Essay about The Spanish Armada

Essay about The Spanish Armada

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The Spanish Armada


The Spanish Armada, also called the Invincible Armada (infra), and
more correctly La Armada Grande, was a fleet (I) intended to invade
England and to put an end to the long series of English aggressions
against the colonies and possessions of the Spanish Crown; (II) it was
however all but destroyed by a week's fighting and a disastrous
cruise; (III) this led to the gradual decadence of the maritime power
of Spain; (IV) Catholics on the whole supported the Armada, but with
some notable exceptions.

I. ENGLISH PROVOCATION

At the commencement of Elizabeth's reign (1558) Philip had been her
best friend. His intercession helped to save her life after Wycliffe's
rebellion (1554). He facilitated her accession, supported her against
the claims of Mary Stuart, and intervened powerfully in her favor to
prevent French aid from being sent to Scotland. When England had
emerged triumphant at the treaty of Edinburgh (1560), Elizabeth sent
him a special mission of thanks, with the Catholic Lord Montague at
its head, to whom she gave a dispensation from the laws of England in
order that he might practice Catholicism during the embassy.

The victory of Protestantism now being complete, greater coolness was
shown. As time went on the Spanish ambassador was treated with
disrespect, his house beset, visitors to his chapel imprisoned;
Spanish ships were robbed with impunity in the Channel. In 1562,
Hawkins forced his way by violence into the forbidden markets of the
West Indies, his trade being chiefly in slaves, whom he had captured
in West Africa. In 1564 and 1567 the same violent measures were
repeated, but the last ...


... middle of paper ...


... cannot find that any of them used religion to
advance the cause of the Armada. Protestant and Catholic
contemporaries alike agree that the English Catholics were energetic
in their preparations against it.

This being so, it was inevitable that the leaders of the Catholics
abroad should lose influence, through having sided with Spain. On the
other hand, as the pope and all among whom they lived had been of the
same mind, it was evidently unjust to blame their want of political
insight too harshly. It point of fact the change did not come until
near the end of Elizabeth's reign, when, during the appeals against
the archpriest, the old leaders, especially the Jesuit Father Robert
Persons, were freely blamed for the Spanish alliance. The terms of the
blame were exaggerated, but the reason for complaint cannot be denied.

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