Teacher: Bradley Fish Jr.
This war is what gave England it’s great naval supremacy. Spain was determined to take the English throne and return the country to Catholicism, while England was equally determined to keep the throne and also keep the freedom of religion that Elizabeth I had brought when she ascended the throne in 1558. Philip II of Spain built a fleet of 130 huge ships especially to attack England. It was called the Armada, which in Spanish, means Navy.
Mary Tudor had died, and her half-sister Elizabeth had been crowned queen. But, Mary had married Philip II, the king of Spain. So, when Mary died in 1558, and Elizabeth became queen, he believed that he should get some of the English throne, or at least Elizabeth’s hand in marriage. She refused to marry him (in fact, she never got married at all). So, Philip decided to try to overthrow Elizabeth and take England for himself.
Philip started building a fleet of 130 ships that were huge. Those 130 were so huge that they held 26,000 men. Elizabeth knew that if the Armada landed in England, they were as good as dead, so under Lord Howard of Effingham and Sir Frances Drake, the English navy met the massive Spanish Armada in the English channel.
The Battle went poorly for the Spaniards. The weather was against them, the English had small ships that could run circles around their huge ones, plus the English Channel wasn’t super wide, so it was a lot easier for the English navy to maneuver and get around. To top it off, the English sent a few fire-ships over that lit a bunch of Spain’s fleet on fire. The Armada was so crippled that it returned to Spain without even landing on English Ground.
The Anglo-Spanish war didn’t officially end until 1604 when King James (who became king after Elizabeth I died) instituted the treaty of London that ended the war.