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England Vs. Spain & Spanish Armada


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Spain and England were not close after Catherine of Aragon was divorced. By the time that Elizabeth I took the throne, they were enemies. Spain believed that Elizabeth did not have the right to the throne. Elizabeth encouraged the plundering of Spanish ships that had came from the new world with treasures.Elizabeth also supported the Dutch Revolt which Spain was trying to end. Phillip believed the throne should belong to him and intended to take it.

The Direct Cause: Phillip II sent out the Spanish Armada loaded with around 30,000 men to attack England and their Vessels. The armada was also loaded with gunpowder and weapons.

Indirect Cause: Religion was a major part of the beginning of the war because England was Protestant and Spain was Roman Catholic. Phillip wanted to invade England and turn the country back into a Roman Catholic nation.


When Spain threatened to attack and dethrone the Queen, whom they viewed as illegitimate because of the relationship with Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. The Catholic faith do not believe in a divorce so theoretically Catherine of Aragon was still Henry's wife and Elizabeth I was an illegitimate child. The main reason the Spanish Armada was launched was because the death of Mary, Queen of Scotts. She was beheaded for treason. After the defeat of the Spanish Armada (130 vessels) due to weather and lack of supplies, many ships crashed off of the rocky coast of Ireland due to trying to get back to Spain. Many other soldiers and sailors died of dysentery; the war continued. Spain continued to send fleets of ships to attack but they were never any mach for England. At the Battle of Kinsdale, England forced the Spanish fleets out of Ireland, requiring them to take a different route to the mainland. After the death of both Queen Elizabeth I and Phillip II the war was finally ended with a treaty. The Treaty of London was signed in 1604.


  • August, 10, 1585 Treaty of Nonsuch - Allowed England to provide aid to the Dutch rebels in the Dutch Revolt -
  • September 1585- July 1586 - Sir Francis Drake raids Spanish boats Vigo, Cape Verde, Santo Domingo and St. Agustine -
  • February, 1587 - Mary, Queen of Scotts is executed -
  • April, 1587 - Drake sinks 37 Warships in the port of Cadiz -
  • July, 19, 1588 - Spanish Armada is seen off the coast of England -
  • July, 29, 1588 - the Spanish Armada is defeated -
  • August, 1588 - England wins the battle of Gravelines - the ships are forced to sail around Ireland, terrible storms destroy many of Spain's ships
  • August 2, 1595 - Battle of Cornwall - Spain attacked several towns around Mount's bay -
  • January 28, 1596 - Sir Francis Drake dies of dysentery
  • 1601-1602 - the Battle of Kinsale drives the Spainsh out of Ireland
  • 1603- James I is crowned the King of England after Queen Elizabeth I dies
  • August, 18, 1604 - Treaty of London is signed -

Key Figures

Main Significance

England and Spain were finally able to be at peace in over 20 years. Protestants and Catholics were finally at peace; for now. This allowed England and Spain to finally pay off all of their debt that they had accumulated during the war.


¨I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and a king of England too! And think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any Prince of Europe, that should dare to invade the borders of my realm¨.

-Elizabeth I, Tilbury Speech

Elizabeth is saying that even though she is a queen she will fight with them. She is saying this to get them ready to fight and protect England form Spain. Elizabeth does not want to wait on the sidelines she wants to fight with her country. (see website for full text)

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The Treaty of London was signed August, 18, 1604. The treaty required Spain to renounce their intentions of returning Catholicism in England. England was required to allow Spain to pass through the English Channel. England was also required to withdraw their supplies and soldiers form the dutch rebels in the Dutch Revolt.

Spain was favored in this treaty, they received preferential treatment and got what they wanted.

Works cited

"Treaty of London (1604)." World Public Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.

"Elizabeth I." N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.

"The Spanish Armada." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.

QUEEN ELIZABETH I(1533-1603)." Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603). N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.

History of the Monarchy. N.p., n.d. Web.