Anglo-French War (1109–1113)
PRINCIPAL COMBATANTS: England vs. France
PRINCIPAL THEATER(S): Normandy
DECLARATION: No formal declaration
MAJOR ISSUES AND OBJECTIVES: Opposition to English
presence in France
OUTCOME: An inconclusive truce ended warfare for a few
APPROXIMATE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF MEN UNDER ARMS:
TREATIES: None formally recorded; a truce ended the
fighting in 1113.
William the Conqueror’s (1035–87) invasion of England
in 1066 (see NORMAN CONQUEST) shook the European
political landscape and touched off a five-century struggle
between France and England. The first Anglo-French War
was precipitated by a power struggle between William’s
two sons, Robert Curthose (c. 1054–1134), duke of Normandy,
and England’s king Henry I (1068–1135), and
foretold the course of centuries to come: that the monarchs
of France would never reconcile themselves to the
existence of English possessions on French soil. More
than a matter of territory, this animosity between the two
nations was rooted in deep-seated cultural differences and
nationalist passions on both sides.
By 1109 Louis VI’s (1081–1137) calls for resistance to
English authority fostered a resistance movement led by
Robert’s son, William Clito (c. 1101–28). England’s King
Henry at last took action. He dispatched troops to the
Vexin, a rich province of Normandy, and after several
years of raids and counterraids, the revolt was suppressed.
With both sides exhausted, hostilities ended in 1113 with
a precarious truce, but the seeds of chronic aggression had
been sown, and by 1116 war would once again resume.
See also ANGLO-FRENCH WAR (1116–1119).
Further reading: Frank Barlow, The Feudal Kingdom of
England, 1042–1216 (London: Longman, 1972); John Le
Patourel, The Norman Empire (Oxford: Clarendon Press,