A summary of the Spanish Armada
In the late 16th century, Spain was the most powerful empire in the known world. Spain's king, Philip II, ruled much of the New World and much of western Europe. England was helping Spain's Dutch rebels and English ships, under the command of Sir Francis Drake, to attack Spain's treasure fleet as they returned from the Caribbean.
Worst of all, England was now a Protestant nation. When Elizabeth I executed the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots in 1587, Philip was personally angered and, wanting England for himself, decided to invade.
Philip's plan was that an armada of 130 ships would sail to the Netherlands, pick up 30,000 Spanish troops and invade England. However, the Armada was delayed by an English attack on Cadiz harbour in 1587 where Drake made off with gold treaures and destroyed over 100 Spanish ships.
In 1588, Philip's Armada finally set sail. When the Armada anchored at Calais, the English used fireships to scatter the Spanish fleet and then attack it at the Battle of Gravelines in July 1588. The Armada was forced to abandon its invasion attempt and was destroyed by storms, which Philip I called the , whilst trying to sail home round the north of Scotland.
Queen Elizabeth had a portrait painted to publicise her 'famous victory'.
What did the battle represent?
The conflict with the Spanish Armada represented the height of the long struggle between Protestant England and Catholic Spain. Until recently, both English and Spanish historians believed that the Armada was the time when Spain's fortunes changed and England became great. Modern historians, however, think that the failure of the Armada – though a setback – was not the death-blow to Philip it was made out to be at the time although they agree that it did ‘make’ Elizabeth into a formidable queen.
Essay on The Failure of the Spanish Armada
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The Failure of the Spanish Armada
The Armada could have succeeded the plan was simple and could have been effective. The Spanish had the strongest army in Europe and the English defences were not exactly good. The plan was very simple, but could have been deadly if it had worked. The main reasons for it not working out were the communication problems. The messenger ships travelled the same speed, as the Armada so they were nearly useless and the communication between Parma's army and the Armada were not good. On top of all of this the Armada had received message that Parma's army was not ready when they were at Calais, which caused a big problem for the Spanish.
Communication was not the only…show more content…
When the English sent in their fireships the problems started, the Armada's formation had broken up and the English were coming in for the attack. Luckily he managed to keep himself out of a fight. The Armada was sailing in the wind and was going to be run aground, they couldn't turn round because they were being followed by the English. The wind changed and they thought they were saved. During this time the Duke's advisors all persuaded Medina to surrender to the English instead of running aground. Medina Sidonia decided to wait and when the wind changed direction he decided that his first priority was to the safe keeping of the Armada. The wind would have made it difficult to sail in the Channel, on the other hand the way that he went he lost about 18 ships overnight, because of the storms. By the time the last ship got back to Spain there were only 63 ships left.
The English attack at Calais did cause the Spanish to fail one of their orders, to keep in the crescent formation and it caused them to fail there main objective... pick up Parma's Army. The army were nearly ready but the English managed to get the Spanish out of the port and into sea using fireships that made the Spanish think that we had hell burners, from here they started to start a huge battle and the army was unable to get picked up because of this.
Many sources say many different things about the English ships.