Why Was There a Spanish Armada?

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England and Spain have had religious differences since Henry VIII changed England into a protestant country as a result of the divorce his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. When Henry died his son, Edward I, was a strong protestant and reinforced the protestant faith in England. When Edward I died at the age of 15, his half sister Mary became Queen. She was a strong Catholic, and this resulted in England returning to the Catholic religion which resulted in the persecution of non-Catholics. She married King Phillip of Spain who was also a devout Catholic. When Mary died, her half sister Elizabeth I became Queen of England, who immediately stopped the persecutions of non- Catholics and changed England back to protestant.

The main reason for the Armada was because King Phillip of Spain wanted to take over England and to change it back to Catholic, just as Elizabeth had turned it protestant. King Phillip offered to marry Elizabeth thinking that he could have control over English politics and persuade her to keep the Catholic faith. After she refused his offer he made several failed attempts to kill Queen Elizabeth to replace her with a Catholic Monarch, Mary, Queen of Scotts.

King Phillip was getting angry with Queen Elizabeth because she was letting English pirates attack Spanish ships as long as she got a percentage of the spoils. She also offered to help Protestants who rebelled against Spanish rule in the Spanish Netherlands. Elizabeth ordered the execution of her cousin Mary Queen of Scots, which convinced King Phillip to attack England.

Queen Elizabeth knew that King Phillip had a big fleet of ships and lots of essential supplies. She sent the Royal Navy to do a surprise attack on the Spanish ships at the harbor in Cadiz. The British attacked and damaged several warships, some very severely. They also destroyed the barrels of food, water, and gun powder on the ships. They had to make new ones but they did not let the barrels dry long enough which caused...
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