View Full Version : Wars of the Roses, 1455-1487

July 2nd, 2009, 09:14 PM
I thought I should introduce an older era of history.

The Wars of the Roses was a crucial point in European history. Fought by the 2 major houses of Europe, Lancaster and York, Henry Tudor, a baron under command of the Lancastrians took control over Europe and founded the House of Tudors, which reigned for a good 120 years.

The conflict was sparked over an argument over the throne of England. John of Gaunt gave the lineage rights to the Lancasters. They argued that the current lord of the lands, Henry, was not the rightful heir and thus should relinquish power over to the Lancasters. This was greatly threatening Richard of York's next claim to the title.

Although fighting was not as heavy during the first 7 months, war began to escalate soon into total war. At the First Battle of St. Albans, many loyal Lancastrians died and the rest swore to avenge them. York had to eventually retreat out of the country and returned when his ally, the Earl of Warwick, assisted him and invaded England from the flank. This allowed the Yorks to gain a holding and York returned as a noble in England. Eventually, the Yorkist armies gathered and won a massive victory in the Battle of Towton in '55.

General peace ensued except for some Lancastrian revolts. Nevertheless, Edward the King at the time died unexpectedly, and Richard of Glouchester suddenly took the throne. Rumors of murder took place and revolts were common. Henry Tudor, a Lancastrian lord eventually gained much support, marched to Richard, and slew him.

History is similar, isn't it? When the rich wage wars, the poor die fighting.

A point I'm trying to drag from all of this, is the fact that all of this was fought by pretty much peasants who were given decent training and anointed 'footmen'. However, due to a family feud over a throne title, people had to die, spill blood, and will probably never be spoken of again after just 10-20 years.

History repeats itself. Titles, wealth - it's all fought over by prominent people - and fought by the farmers who stand on the sidelines.

July 3rd, 2009, 12:14 AM
I agree!

The rich sit while the poor fight for them. Even today.

July 3rd, 2009, 04:50 PM
... What exactly are we debating?

Dr Gonzo
July 3rd, 2009, 05:27 PM
I agree, it's happening today (if that's the premise of the op...?). I contend that it's always happened this way. Name a conflict where an elite sector did not send out it's peasantry to die for some cause or another.

As an aside, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire is more than loosely based on the War of the Roses. It's fantasy-fiction, but parallels the War very closely. In fact, one of the warring houses, Highgarden, uses pretty much the lancastrian rose as it's banner. There is also a family named the Lannisters, who pretty much pull a pretty coup. All in all, it's a fantastic series. I strongly recommend picking up A Game of Thrones, the first book, at your earliest convenience.

July 3rd, 2009, 09:38 PM
If anything the War of the Roses was more egalitarian, nobility was required to fight alongside the peasants and were on the battlefield if for no other reason than communication. Lets remember that we were at the end of Feudalism here and the chief contract in Feudalism was: you work for me and I'll protect you. The landed gentry of the 1800s hadn't yet arose and the rich of the time became rich by fighting.