France and England in the Middle Ages Essay by RightRiters

France and England in the Middle Ages
A discussion of why England achieved centralized power in the Middle Ages and why France became more powerful than England in the 13th century.
# 22799 | 1,362 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jan 12, 2003 in History (British) , History (European)

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This paper examines how both France and England vied to become the most powerful monarchies in Europe and how throughout the 13th and 14th century, wars for land and supremacy were fought until each became a power in its own right. It focuses on the questions of how England achieved centralized power much faster than France, due to the political and territorial layout of the country and how France become more powerful than England in the 13th century due to the leadership of Louis the IX and other events culminating in the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 which forced the English king to relinquish much of his power.

From the Paper:

"The King of France was only able to achieve centralized leadership through territorial sovereignty through inheritance, marriage and finally war. This was not an easy task because there was a great deal of loyalty within the cities and they supported their local jurisdictions. The problem was finally resolved when the Crown allowed regional powers to maintain some of their local customs and laws but was governed by a selected official of the Crown.
But France had to struggle with the clergy and issues that would affect them as well as the constituency. They never quite achieved the level of support for royal initiatives from the church that was needed to perpetuate the Crown as a central authority."

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