Queen Elizabeth and the Spanish Armada by Frances WinwarThe defeat of the Spanish Armada in — a fleet of Spanish ships led by Spanish commander Medina Sidonia with the purpose of overthrowing Queen Elizabeth I — is considered one of England's greatest military achievements, and one that served to boost the monarch's popularity. Here are 10 little-known facts about the Spanish Armada…. The Spanish Armada campaign of changed the course of European history. After landing near Margate in Kent, it is probable the battle-hardened Spanish troops would have been in the streets of London within a week. England would have reverted to the Catholic faith, and there may not have been a British empire to come.
THE SPANISH ARMADA
Her half-brother, Edward VI, became king for six years from , but died when he was just He bequeathed the crown to Lady Jane Grey. Mary I ascended to the throne in July , becoming the first English queen to rule in her own right. The Catholic queen even imprisoned her half-sister Elizabeth in the Tower of London on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels. Elizabeth assumed the crown amid public jubilation and patriotic demonstrations.
Not only was she a Protestant, not only had she refused his marriage proposals years before, she had also sent Leicester to the Netherlands to fight the Spanish in Moreover, she had covertly supported Sir Francis Drake's attacks on Spanish treasure galleons returning from the New World; in September , Drake had returned from sailing around the world with a cargo of Spanish gold, worth 1. Personally angered and wanting England for himself, decided in that the time was ripe for an invasion of England. This attack took the Spanish entirely by surprise, and Drake's maneuver set back the Spanish invasion by about a year. Drake also managed to steal some Spanish treasure in his raid. In July , Philip finally managed to launch the supposedly invincible Spanish Armada. His hope was to swing the fleet by the Netherlands, pick up his army there, and transport them across the English Channel for a ground invasion.
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The defeat of the Spanish Armada is one of the most famous events in English history.
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