The Wars of the Roses happened when the Plantagenets fought for the throne. This was in the fifteenth century. The House of York had the white rose, and House of Lancaster had the red rose.
It started because the Lancastrian King Henry VI went insane in 1453. England was in a mess, so Warwick, known as the "kingmaker" set up Richard, the Duke of York, as Henry's Protector in his place.
Two years later, Henry seemed to recover, and war resulted. Richard was killed at The Battle of Wakefield in 1460. Then Henry went insane yet again so the war continued, when a Yorkist victory at Towton (York itself nearby) meant that the Protector's son became Edward IV.
Edward's brothers Clarence and Warwick were offended by Edward and invaded from France in 1470 coming with the insane King's wife Margaret of Anjou. Thus he became King again. Then the Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians at Barnet and Tewkesbury and this time Henry VI was dealt with by being murdered.
Edward IV died in 1483. His heir Edward and brother, children, disappeared (rumoured to have been killed in the Tower of London). As a result Uncle Richard siezed the throne.
Richard III alienated some Yorkists, who fought with Lancastrians and their Henry Tudor. On August 22 1485 at Bosworth Field Richard III met his death.
This meant Henry Tudor became Henry VII and in a smart move he married Elizabeth of York and this was enough to end the warring.