The dynastic struggle between the English Royal House of Plantagenet and the French Royal House of Valois, known as the Hundred Years’ War, lasted from May 1337 to October 1453. The third and final phase of the war, known as The Lancastrian War, began in 1415 when Henry V invaded France. The first half of this phase of the war was dominated by England. Initial English successes, at the famous Battle of Agincourt, coupled with division among the French ruling class, allowed the English to gain control of large parts of France. In 1420, the Treaty of Troyes was signed, by which the Henry V married the French princess Catherine of Valois and was made regent and heir to the French throne, a low point for the French. Some years earlier, in 1412, an unlikely leader had been born in the village Domremy-la-Pucelle. She was a peasant girl, who would become known as Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc), and called herself “Jeanne la Pucelle”. When Jeanne was about 17 years old she claimed she had experienced visions from the Archangel Michael and other saints instructing her to support the Dauphin, Charles VII, heir apparent to the throne of France, in driving out the English. Jeanne impressed local notables at nearby Vaucoulers then made her way to meet the Dauphin at Chinon in the Loire valley. He sent Jeanne to boost the morale of his troops holding Orleans and the English army was driven away. She went on to inspire the French army to further victories, paving the way for Charles to march on Reims, where he celebrated his coronation on 16 July 1429. Jeanne fought on but was captured by a Burgundian force on 23 May 1430 and handed over into English hands. After a short trail in Rouen she was found guilty and burned at the stake on 30 May 1431.
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