The Use Of Gunpowder And Firearms Triggered The Decline Of Chivalry

1224 WordsDec 11, 20155 Pages
Military speaking, it is often stated that the introducing of gunpowder and firearms triggered the decline of chivalry. Richard Kaeuper, on the contrary, explains that this improved military technology “may be too abrupt, for who would not be reluctant to sign a specific, dated death warrant to mark the end of [chivalry, which is] so persistent and so complex.”1 Moreover, it is not the first time that knights had to adapt to new military techniques. For instance, during the Hundred Year War (1337-1453) that opposed the French and English kingdoms, French knights were slaughtered by English crossbowmen during the battle of Agincourt in 1415. The French traditional model of the knight fighting with his sword was no longer sufficient to win a battle. Even before that, the English took on the chevauchée, a tactic based on raids to rampage the countryside and thus burn the villages and crops to prevent troops ' food supplies and also demoralizing the population. In response to that, the French used a similar technique of deployment of a small troop for precised raids. So, seeing knights ' military contribution as something constant and unchanging is incorrect. Consequently, knights could perfectly make use of gunpowder or still be valuable as leaders of troops, especially since Charny already valued knights who “are entrusted with the command of men-at-arms to lead them in combat as captains, constables, and marshals or in other offices concerned with the direction of the

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