The Rise And Fall Of Joan Of Arc During The Middle Ages

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During the Middle Ages, a time period when strict gender roles heavily restricted the powers of women, it was unheard of for a woman to lead men into battle and nearly impossible for one to influence the outcome of a war (Cawthon). However, Joan of Arc bucked the trend, and despite growing up as a peasant, she played an integral role in securing France 's victory during the Hundred Years’ War. Her unlikely rise and untimely fall occured because of religion and how it influenced her decisions as well as those of the people around her, largely due to the prominence of Christianity in politics during the Middle Ages. At the time of Joan’s birth in 1412 (Robin 191), the Hundred Years’ War was well underway. The war began in 1337 after Charles IV, the king of France, died without producing a male heir and many questioned who would become France’s next leader. Charles had said before his death that his cousin, Philip of Valois, another frenchman, should become king after his death. Unfortunately for Philip, Charles’ sister, Isabella, whose son, Edward III, was the king of England, believed that Edward should become king of France as well. Philip was recognized as king, despite that Isabella’s line of descent was more directly related to Charles IV. This conflict set off a period of war between England and France. The war had four main phases and the third began in April 1415, just three years after Joan’s birth (Axelrod and Phillips). During this phase Henry V, who had become king
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