.

Charles VII (pictured above), who inherited the title of dauphin after his previous four older brothers died, became Dauphin when France was largely occupied by the English. He almost immediately faced assassination attempts on his life, was forced to flee from an English battle conflict, and was accused by his own parents of being an illegitimate child . After his father’s death, he finally declared himself King, although he still had a French rival for the position who was living under English capture. Charles VII stayed in Southrn France and did not try to take back Northern France from the English. He had no coronation.

In 1428 Joan, a teenager of estimated sixteen or seventeen-years-old, visited Lord Robert de Baudricourt, who refused to listen to her. She returned to her hometown and in July, a Burgundian army, another warring French political fraction which opposed Charles VII, passed through Joan’s town. Villagers were forced to hide out at a nearby village until all the soldiers passed through. In October the town of Orleans was put under siege by the English, and the English army started making an advancement further south.

By 1429, Joan had visited Baudricourt three times requesting an escort to visit the Dauphin. He finally obliged. Since Joan had claimed she could recognize him without ever having met him, the Dauphin tested her by dressing as a courtean. She immediately recognized him and bowed before him. After some convincing, the Charles VII finally sent her to stop the siege. Surprisingly, merely nine days after her arrival, Joan turned around the situation for a French victory. Charles was crowned King later.

While none of Joan’s letters to Charles survive, a copy of a written record of what she wrote has. It is said that in the letter, she inquired earnestly of the King what military action to take,”she was sending a message in order to learn whether she should enter the town where her aforementioned King was, and that she had come a good hundred and fifty leagues in order to come to his aid” (Blah). Thus, Joan’s letters to her king reveal her enthusiasm and commitment to military strategy.

Charles VII did not return such loyalty. Despite professing that Joan knew things about him he had only revealed to God, when she was captured by Burgundian soldier sand handed over to the English, he made no effort to free her. She was abandoned by the King she’d so passionately served.

For my fourth blog, I will be addressing the political climate in France during the time of Joan’s birth and her relationship with Charles VII.

Joan was born in 1429 during the Hundred Year’s War, which began in 1337. At the time of Joan’s birth, the French military was losing the war, the economy was suffering, and the French people were still recovering from the Plague (Gale Research). French leadership was inconsistent and unreliable and the English had set up a puppet crown that controlled much of France. The French King, Charles VII, struggles with bouts of depression, which resulted in messy family dynamics and an unclear leader and heir.

Charles VII, who inherited the title of dauphin after his previous four older brothers died, became Dauphin when France was largely occupied by the English. He almost immediately faced assassination attempts on his life, was forced to flee from an English battle conflict, and was accused by his own parents of being an illegitimate child. After his father’s death, he finally declared himself King, although he still had a French rival for the position who was living under English capture. Charles VII stayed in Southern France and did not try to take back Northern France from the English. He had no coronation (Gale Research).

In 1428 Joan, a teenager of estimated sixteen or seventeen-years-old, visited Lord Robert de Baudricourt, who refused to listen to her. She returned to her hometown and in July, a Burgundian army, another warring French political fraction which opposed Charles VII, passed through Joan’s town. Villagers were forced to hide out at a nearby village until all the soldiers passed through. In October the town of Orleans was put under siege by the English, and the English army started making an advancement further south (Williamson).

By 1429, Joan had visited Baudricourt three times requesting an escort to visit the Dauphin. He finally obliged. After some convincing, the Charles VII finally sent her to stop the siege. Surprisingly, merely nine days after her arrival, Joan turned around the situation for a French victory. Charles was crowned King later (Heritage History).

While none of Joan’s letters to Charles survive, a copy of a written record of what she wrote has. It is said that in the letter, she inquired earnestly of the King what military action to take,” she was sending a message in order to learn whether she should enter the town where her aforementioned King was, and that she had come a good hundred and fifty leagues in order to come to his aid” (Williamson, Joan of Arc’s Letter to Charles VII, 1429). Thus, Joan’s letters to her king reveal her enthusiasm and commitment to military strategy.

Charles VII did not return such loyalty. Despite professing that Joan knew things about him he had only revealed to God, when she was captured by Burgundian soldier sand handed over to the English, he made no effort to free her. She was abandoned by the King she’d so passionately served.

Bibliography

Fouqet, Jean. Portrait of Charles VII. 1445-14450, Louvre Museum, WikipediaCommons
Gale Research . Encylopedia of World Biography. 17 Vols 2nd ed. 1998. online. 23 April 2014.
Heritage History. Joan of Arc. 2014. Online. 25 April 2014.
Williamson, Allen. Joan of Arc, Brief Biography. 2005. Online. 25 April 2014.
—. Joan of Arc’s Letter to Charles VII, 1429. 2005. online. 25 April 2014.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s