Sunday, December 26, 2010

Essay on The Spanish Armada

Essay on The Spanish Armada

The Spanish Armada was a fleet assembled and sent out by King Philip the 2nd of Spain. This fleet tried to invade England, but it was dramatically unsuccessful.

According to Spanish historical books, the main goal of the Spanish Armada was to unite Spain and England into one, thus giving Philip the ability to advance the Spanish conquest. Consequently, this stubborn approach, ordered by Philip, was not the advance he was looking for, but he found the eventual downfall of the Spanish Empire.

The objective of the Spanish armada was the force together England and Spain politically and religiously. In 1586, King Philip had decided that he would not be able to defeat the Dutch with out first completely taking over England, or as he put it, “unite him and the queen of England together as one.” At the same time, he hoped to resolve the long-standing religious rivalry between England and Spain, by converting England back to the Holy Catholic Church. England at this time was protestant.

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To swiftly conquer England he had to create a massive fleet. This fleet had to sail north from Spain. Consequently, another fleet with transports had to sail south with an army form the Netherlands. King Philip put his most trusted duke of medina in charge. The Duke led the Spanish fleet of 130 ships, which carried almost 30,000 men. The English found out about the invasion plan that the Spanish were about to perform. So therefore, they tried to prevent the armada from sailing by attacking it at the port in Cadiz, Spain. The English delayed it for about a year, causing the Spanish to regroup and recover. Thus, giving the English time to “set-up.”

In 1588, The Spanish had recovered and started to sail on their way to England. It was first noticed off the English coast in July of 1588. A superior English fleet saw it and quickly advanced toward the Spanish war ships. For the next week, the English’s faster ships attacked the Spanish in battles off Plymouth and Isle of Wight. But, unable to break the armada's attack, the English waited for a chance to take the final blow.

The time came when the Spanish anchored near Calair, France; Hoping to join the troops that sailed south from the Netherlands. Furthermore, The English ordered ships to be set fire and then sailed toward the anchored armada. This attack broke the Spanish armada into chaos. The Spanish unable to sail back through the English Channel because of furious winds and waves; the remaining ships were forced to sail north around Scotland and Ireland to return home. Only 67 of the original 130 ships reached Spain, and most of the returning ships were in appalling condition never to be sailed again.

This non-successful attempt of the armada did not end the war between England and Spain, but it did end the Spanish attempts on invading the impenetrable island. By loosing this costly battle the Spanish would never recover economically or historically.

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