The Wars Of The Roses

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The Wars of the Roses

The Wars of the Roses


The War of the Roses was a civil war that pitted intermittently to members and supporters of the House of Lancaster against the House of York between 1455 and 1485. Both families claimed the throne of England, by common origin in the House of Plantagenet, as descendants of King Edward III. The name "Wars of the Roses" refers to the emblems of both houses, the white rose of York and Lancaster Red, was a product of Romanticism.

War of the Roses

Historical Background

The war was mainly between members of the landed aristocracy and armies of feudal lords. Support for each of the sides relied heavily on the marriage dynastic between the nobility. The patriarch of the house of Lancaster, John of Gaunt had the first title of Earl of Richmond, the same as detentaría Henry VII at the end of the war. The leader of the House of York was Edmund of Langley, who held the Lordship of Cambridge. Later, during the reigns of the Tudor and Stuart, Richmondshire and Cambridgeshire would become major focuses of recusants and Puritans, respectively. Note that the feud between the factions continued beyond the time of Henry, as the monarchs that followed prompted the continuation of the fighting.

The War of the Roses caused the extinction of the Plantagenets and greatly weakened the ranks of the nobility and generates widespread social discontent. This period marked the decline of British influence in Europe, the weakening of the feudal powers of nobility and, in contrast, the increased influence by merchants, and the growth and strengthening of a monarchy centralized under the Tudor. This war marks the end of the middle Ages and early English Renaissance.

The antagonism between the two houses began with the overthrow and murder of King Richard II, in 1399, at the hands of his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster. Henry was the fourth son of John of Gaunt, who in turn was the third son of Edward III: his expectations were low to the throne. According to the law of succession and English precedents set by tradition, the crown should rest with the male descendants of Lionel of Antwerp, second surviving son of Edward III. In fact, Richard II had appointed heir presumptive to the crown Lionel's grandson, Roger Mortimer. However, the situation was tolerated only because the government of Richard II had been extremely unpopular. For this reason, the Parliament declared him king of England and assumed the crown under the name of Henry IV.

The Reasons for the Wars

The Wars of the Roses were a sequence of civil wars fought during England's medieval period, spanning the greater part of the late 14th century. The two warring factions were The House of York and The House of Lancaster with both parties battling for power over the throne. The reason for its name is due to the badges of both royal houses. The red rose was for the House of Lancaster and the white rose for the House of York. The White Rose of York is the Rose Alba and the Red Rose of Lancaster is the rose gules. A scene in Shakespeare's Henry VI set in the garden of a church portrays an event where a group of nobles and a prominent lawyer choose between a red and a white rose displaying their loyalty to either house.

The 'Hundred Years War', or 'The French Wars' had ended and England was defeated. Generations of Englishmen had fought and occupied France and ...
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