Anglo-Spanish War

Spanish Armada

Years Fought



The Anglo-Spanish War was fought between Protestant England and Catholic Spain after the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. Philip ll of Spain was angered by this and sent an armada to England to overthrow Elizabeth l, resulting in the war. The English suffered several defeats, but in the end, the majority of Spain's fleet was destroyed by a storm, thus making the English the victors. In turn, the Protestant Reformation in England remained alive.

Direct Cause

Elizabeth I's restoration of the Act of Royal Supremacy, giving her complete power over the Protestant Church of England, angered Phillip II of Spain. At the time, Phillip II, under the Treaty of Joinville, was assisting the Catholic League quell the Huguenots rebellions in France. Conversely, Elizabeth I was monetarily assisting the Spanish-ruled Dutch protestants rebel with her Treaty of Nonsuch. This caused much friction between the two great powers, Elizabeth and Phillip, and Phillip, taking England's acts as a slap to the face, would declare war. Also, under Elizabeth I's orders, Mary, Queen of Scots, was murdered. Mary was a Catholic, and Phillip II was indignant regarding Mary's death because he felt that her death would weaken Catholicism and strengthen Protestantism in England.

Root Causes

  • Conflict between the Catholic League, along with its allies, and the Protestant reformers.
  • Ultimately stems from England's secession from the Roman Catholic Church to form the Church of England.

Important Events

  • (1584) Treaty of Nonsuch
  • (1585) Treaty of Joinville
  • (1587) The execution of Mary, Queen of Scots
  • (1587) Francis Drake shelled the port of Cadiz very heavily--due to damaged ships, Spain was forced to postpone their English invasion
  • (1588) Spanish Armada of 130 ships sailed from Spain to overthrow Protestant England--direct retaliation to Mary's execution
  • (1588) an "English Wind," a big storm, destroyed the Spanish fleet
  • (1604) Treaty of London--restored status quo antebellum


Treaty of London in 1604 signified the end of the war. This restored the status quo. Protestant Reformation continued to live. Spanish people requested Catholic toleration in England, which was denied.

Main Significance

The most significant outcome of the war was the fact that England remained a sovereign, protestant nation. With the defeat of the famed Spanish Armada, Spain never would again see such militaristic strength. This lead to England's ascension to the status of a world Super Power, which in turn led to more English expansion and exploration.

Primary Document- Treaty of London

This was the agreement made between Philip II and Elizabeth I. The following concessions resulted in Spain's loss:
By Julia and Morgan