The Hundred Years War and The Great Western Schism

What were the causes and consequences of the Hundred Years’ War?

The Hundred Years War involved England and France in their battle for control over their respective countries. The conflict could not be stopped, as both sides were actually slavering to enter the war. The English won many victories, but no matter how close they ever came to winning, it wasn’t ever quite close enough. The French people, however, lost morale when they saw how little headway they were making, even with the heavy taxes that had been levied, and they joined in an uprising called the bloody and mad “Jacqeries” revolt. Overall, the Hundred Years War resulted in many deaths, about a hundred years of bad political relations, many years of uncomfortable national dissatisfaction, unnecessary familial strife, and no positive resolution for the English.

What was the Great Western Schism, and how was it resolved?

The Great Western Schism began with the gathering of a Roman mob, begging the college of cardinals to appoint a Pope. As the axes pounded on the Church doors, the elders grew more frantic. Uncertain of what to do but pushed by desperation, the Church officials gave the people what they wanted, in an Italian man named Bartolomeo Prignano, who becomes known as Pope Urban VI.

However, Pope Urban VI soon began to display some unsavory characteristics. He displays hostility and violence to his subjects. When the Church observed his actions, they concluded that perhaps the previously even-tempered man had gone insane. They abandoned Pope Urban VI under explanation of his election having been under duress (pressure from the mob.) They then appointed a new Pope – a Frenchman, who becomes known as Pope Clement VII, and told the first to step down. However, Pope Urban VI would not give up his papal office; so the poor Church was left with two popes and a divided Church!

An Ecumenical Council was convened in 1409, the Council of Pisa, to elect one Pope, so that the Church could be unified once again. But no sooner had they elected the right man (Pope Martin V), that they realized that the problem was not solved – the result was THREE Popes, none of whom wanted to step down! (Of course, the first two were eventually placated and persuaded to step down, but the damage had been done … the Church had symbolically split, East and West, and was on its way to further division.)

Thanks for reading!

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