The Peace of Arras: 1435

Dorothy Margaret Stuart gives the political background of the career of Joan of Arc, when France was enfeebled by foreign invasion and civil strife, and the Duchy of Burgundy had almost achieved the status of an independent European power.

The agreement concluded between King Charles VII of France and Philippe le Bon of Burgundy is usually called the Treaty of Arras, but to the French and Burgundian people of the time it was emphatically the Peace.

Though two other treaties have been signed in that ancient city, one in 1414, another in 1482, neither has left more than a faint ripple on the main stream of history. It was the accord of 1435 which by ending (if only temporarily) the deadly feud between the two countries led to the final fulfilment of St. Joan’s promise that she would “drive the Goddams out of France.”

To the Burgundian chronicler, Olivier de la Marche, who remembered hearing a herald proclaiming the almost incredible good news, the root of all the evils which had so long afflicted the land lay in the murder of Jean Sans Peur at Montereau in 1419; but the real roots went far deeper.

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