Battle of Bouvines/ Central Monarchy in France


AGEMedieval Age
STATES Kingdom of England
Kingdom of France
Holy Roman Empire
PREVIOUS MILESTONEI. Haçlı Seferi ve Kudüs Kuşatması, 7-7-1099
NEXT MILESTONEHarita, 0/0/1300

Battle of Bouvines is one of the most important battle had deceived French and England history also America. Without it there is no Magna Carta however it is not as popular and known as battles of Hasting or Waterloo.

King John is may be the most accused king in the history. He was a tyrant like his father Henry II however he was not as successful as his father so while Henry II was remembered as an important king played role in centralizing of England, John was remembered as John Lackland. The name John is an important name in Christendom, there are several (28) popes and several kings in the history however there was only one John throughout all of the England History. Because of that he deserves his own milestone and entry so I do not expand the details of problems between him and nobles.

Kingdom of England had lost many lands in Normandy and King John’s dream was to rule Normandy again. Defeat of France fleet encouraged him and though he had lots of problems in main land and could not find any support from nobles he decided to build an army with European support. He had supported southern Normandy anti-Pope sects against France; nonetheless he had gained the support of Pope with appointed his offer as an archbishop. So he forged an alliance with the Germen Holly Roman Empire (Otto IV) and the counts of Flanders and Boulogne. He divided his army into two pieces; allies were under the command of his half-brother William the Longsword and were to attack France from north, King John and his army were to attack from south.

Philip II was the king of France and was going to remembered as the first monarch to style himself king of France while his predecessors had been known as kings of Franks. He had an army consisting of 4000 cavalry and 11000 infantry. On the other side of channel, John had built an army with less than 4000 cavalry and 20000 infantry. (Numbers are controversial)

Battle was resolved in north since the main parts of armies were there.

King Philippe-Auguste's army had advanced east from Lille, planning to lay waste to the lands of Hainault which belonged to the Count of Flanders. Learning of the larger coalition army arrayed against him, the king turned back to Lille. But as his forces were crossing the bridge at Bouvines, the enemy caught up. They had come through a forest from the south.

It was ground battle without archers. One of the main weapons used by foot-soldiers was a pike with a hook, which was used to pull knights off their horses. The French king was himself unhorsed by this method, and only saved by his bodyguard. French cavalry was like German panzers in World War II. 4000 cavalry sweep more than 15000 infantry and in the end the French prevailed. The Count of Flanders was captured. The German emperor fled. It was the first Anglo-French war but not the last one, there were going to be more than 20 wars between two kingdoms during 600 years (they made a war nearly every 30 years – the last one would be 1815 Waterloo)

Philip returned to Paris as a glorious commander, Central monarchy was obtained in France by Philip II as the other Frank William did in England. On the other side of the channel, John returned to England without an army. He found an empty treasure which was used to build an army and nobles who were united and ready to rebel.


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