Elizabethan Ships and Seamen

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  • Elizabethan Ships and Seamen
    • Reasons why sailors travelled more.
      • New navigational instruments such as the compass allowed sailors to circumnavigate the globe
      • Travelling allowed the discovery of new resources such as food (potato/ tobacco/ spices) by Sir Walter Raleigh and (treasure/ gold/ silver) by Sir Francis Drake.
      • There were better, faster and more lightweight ships called caravels and carravacks. They had triangular sails which could be easily turned to catch the strong sideways winds
      • Travelling to new countries allowed England to have it's first colony which was Virginia (named after the Virgin Queen) discovered by Sir Walter Raleigh.
      • Sailors wanted patronage`by the Queen and other nobles. It would make them more popular.
      • New resources allowed trading. The cloth trade was the biggest export in England. Tea, spices and silk were also very popular.
    • The Spanish Armada
      • British Tactics
        • A small number of ships and seamen but their ships were better quality. They were faster and lightweight. The cannons weren't heavy therefore they didn't weight down the boats. But they had also converted some merchant ships into battleships which aren't as strong
        • The commander was inexperienced however Francis Drake had experienced bad weather on his voyages and Drake and Hawkins were his Vice-Admirals.
        • They wee able to replenish food supplies
        • They had a better tactic which was to attack the Spanish from afar.
        • God was on their side.
        • Many of their soldiers were untrained unlike the Spanish. Many soldiers weren't paid and became sick making them unfit for battle.
      • Spanish Tactics
        • More sailors, money and ships. There were resources but more sailors to feed causing starvation and it was hard to pick up fresh food once they set sail. Their ships were slow, heavy and difficult to handle in rough seas.
        • Inexperienced commander of sailing
        • Their tactics weren't well thought out. They planned on getting as close to the English ships as possible and then attacking them and capturing the men on board. Their cannons were heavy and could only be used for short distances.
        • God wasn't on the Spanish's side.
        • There was bad weather which the seamen weren't used to.
      • Why did England go to war with Spain?
        • England was a Protestant country whereas Spain was Catholic.
        • Elizabeth refused King Philipe's marriage proposal
        • In 1562, a civil war broke out in France and lasted until 1598. France was was a traditional enemy between England and Spain but was no longer a threat.
        • The Dutch Revolte took place in 1572. Protestants  in the Netherlands were sent money and weapons. Elizabeth knew that the Spanish would be too busy and not invade England
        • Philipe was involved in some of the Catholic plots against Elizabeth
        • In 1578, Philip sent the duke of Parma to defeat the Dutch rebels. Elizabeth refused an offer to become Queen of the Dutch but in 1585, she sent an English army to help themed by the Earl of Leicester.
    • Voyages
      • Pros
        • Sir Francis Drake gained a lot of wealth (discovery of gold e.t.c) and increased the wealth of England. Learned about new cultures and found new land. Realised the world was bigger than just Europe.
        • Sir Francis Drake was the first Englishman to circumnavigathe the world.
        • Slaves were captured by John Hawkins and were sold or traded allowing money to be made.
      • Cons
        • Sir Francis Drake came across bad weather and was shipwrecked whilst at sea for three years. He was also attacked by the Spanish and encountered cultural barriers.
        • Sir Humphrey Gilbert wanted to establish an English settlement in North America He set sail in 1583and reached the Newfoundland but his ship was hit by storms and he never returned therefor this voyage was unsuccessful.
        • During John's third voyage, the Spanish attacked his ship and four ships and 200 men were lost.


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