The Hundred Years' War (French: Guerre de Cent Ans) was a series of separate wars lasting from 1337 to 1453 between two royal houses for the French throne, which was vacant with the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings. The two primary contenders were the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou. The House of Valois claimed the title of King of France, while the Plantagenets from England claimed to be Kings of France and England. Plantagenet Kings were the 12th century rulers of the Kingdom of England, and had their roots in the French regions of Anjou and Normandy. French soldiers fought on both sides, with Burgundy and Aquitaine providing notable support for the Plantagenet side.
The conflict lasted 116 years but was punctuated by several periods of peace, before it finally ended in the expulsion of the Plantagenets from France (except the Pale of Calais).
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The war was fought primarily (though not exclusively) in what is now Germany and at various points involved most of the countries of Europe. Initially the war was fought largely as a religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire, although disputes over the internal politics and balance of power within the Empire played a significant part. Gradually, the war developed into a more general conflict involving most of the European powers.