Siege of Orléans

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The Siege of Orléans (1428–1429) marked a turning point in the Hundred Years' War between France and England. This was Joan of Arc's first major[1] military victory and the first major French success to follow the crushing defeat at Agincourt in 1415. The outset of this siege marked the pinnacle of English power during the later stages of the war. The city held strategic and symbolic significance to both sides of the conflict. The consensus among contemporaries was that the English regent, John Plantagenet, would succeed in realizing Henry V's dream of conquering all of France if Orléans fell. For half a year the English appeared to be winning, but the siege collapsed nine days after Joan's arrival.

Contents

Background

Hundred Years' War

The siege of Orléans occurred during the Hundred Years' War, contested between the ruling houses of France and England for supremacy over France. The conflict had begun in 1337 when England's Edward III decided to press his claim to the French throne, a claim based in part on ancient inheritance from William the Conqueror and augmented by inheritance from strategic marriages.

Following a decisive victory at Agincourt in 1415, the English gained the upper hand in the conflict, occupying much of northern France. Under the Treaty of Troyes of 1420, England's Henry V became regent of France. By this treaty, Henry married Catherine, the daughter of the current French king, Charles VI, and would then succeed to the French throne upon Charles's death. The dauphin Charles, the son of Charles VI and presumptive heir prior to the treaty, was then disinherited.

Geography

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