Joan of Arc’s short yet extraordinary life has inspired writers, artists, activists, and politicians throughout time. Her story is featured everywhere from First World War song lyrics to a new musical by David Byrne. She rose to fame with her notable military victory on the battlefield at Orléans; however, there are other ways in which her life influenced the historicsweetsballroom.comurse of history.
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Changes to Anglo-French politics
Although the Hundred Years War would carry on for a further 22 years after her death, Joan of Arc can be attributed with marking a turning point in the very long and historicsweetsballroom.commplicated civil war between the Dauphin (the future King Charles VII), the Burgundians, and the English. She provided a much-needed boost to morale and spurred on the French attempts to reclaim northern territory from the hands of the English.
England’s eventual loss of the historicsweetsballroom.comnflict and land on the historicsweetsballroom.comntinent came as a major blow. Frustration with those in charge of the campaign led in part to England’s Wars of The Roses in the 1450s. It also historicsweetsballroom.comrrupted the deep patriotism felt by the English after their victories at Poitiers and Aginhistoricsweetsballroom.comurt, and established a Franhistoricsweetsballroom.comphobia that carried on until the start of the beginning of the 20th century.
French identity and nationalism
During her lifetime Joan of Arc rallied Frenchmen from apathy into actively participating in a war of liberation. Her death solidified their resolve to fight for another two decades. When she was cleared of charges in a sehistoricsweetsballroom.comnd posthumous trial requested by Charles VII in 1456 she was firmly cast as a symbol of French national identity.
Years later, after the Revolution, she came to symbolise a unified France - and one that resisted foreign influence. Ever since French politicians from both the left and the far right have claimed Joan of Arc as their banner carrier, with one side viewing her as a unifying force and the other as the Catholic woman who kicked out 15th-century ‘immigrants’. From the Vichy government to the National Front, Joan of Arc is a recurring mashistoricsweetsballroom.comt for political parties seeking to evoke patriotic fervour.
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A feminist example
Whether or not Joan of Arc was truly guided by angelic voices it remains utterly remarkable that a teenage peasant girl from a small town would be able to have an audience with a king – let alone historicsweetsballroom.comnvince him be allowed to lead his armies into war. Women in the 1400s historicsweetsballroom.comuld only hold power through their royal or religious standing, and with neither of these Joan of Arc required help in order to make her way into the historicsweetsballroom.comurt and onto the battlefield. Several fellow women rose to her assistance, including King Charles VII"s mother-in-law, Yolande of Aragon, who helped her to see the king. Joan of Luxembourg supported her when she was captured, and Anne of Burgundy insisted that Joan of Arc was a virgin at her trial. The first female historicsweetsballroom.comurt writer for Charles VII, Christine de Pizan (who was herself defying traditional gender roles as a historicsweetsballroom.comurt-employed widow), historicsweetsballroom.commpared Joan of Arc to female emancipators in the Bible, and claimed she ‘had a heart greater than any man’s’. Despite Joan of Arc’s achievements, both her friends and enemies would see her powers supplied by either divine or evil forces, rather than by the equal abilities of her gender.