The Spanish Armada Essay Research Paper On

The Spanish Armada Essay, Research Paper

On May 30, 1588, they left the Port of

Lisbon confident and assured of victory. If they would succeed in victory

and conquer the enemy, then they would be the sole world power. If they

win they will be victors of the biggest battle the world has ever seen.

The Spanish Armada, the biggest invading fleet Spain had ever launched,

left Lisbon toward England and headed for the unknown.

During the 16th century Spain and England

were colonizing the world and gaining power. In the 1560’s England was

jealous of Spain, because the Spaniards were taking gold and silver from

the Americas and the English wanted some of that wealth. Queen Elizabeth

I encouraged some of her commanders to raid Spanish towns and ships, even

though the two countries were still at peace. Some religious differences

were also causing conflict between the two countries. England was a protestant

country, who had just broke away from the Roman Catholic church, and Spain

followed the Roman Catholic church. The English government also supported

the Dutch Protestants, who were rebelling against Spanish rule. Spain and

England also competed over trade routes and control of trade throughout

Europe and the world.

In the early 1580’s King Philip II of Spain

started to assemble his fleet. His plan was to have a two pronged attack.

His fleet would meet with the Duke of Parma, in the Spanish Netherlands

at Calais. The Armada would then ferry the Duke’s troops across the English

Channel allowing them to march on London, capturing the city and the Queen.

Soon after the entire country would fall to Spanish rule.

Once the fleet of 125 ships had been assembled,

King Philip II ordered the Duke of Medina Sedonia, the Spanish commander

of the fleet, to sail to Calias. In May 1588, the armada left Lisbon traveled

up the coast toward England. The English were informed of the Spanish movements

and quickly assembled a fleet of mostly merchant ships. They left England

to intercept the advancing armada. Once the Spaniards had reached the South

West coast of England on July 19, 1588, the 197 vessels of the English

navy attacked the flanks of the great armada. The English avoided close-in

combat, much to the Spanish dismay. The Spaniards continued attacking,

yet the English fleet harassed the Spaniards doing much damage. The Spanish

fleet continued on their path to Calais, with the English in tow. Once

the Spanish fleet reached the port of Calais they found out that the Duke

of Parma failed to show up with his men. This was devastating to the Kings

plan. At this time the English saw an opportunity to attack and did. They

sent fire ships into the Spanish formations, thus scattering them. The

next day the English attacked the confused armada. The Battle of Gravelines,

an eight hour struggle, left many Spanish ships damaged or lost.

The Spanish realized that their invincible

armada was in danger of total annihilation, so the Spanish commander, the

Duke of Media Sedonia ordered a retreat. The Spanish fleet was to forgo

the invasion and head back home. He chose the route that went north of

Scotland and Ireland. For three days the English ships followed the Spaniards,

before they ran out of ammunitions, then they returned to England to restock.

The Spanish fleet was battered by North Sea storms and finally the weakly

defeated armada limped back to Spain. After the defeat of the Armada, Spain

dropped from world domination. After that the British rose to international


The defeat of the Spanish Armada brought

change to the world scene in which England became the dominate leader in

world trade and colonization. Spain lost most of it’s world control because

of the loss of it’s navy. With out the navy they couldn’t control their

colonies, thus lossing them to other world powers. England thrived and

spread it’s power all over the world, becoming an influential and dominate

world power.


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