The Spanish ArmadaOn May 30, 1588, they left the Port ofLisbon confident and assured of victory.
If they would succeed in victoryand conquer the enemy, then they would be the sole world power. If theywin they will be victors of the biggest battle the world has ever seen. The Spanish Armada, the biggest invading fleet Spain had ever launched,left Lisbon toward England and headed for the unknown. During the 16th century Spain and Englandwere colonizing the world and gaining power. In the 1560’s England wasjealous of Spain, because the Spaniards were taking gold and silver fromthe Americas and the English wanted some of that wealth. Queen ElizabethI encouraged some of her commanders to raid Spanish towns and ships, eventhough the two countries were still at peace.Order now
Some religious differenceswere also causing conflict between the two countries. England was a protestantcountry, who had just broke away from the Roman Catholic church, and Spainfollowed the Roman Catholic church. The English government also supportedthe Dutch Protestants, who were rebelling against Spanish rule. Spain andEngland also competed over trade routes and control of trade throughoutEurope and the world. In the early 1580’s King Philip II of Spainstarted to assemble his fleet.
His plan was to have a two pronged attack. His fleet would meet with the Duke of Parma, in the Spanish Netherlandsat Calais. The Armada would then ferry the Duke’s troops across the EnglishChannel allowing them to march on London, capturing the city and the Queen. Soon after the entire country would fall to Spanish rule.
Once the fleet of 125 ships had been assembled,King Philip II ordered the Duke of Medina Sedonia, the Spanish commanderof the fleet, to sail to Calias. In May 1588, the armada left Lisbon traveledup the coast toward England. The English were informed of the Spanish movementsand quickly assembled a fleet of mostly merchant ships. They left Englandto intercept the advancing armada.
Once the Spaniards had reached the SouthWest coast of England on July 19, 1588, the 197 vessels of the Englishnavy attacked the flanks of the great armada. The English avoided close-incombat, much to the Spanish dismay. The Spaniards continued attacking,yet the English fleet harassed the Spaniards doing much damage. The Spanishfleet continued on their path to Calais, with the English in tow. Oncethe Spanish fleet reached the port of Calais they found out that the Dukeof Parma failed to show up with his men. This was devastating to the Kingsplan.
At this time the English saw an opportunity to attack and did. Theysent fire ships into the Spanish formations, thus scattering them. Thenext day the English attacked the confused armada. The Battle of Gravelines,an eight hour struggle, left many Spanish ships damaged or lost.
The Spanish realized that their invinciblearmada was in danger of total annihilation, so the Spanish commander, theDuke of Media Sedonia ordered a retreat. The Spanish fleet was to forgothe invasion and head back home. He chose the route that went north ofScotland and Ireland. For three days the English ships followed the Spaniards,before they ran out of ammunitions, then they returned to England to restock. The Spanish fleet was battered by North Sea storms and finally the weaklydefeated armada limped back to Spain. After the defeat of the Armada, Spaindropped from world domination.
After that the British rose to internationalsupremacy. The defeat of the Spanish Armada broughtchange to the world scene in which England became the dominate leader inworld trade and colonization. Spain lost most of it’s world control becauseof the loss of it’s navy. With out the navy they couldn’t control theircolonies, thus lossing them to other world powers. England thrived andspread it’s power all over the world, becoming an influential and dominateworld power.