spanish armada storm ...

The spanish armada storm is one of the best-known topics in Spain s history, but ... what exactly was it all about and what happened?

Basically, it was a fleet of ships assembled and dispatched by King Philip II of Spain in an unsuccessful attempt to invade England in 1588.

It was the largest battle of the Anglo-Spanish War, the first of several invasion attempts in the course of the war, and one of the most famous episodes in English and Spanish history.

The Spanish fleet was scattered by the English under Sir Francis Drake in the Battle of Gravelines.

The defeat of the Spanish Armada was one of the greatest achievements of Queen Elizabeth I of England and helped bring about the subsequent decline of the Spanish Empire.

Perhaps I should just add that my account of events may be slightly biased as I'm English!

spanish armada storm - causes

The reasons which resulted in the Spanish Armada were:

  • religious
  • political
  • economic
  • On the religious front, Queen Elizabeth I of England was Protestant. She had deeply antagonized Catholics by her persecution of them and by the execution of Catholic Mary I of Scotland in 1587. Spain s aim was to dethrone Elizabeth and reconvert England to Catholicism.

    As far as politics were concerned, Philip II could not suppress a revolt of his Protestant subjects in the Spanish-controlled Netherlands. They were being aided by Protestant England so Philip decided he must first master the English.

    As for economics, there was a great deal of competition between Spain and England for trade in the Americas.

    philip s plan

    Philip s plan for attack was a simple fourchette - he would co-ordinate a naval fleet sailing from Spain with his army from the Netherlands for a simultaneous invasion of England.

    Command of the Armada was given to Alonso P rez de G zman - 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia - a soldier with no naval experience.

    His instructions from King Philip were detailed and strict, whereas Queen Elizabeth allowed her naval commanders to be responsible for military decisions.

    The English were aware of Spain s plan and tried to prevent the Armada from sailing. They attacked it in C diz in 1587 and did, in fact, delay it for nearly one year.

    spanish armada storm - execution

    By July 1588, the Spanish Armada - consisting of 130 ships and some 30,000 men - had set sail, was sighted off the English Coast and intercepted by a larger English fleet near Plymouth.

    The English were under the command of Lord Howard of Effingham - later Earl of Nottingham - but he had acknowledged Sir Francis Drake, technically a subordinate, as the more experienced naval commander and given him effective control.

    There followed battles in Plymouth, Portland Bill and the Isle of Wight.

    Unable to break the Armada s formation, the English waited for a chance to strike a decisive blow.

    Their opportunity came when the spanish armada storm anchored near Calais, France - hoping to join troops scheduled to sail from the Netherlands.

    The English ordered ships set on fire to be sent against the Armada, producing panic and finally breaking the Spanish formation.

    In the ensuing Battle of Gravelines on 8 August 1588, the English finally defeated the spanish armada storm.


    The defeat of the Armada did not end the war between England and Spain, which lasted until 1604. However, it did:

  • stimulate English nationalism
  • secure Protestantism as England s state religion
  • create trust in the English navy
  • Unfortunately for Spain, the spanish armada storm was a demoralizing defeat which nearly bankrupted its Treasury.

    other pages related to spain culture/history

  • History of Spain
  • All about the Flag of Spain
  • Spanish National Anthem
  • The Spanish Inquisition
  • Spanish Bull Fighting
  • Pictures of Spanish Bull Fighting

  • top tour of spain

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