French History

French History
  • Prehistory
  • Ancient History
  • The Middle Ages
  • Hundred Years' War
  • The Black Death
  • Joan of Arc
  • The Renaissance
  • The 17th century
  • The French Revolution
  • The Era of Napoleon
  • The late 19th century
  • The early 20th century
  • The Fifth Republic

A National Heroine – Joan of Arc

The year 1429 saw a change of fortune for France when a restorationist movement emerged, inspired and symbolized by a peasant maid of Lorraine. Responsible for the revival of France under the rule of Charles VII, this young woman had been given instructions from on high to fulfil her mission, which consisted of saving France from the English Invasion. She convinced a board of theologians of this and was placed at the head of the King’s armies.

Leading the troops into several battles that year, she managed to have the English siege of Orléans lifted. The campaign ended with the triumphant coronation of Charles VII in the city of Reims, a ceremony in which the brave woman was given a place of honor beside the King.

Subsequently embarking on another military campaign, this time without support of the King, she was captured by the Burgundians and sold to English allies. She underwent a trial and was burned at the stake for heresy in 1431. Twenty-five years later, the Church overturned the guilty verdict, declared her innocent and canonized her. She remains French national hero to this day.