The Anglo-Spanish war

During the mid to late fifteen hundreds the Christian faith went under a great reformation, and countries bounced back and forth between Catholicism and Protestantism depending on the beliefs of the current rulers. England is a good example of this as during the reign of Edward IV he led England to a more protestant country, just to have his work undone by his sister Bloody Mary, who then had her work undone by her sister Elizabeth I who kept the Church of England as Protestant.

Spain had several colonies in Holland, and when those settlements decided to turn to protestant, Philip was angered towards them and started to attack rebels. England came to Holland’s aid to defend them, and in retaliation, Philip gave assistance to Ireland’s catholic uprising. England’s neighbour, Scotland, was led by the catholic ruler Mary Queen of Scotts who was eventually executed by Elizabeth I, this angered the Spanish ruler Philip II. Along with some treaties that he made with Franc to further stoke the flame, Spain, in 1585 led a full-force attack against England and collected a fleet of 130 large ships which were able to hold a total of 26,000 men. If this Spanish Armada landed in England, the English would stand no chance against them. So England’s navy was to decide the outcome. The Battle of Gravelines was an immense victory for the English. They were able to outmaneuver the large bulky Spanish ships with their smaller, lighter ships. Spain had to fight poor weather, and fire ships, which were boats set on fire and sent at the opponent’s fleet to crash into their ships and burn them. The largest fleet during their time was destroyed before ever reaching England.

England did try to counter with their own fleet, but it failed and cost them money. The remainder of the war was very back and forth with several battles that didn’t really decide anything. Philip II died in 1698 and was succeeded by Philip III, he sent one final attack but both Spain and Ireland surrendered. Elizabeth I eventually died as well, and the new king James from the Steward family instituted the Treaty of London in 1604 which repaired the damage to each country’s relations. Most things returned to exactly how they were before the war, giving it ultimately no purpose, except for one major change, which was that after, England had the superior navy which they would hold on to for a very long time.


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