The Spanish Armada

England vs. Spain and the Spanish Armada

Time Frame

Lasted from 1585-1604


  1. 1588- Sir Francis Drake sent the English fleet to attack Cadiz, where they significantly damaged the Spanish navy
  2. 1589-The English fleet was sent to the Spanish coast, where they suffered a defeat. This was known as the turning point of the English/Spanish war
  3. 1590 (95-97)- More armadas/fleets were sent from both sides to the other country, none of which had much of an impact due to poor weather conditions and lack of power
  4. 1604- The treaty of London was signed by the leaders of both countries (Philip III and James I) which restored peace

Summary



On July 21, 1558, the outnumbered English navy began bombarding the seven-mile-long line of Spanish ships from afar, utilizing their superior long-range guns. The Spanish Armada continuously during the next few days, but England was able to defend itself. On July 28, the Spanish retreated to Calais, France, but the English sent ships loaded with explosives into the crowded harbor, which severely damaged the Armada. On the 29th, Spain's attempt to reach the Netherlands was demolished by a small Dutch fleet, and the Spanish were forced to face the pursuing English fleet. The superior English guns again beat out the Spanish, and the Armada retreated north to Scotland. Weakened by storms and suffering from a lack of supplies, the Armada sailed on a difficult journey back to Spain through the North Sea and around Ireland. By the time the last of the surviving fleet reached Spain in October, half of the original armada was destroyed. Queen Elizabeth’s decisive defeat of the "Invincible Armada" made England a world-class naval power and introduced effective long-range weapons into naval warfare for the first time, ending the era of boarding and close-quarter fighting.

Important Individuals

Outcome

The English defeated Spain's "Invincible Armada." This victory made England a world-class naval power and introduced effective long-range weapons into warfare for the first time, ending the era of boarding and close-quarter fighting.

Root and Direct Causes

  • Root cause- King Philip II wanted England to return to the old ways of religion
  • Direct cause- King Philip II ordered the Spanish Armada to attack the English

Main Significance

  • Had the English lost, Catholicism would have flourished and the Protestants would have diminished greatly.
  • With the majority of the Spanish influence gone, England became the "top country"

Primary Source Document

The Dale Letter

The document is a letter written by a member of the Spanish Armada, describing his loyalty to the Spanish Armada. He refers to it as the "Invincible Armada", which shows how confident they all were in themselves. It suggests that the Spanish Armada could've been a little too hubristic, causing England's navy to be able to overpower them.