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The Auld Alliance was an alliance between Scotland, France, and Norway. (Norway never invoked the treaty, but was involved in Franco-Scottish politics until 1746.) The alliance is thought to reach as far back as 1165 and William the Lion, although the first documentary evidence dates from the treaty signed by John Balliol and Philip IV in 1295. The terms of the treaty stipulated that if any country was attacked by England the other countries would invade English territory, as became evident at the Battle of Flodden Field, 1513.
Although principally a military and diplomatic agreement, the alliance also granted dual citizenship in both countries. Thus, its influence also extended into the lives of the Scottish population in a number of ways, including architecture, law, the Scots language and cuisine, due in part to the Scottish mercenaries participating in French armies. Scots also greatly enjoyed having their choice of France's finest wines.
In 1560, after more than 250 years, the alliance between Scotland and France was officially ended by the Treaty of Edinburgh. Scotland was declared Protestant and now allied itself with Protestant England. (See the article on John Knox.) Nevertheless certain provisions of the treaty remained in force. In particular, all Scots were French citizens until that right was revoked by the French government in 1903.
Relationship with France
In 1421 at the Battle of Bauge French and Scots forces dealt a crushing defeat on the English for which the Scots were richly rewarded. However, their victory was a short lived one: at Vernuil in 1424 the Scots army was annihilated. Despite this defeat, the Scots had given France a valuable breathing space, effectively saving the country from English domination.
In addition, in 1429 Scots came to the aid of Joan of Arc in her famous relief of Orléans; many went on to form the Garde Écossais , the fiercely loyal bodyguard of the French monarchy. Many Scottish mercenaries chose to settle in France although they continued to consider themselves Scots.
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