How far was the loss of Normandy in 1204 the
result of King John's personal failings (45)
1 Personal Failing
1.1 John initially had success in 1200 with the treaty at Le Goulet in which John was recognised by Philip as the rightful heir to the 'empire' for the price of a relief payment. However it was not long before
John would put his foot it in so to speak, in the same year came the famous Lusignan affair, John married Isabele of Angouleme who was already betrothed to Hugh, John became a contumacious vassal.
What infuriated the Lusignans further was the lack of compensation received from King John. The Lusignans raised revolt in 1201 and appealed to Philip, Philip demanded the confiscation of Johns fiefs.
1.1.1 Resulting from the Lusignan affair was the siege of Mirebeau by Arthur of Brittany and Hugh. As this was where Eleanor was located, John lightning marched to Mirebeau in 48 hours to
relieve the siege and capture those who had besieged the castle. This was a show of military capability from John, but would again be followed by him undermining his own success.
The 20+ prisoners held by John (all well connected) at Corf castle were under incredibly unchivalrous conditions and thus subsequently died of starvation. This triggered important
Angevin nobles such as WIlliam des Roches and Aimery of Thovars to rebell. In addition the mysterious 'disappearance' of Arthur just added to the Baron's uncomfort with their King
22.214.171.124 This was important when Philip invaded Normandy, Important nobles such as the Count of Alencon joined Philips side due
to some of Johns actions. A second example would be Vaudreuil which was a stronghold town
126.96.36.199 John Gillingham: "John threw away at winning hand at Mirebeau"
188.8.131.52 John Gillingham: "what changed a winning war into a losing one was a change of commander
1.1.2 John was unable to resist this measure from Philip despite his Father doing so in 1152-53
1.2 John, through bullying his vassals and making petty diplomatic
errors, gave his overlord Philip the excuse to wage war against
him - A war that would lose all his continental lands.
1.3 In 1203-1204 John made not even the slightest effort to relieve
2 The comparative strength of
2.1 Johns lands were administratively incoherent and over extended in comparison to Philips more compact Capetian Kingdom. As Philips French lands were much smaller than John's it allowed him to
concentrate his resources on the war torn border where as John was unable to mobilise his resources where critically needed and was thus very reliant on strongholds such as Chateau Gaillard: The key
to Rouen. However the counter argument to this would be that Richard seemed to manage and even excell in the war vs Philip
2.2 Had Richard drained the empire of all its capital, leaving John in an Inevitably ill position? i.e. Saladin Tithe, Randoms Money,
Crusade Money and war against Philip, Huber Walter extracting 1,100,000 marks
2.3 Henry II had many times proposed to split his continental lands among his sons, it was
only family matters and Richards success that prevented this from happening
3 Philips competence
3.1 Philip had success at the Treaty of Le Goulet by receiving 20,000 from John as well as john ceding
Évreux and the Norman Vexin
3.2 Incredibly Successful propaganda campaign from Philip, using terms such as "A greater France" to inspire nobles on the war torn border to change sides,
which was crucial in the take of Normany. Even more effective when alongside Johns erratic treatment of Nobles, this caused mass desertion from Johns side
3.3 Incredibly competent diplomatic leader, established great fiscal control and inspired Nobles