The Hundred Years War inflicted untold misery on France. Farmlands were laid waste, the population was decimated by war, famine, and the Black Death (see plague), and marauders terrorized the countryside. Civil wars (see Jacquerie; Cabochiens; Armagnacs and Burgundians) and local wars (see Breton Succession, War of the) increased the destruction and the social disintegration. Yet the successor of Charles VII, Louis XI, benefited from these evils. The virtual destruction of the feudal nobility enabled him to unite France more solidly under the royal authority and to promote and ally with the middle class. From the ruins of the war an entirely new France emerged. For England, the results of the war were equally decisive; it ceased to be a continental power and increasingly sought expansion as a naval power.
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