Alliances Between England And The Spanish Hapsburg Empire Essay

Alliances Between England And The Spanish Hapsburg Empire Essay

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Alliances are friendships between people and nations that result in the protection of the land and ensure the trade of goods between the two countries. During the 16th century alliances were not as stable as they are in the 21st century, in the early modern period alliances relied on the marriage of one monarch’s child to another and the two nations were joined by blood. It was understood that neither nation would attack a country whose future monarchy could be tied to theirs. A good example of the fickle nature alliances can be seen in the relationship between England and the Spanish-Hapsburg Empire, which was an alliance formed by King Henry VII and Ferdinand of Aragon under the premise that Henry would provide Spain with protection against France and his son Arthur’s marriage to Ferdinand’s daughter Katherine. This relationship continued under the reign of King Henry VIII who married Katherine in order to maintain England’s advantageous relationship Spain, especially with the wealth that Spain received from her South American colonies. However, the alliance between Spain and England began to sour when Henry VIII changed from being a Catholic power to a protestant power in his pursuit of an annulment from Katherine the cousin of the Spanish King Charles V. After a brief dalliance with Catholicism under the reign of Queen Mary, which was solidified by a marriage to King Philip II of Spain, the degeneration would continue when Queen Elizabeth I took the throne and ensured that England would make a permanent shift towards Protestantism. The deterioration of England and Spain’s relationship resulted in a series of isolated battles in the Atlantic in which neither country won any territory, the Anglo-Spanish War was a conflict over d...


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...a Catholic power at the expense of their heretic Queen. The initial plans for invasion were interrupted while the Marquis of Santa Cruz was making plans for amassing a fleet, which planned to be comprised of 500 ships, carrying 60,000 soldiers for an invasion of England until Sir Francis Drake attacked Cadiz in April of 1587 . In Cadiz Drake destroyed 24 ships and a quantity of stores before making his way to Cape St. Vincent where he attacked Spanish shipping and captured a large quantity of barrel-staves, which were necessary for holding provisions for the soldiers while on the open seas . The purpose of Drake’s raid on Cadiz was not to capture the territory; rather it was to delay the Armada’s intended invasion from 1587 to 1588. By delaying the formation of the Armada, Drake bought England enough time to prepare a defensive fleet in preparation for an invasion.

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