Hello, I'm Zach Toombs and today on About.com, we will be discussing the Hundred Years War.The Hundred Years War, or we might more accurately say, the 116-years war, was a series of battles that lasted from 1337-1453. The major players were France and England, and the prize was the French throne, which had been left empty after the last King of the French Capetian dynasty died.The French believed that the former king's cousin, Philip of Valois, should be successor to the throne. The English pressed claim to the throne, with King Edward III, the former king's nephew. This would give 18-year-old King Edward III the right to rule both France and England from a single throne. Though the French themselves were divided about the two candidates, one side quickly rushed to crown Philip of Valois as King, and they attacked King Edward's lands in southwestern France.Fighting over the next several decades proved disastrous for France, as they lost control over the English Channel, forfeited many great Knights in the battle of Crecy, and surrendered the town of Calais, giving England a base in Northern France. Sadly, the "Black Death," a devastating pandemic, killed one-third of both French and English populations in 1348, complicating fighting on both sides. But, after the English won another mass victory in 1356, capturing the French King, peace was declared in 1360, and fighting ceased, for a short time, anyway.The tables turned, and the French took control around 1360, driving the English out of all but Calais and a few other strongholds in France, striking across the Channel and engaging in savage raids in the 1380's.But French success did not last, as France was stuck in a civil war, and England took advantage of French divisions invading Normandy, and later conquering the North and West of France. In 1420, the weakened French King signed a treaty agreeing to English rule over northern France. It allowed the King of England to inherit the crown of France, upon the French King's death, to run the two countries as a dual kingdom.Enter Joan of Arc, in 1429, who began to run the English back out of France. Before her capture and execution by fire, she inspired a French revival, and under King Charles the seventh, the remaining English strongholds were seized.Finally, the capture of Bordeaux in 1453, marked an official end to the One Hundred Years War. While France and England both suffered many losses and won great victories throughout the years, the overall victory is overwhelmingly awarded to France.That's an overview of the Hundred Years War. Thanks for watching. For more information go to About.com.