Elizabeth 1's wars 1585-1603

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  • Elizabeth 1's wars 1585-1603
    • Attitude to war
      • Elizabeth was very cautious-realised she had limited resources and wanted to spend little money
      • Her strategy was usually defensive-England not powerful. However the situation she faced abroad made it impossible to avoid war
        • Situation in Europe became more complicated due to religion(protestants vs Catholics) and the power of Spain
    • Types of Wars fought by Elizabeth
      • Religious
        • To support protestants in Holland (the dutch protestants rebelled against Catholic Spain) and France
      • Defence
        • Francis Drake attacking Spain. To defend England against the Armada in 1588-Naval war
      • Ambition
        • Raiding Spanish ships and attacking Spanish colonies in the New world-naval war putting down rebellions in Ireland
    • Elizabeth's wars
      • Unofficial war with Spain- privateering
        • war over trading in the new world
        • English raided ships and stole supplies and treasure-carried out by Sir Francis Drake and John Hawkins-privateers
      • Official war with Spain-The netherlands
        • Elizabeth sent money to help protestant Dutch rebels
        • Protestant leader William of Orange was assassinated-Elizabeth got more involved sending 7,000 soldiers under the Earl of Leicester
      • The Spanish Armada 1588
        • Philip's 1 plan was that an armada of 130 ships would sail to the Netherlands, pick up 30,000 Spanish troops and invade England.
    • The impact of the wars
      • soldiers
        • wars against Spain and Ireland meant that soldiers and sailor were continually needed
        • organisation of the local militia improved 385,000 men were recruited
        • although men were recruited through feudal service and volunteers, many more were raised at a local level by lord lieutenants
      • Finance
        • cost of wars was enormous-spent £500,000 when income was only £300,000
        • War in Ireland cost more than entire war with Spain-trade was disrupted
        • sold crown lands, increased taxes and extended ship money to pay for her wars. also supported the actions of privateers but left debts of £350,00
      • People
        • In the Tudor period parliaments power increased. Elizabeth needed their approval to raise taxes
        • People became weary of war e.g in the 1590s when poor harvest and poverty made peoples lives really hard
        • Portraits of Elizabeth and progresses helped to win some support
    • How did Elizabeth keep support for the wars?
      • Had to ask parliaments permission to raise taxes
      • used propaganda e.g portraits, songs, poems portrayed her as brave, wise, successful and loyal to her country
      • Famous speech at Tilbury made her look strong/determined-Armada victory celebrated across whole country
    • What did Elizabeth do in Ireland?
      • she defeated rebellions but was not prepared to commit to a full conquest. She planted English nobles
  • However, the Armada was delayed by an English attack on Cadiz harbour in 1587 where Drake made off with gold treaures and destroyed over 100 Spanish ships.
    • In 1588 Armada finally set sail. When the Armada anchored at Calais English used fireships to scatter the Spanish fleet and then attack it at the Battle of Gravelines in July 1588.
      • The Armada was forced to abandon its invasion attempt and was destroyed by storms, which Philip I called the Protestant Wind, whilst trying to sail home round the north of Scotland.


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