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Thursday, August 29, 2019

100 years of War ~ bitter rivals ! .. .. and Modiji in G7 summit


Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji attended the G7 Summit in France.  Although India is not a member of the G7 group, PM Modi  was  a special guest, personally invited by French President Emmanuel Macron. The countries that are part of the G7 include the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States.  The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated  that the invitation was a "reflection of the personal chemistry" between the two leaders and also "recognition of India as a major economic power".  PM  Shri Narendra Modi held a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as also with  United States President Donald Trump.

These and many more are accomplishments falling into place for the Indian Prime Minister in his effort to build a wall of support for India. After a triumphant visit to Bahrain, where he received the rather impressively titled 'King Hamad Order of the Renaissance', he flew to Biarritz, the playground of the rich and famous as a "special partner" at the G7 summit, to meet and greet world leaders.

In  stark contrast !  at about the same time, several hundred miles away, Pakistan's prime minister was making a somewhat incoherent address to the nation on Kashmir. Even his best friends would not call that his brightest moment, as that hate  speech was peppered yet again, with allusions to fascists, Nazis and the like, and a promise to stand by Kashmir as its special ambassador.  Neighbouring countries  not in peace is not uncommon ~ best example being France & United Kingdom.

The Carnatic Wars were a series of military conflicts in the middle of the 18th century in India. The conflicts involved numerous nominally independent rulers and their vassals, struggles for succession and territory, and included a diplomatic and military struggle between the French East India Company and the British East India Company. As a result of these military conflicts, British East India Company established its dominance among the European trading companies within India. The French company was pushed to a corner and was confined primarily to Pondichéry.  This  eventually led  to the establishment of the British Raj. 

Nearer home occurred the  Battle of Wandiwash [Vandavasi near Kanchi]  was a decisive battle in India during the Seven Years' War. The Count de Lally's army, burdened by a lack of naval support and funds, attempted to regain the fort at Vandavasi,  was attacked by Sir Eyre Coote's forces and decisively defeated. The French general  surrendered on 22 Jan 1760. Some search on history this date,  - 29.08. - revealed some interesting details.

The House of Plantagenet was a royal house which originated from the lands of Anjou in France.  The family held the English throne from 1154, with the accession of Henry II, until 1485, when Richard III died in battle.  The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the French House of Valois, over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. Each side drew many allies into the war. It was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe.

Over the centuries, English holdings in France had varied in size, at some points dwarfing even the French royal domain.  In 1316, a principle was established denying women succession to the French throne.   In 1328, Charles IV of France died without sons or brothers. His closest male relative was his nephew Edward III of England, whose mother, Isabella of France, was sister of the deceased king. Isabella claimed the throne of France for her son, but the French rejected it, maintaining that Isabella could not transmit a right she did not possess. The throne passed instead to Philip, Count of Valois, a patrilineal cousin of Charles IV, who would become Philip VI of France, the first king of the House of Valois. However, disagreements between Philip and Edward induced the former to confiscate the latter's lands in France, and in turn prompted Edward III to reassert his claim to the French throne.

Several overwhelming English victories in the war—especially at Crécy, Poitiers, and Agincourt—raised the prospects of an ultimate English triumph, and convinced the English to continue pouring money and manpower into the war over many decades. However, the greater resources of the French monarchy prevented the English kings from ever completing the conquest of France. The Treaty of Picquigny was a peace treaty negotiated on 29 August 1475 between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France. It followed from an invasion of France by Edward IV of England in alliance with Burgundy and Brittany. It left Louis XI of France free to deal with the threat posed by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.  Arising out of this treaty,  the  two kings agreed to a seven-year truce and free trade between the two countries.  Louis XI was to pay Edward IV 75,000 crowns upfront, essentially a bribe to return to England and not take up arms to pursue his claim to the French throne. He would then receive a yearly pension thereafter of 50,000 crowns.  Other provisions of the treaty were that if either king experienced a rebellion, the other would provide military support to defeat it.

The details of the negotiations are related by the chronicler Philippe de Commines, who says that Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III), was opposed to the treaty, considering it dishonourable. He refused to participate in the negotiations. However, he joined the celebrations in Amiens after it was concluded. Commines also relays a series of sarcastic comments made by the French king about Edward's notorious womanising, as well as his fear of the English because of the events of the Hundred Years' War.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th August 2019.

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