Defeat of the Spanish Armada

What was the Spanish Armada? How was it defeated? What were the consequences of the defeat? Find out the answers to these questions and more in our interesting guide containing the facts & information you want.

The defeat of the Spanish Armada is a very important historical event in British history. The Armada was a large fleet of ships that the Spanish had prepared in 1588 with the attempt to attack England and conquer it. Much to the Spaniards dismay they were faced with a horrible defeat that established England as a renowned power. England was lucky to escape this onslaught from the Spanish as they were hardly prepared to cope with the Spanish Armada. Nonetheless a series of unfortunate events for the Spanish resulted in the defeat of the Armada.

The Causes

At the time of the defeat England was ruled by Queen Elizabeth. The tensions between England and Spain however had started long before Queen Elizabeth took the throne. It all started when England started to break the foundations of the Roman Catholic Church. Spain at that time was committed to safeguarding the rights of the Catholic Church and was thus angered over the protestant faith of the English Empire. Another act that fueled the resentment of the Spanish towards the English was King Henry VII divorcing his first wife to marry Anne Boleyn who happened to be Elizabeth’s mother. They believed the king did not have the right to remarry.

Tensions began to escalate after the death of Queen Mary who was the Queen at that time. Under the reign of Queen Elizabeth the treaty that was signed between England, France and Spain was violated as pirates continued to loot Spanish ships and the Queen initiated a revolt against the Spanish in Netherlands. The king of Spain Phillip II decided to take matters into his own hands and began preparing for an offensive against the English protestant regime.

Defeat of the Armada

Preparations to build a massive armada of ships began in the year 1585 and in the process even regular ships were converted to military ships. The news reached the Queen of England who started making her own preparations to meet the Spanish army on the other side. In 1588 the two armies met in the English Channel and in the process of a few severe battles the English army managed to chase the Spanish armada upwards from the English Channel into the north Atlantic.

Once off the coast of Ireland the Spanish Armada began to experience a number of problems. First of all the ships did not carry sufficient provision for such a long trip because this event was unforeseen. With a lack of adequate provisions the crew began to face hunger and malnutrition problems. Secondly most of the battle weary ships were beginning to give way. The final blow came in the form of a storm that battered the Spanish ships against the rocks thus completely destroying the large fleet. The English believed the storm was sent by God to determine Queen Elizabeth’s right to rule. The defeat of the Spanish Armada was a new awakening for the English and this is why the defeat is regarded as one of the greatest moments in the reign of the Protestant Queen.


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