1359

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Treaty of London

With France ravaged by rebellion, war, and wandering bands of brigands, King John the Good, has agreed to give King Edward III of England half of France in the Treaty of London. However, King John is under duress as a hostage so his agreement must be ratified. When the Treaty reaches France, King John's son, Charles the Wise, is less than willing. He gathers the nobles and as they read the Treaty they realize that no country could ever agree to such a thing. It is a veiled declaration of war. Upon rejection of the Treaty, King Edward launches yet another attack on France. It is poorly planned, but like jumping off a cliff, once begun, you are committed. King Edward fully expects that the French will surrender once they see him coming. Instead, they refuse to join battle, causing King Edward's forces to get bogged down in lengthy sieges as winter closes in around them. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The French decision to avoid battle is due more to economics than anything else. France can no longer afford to field an army at a distance. Armies of the Middle Ages are dependent on "foraging" for their own food. That means either taking food from the local farmers in exchange for receipt, or more likely... the army takes what it wants and kills anyone who objects. But the peasants are tapped out and King Edward's forces are slowed because the horses are dropping dead from a lack of food. There isn't even enough grass to sustain them so King Edward turns south to pillage Burgundy until next March. [3]

French Financial Crisis

Economic conditions in France are grim. In order to jump start the economy, the heir apparent, Charles the Wise, invites the Jews back to France to help stabilize the economy. The Jews will remain in France for the next 70 years. Next year the French franc will be issued. It will replace the livre tournois. It commemorates the freeing of King John the Good of France from English captivity because "franc" means "free". His freedom won't last long. The French hostage who took his place will escape and the French King will return to England to honor his parole. [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
One might wonder what the Jews have to do with French finance. The issue is that loans for interest are illegal between Christians but since the Jews are not Christians, they can take out loans from the Jews and vice-versa. Thus each side helps the other. FYI... Bible "loans" are actually considered charity. You don't charge your brother interest if he asks to borrow 50 bucks until Friday. Consumer loans did not exist in the days of the Bible and commercial loans were actually partnerships. By the time of the Middle Ages everyone had misinterpreted the heck out of the Bible prohibition on interest so that is why these contrived financial relationships were needed. The Jews were also exempt from certain laws that made it easier for Jews to loan money for goods like a pawn shop would when no one else could... legally, that is.


This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1359, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 192. (BOOK) quote="Treaty of London restores French possessions once held by Henry II of England to English crown"
  2. Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim. (Barbara Tuchman, bio). A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Ballantine, 1979. Chapter 8. (BOOK) quote="By the time the King embarked, taking with him his four eldest sons, it was the end of October, ensuring a winter campaign. All military experience, including his own, knew this to be ruinous to a force away from its home base, but the impetus of great preparations is hard to halt, and possession of many garrisons in France gave Edward confidence in a quick victory."
  3. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 192. (BOOK) quote="(1360) Treaty of Calis between Edward III and Philip of Burgandy"
  4. 1359, from Jewish History. (WEB SITE)
  5. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 193. (BOOK) quote="(1360) The first francs coined in France"

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