Tuesday, 23 July 2013

WDF 24: The Anglo-Spanish War 1585-1604

How does someone even begin to approach a conflict like this one? I often find that with wars that are so well known, there is the added pressure to deliver, whereas with the lesser known wars, though they are in their own right harder to research, because less is known about them I will generally be less criticised. There is also the fact that this period, the Armada and all its consequences, has been covered so many times, that it is difficult to really put my own spin on it. That said though, it is a thoroughly fascinating time.
I especially love the idea of a powerful Spain, because such an idea does not last very long in the grand scheme of things. Indeed, as we shall soon see, once the 30 Years War changes the balance of power in a big way, Spain becomes perhaps the largest non-entity in the world, culminating in its domestic and international collapse in 1702, which we know as the War of the Spanish Succession.

It is a fall from power which Philip no doubt did not see coming, as he plotted his invasion of England in the late 1580's. Indeed, upon his succession to the throne in 1555, the Habsburgs, of which Philip was a member, could count among his dominions the majority of Europe, not to mention the majority of the known world.
It must have been inconceivable to Philip that Elizabeth and her tiny island dominion would be his downfall, but that's exactly what happened. After years of ruling the world, Philip's son would inherit a Spain unsure of its place in the world, and unaware that its ship had sailed in the never-ending struggle for European, and by extension world, dominance.

Check me out as I cover the Armada and more in WDF 24: The Anglo-Spanish War 1585-1604, coming soon! Thankssssss.

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