Fickle Nature Alliances 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…show more content…
Due to the vast nature of Philip II’s empire, Spain’s economy was thriving due to the wealth of resources the South American colonies provided, the South American colonies were particularly rich in gold and silver. The wealth of resources that Spain received from its colonies allowed the empire to dominate trade contributing to their own wealth, forcing English sailors to break into trade by selling African slaves to the Spanish. In order to acquire slaves John Hawkins and his crew went to African waters owned by the Portuguese, stealing slaves from Portuguese slave traders who had established a selling relationship with patrons in Spanish America . Hawkins decided that if he were to partake in slave trading that he would attack vessels that were owned by other European nations, notably Spanish and Portuguese ships. Hawkins and his crew set about attacking the Portuguese and Spanish ships, taking their slaves and cargo. When Hawkins arrived in the West Indies with his slaves he found a sellers market, since he did not have to pay taxes to the Spanish for the slaves he stole Hawkins could sell them to Spanish traders for a lower price. Despite an altercation with the Spanish authorities, Hawkins managed to have three ships, which were full of gold, silver and pearls. Hawkins’ enterprise would not last because when his ships arrived in Seville they were imprisoned and tortured by the Inquisition. During Hawkins’s third voyage his fleet was attacked at San Juan de Ulua, after having been promised safe passage, which resulted in approximately a quarter of their ships and 150 men returning to England. Outraged by the actions of Philip II’s fleet in Ulua, Elizabeth openly prepared for war against the Spanish Armada. The actions of Sir John

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