Relations With Spain

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  • Relations With Spain
    • Spain: Political & Religious
      • Phillip II, backed by the Pope, saw Protestantism as a threat to the authority of the Catholic Church.
      • Phillip II became involved in Catholic Plots against England.
      • Spanish Catholics executed many Dutch Protestants under the Council of Troubles in 1568.
      • TN had been ruled under Spain since the 1400s.
      • Elizabeth's government decided to secret;y help the Dutch Protestants resist the Spainish.
        • Allowed Dutch rebel ships safe passage in English ports - Sea Beggars.
        • Provided financial support to others fighting the Spanish.
        • English privateers were encouraged to attack Spainish shipping & colonies in Latin America
          • I.e Sir Francis Drake
      • 1576 - Spanish Fury (Spanish troops looting Antwerp)
        • All 17 Dutch Provinces (Catholic & Protestant) joined an alliance.
        • Drew up the Pacification of Ghent. Calling all Spanish troops to be expelled from Holland.
      • By 1584 Spanish control over TN had been restored through the Duke of Parma.
        • England's allies WofO & DoA were dead.
        • Treaty of Joinville (1584) united France & Spain against TN & England
      • Phillip II blamed England for helping TN, attacks by privateers.
        • Elizabeth's government blamed Spain for her many plots against her.
    • Spain: Commercial Rivalry
      • By the 1570s they had trade rivals.
      • Both wanted access to the New World as well as access to Turkey, Europe, Russia, China & North Africa
      • Spain's control over TN, Rhine & Scheldt meant that one of the principal trade route was cut off, losing English profits.
        • Denied English traders opportunities as many areas had to be licensed by Spain.
      • English merchants raided Spanish colonies & ships to / from the NW.
        • In one raid, 1572 SFD captured £40,000 in Spanish silver for the English Crown.
          • A second, involving his circumnavigation (1577-80) resulted in £400,000 of silver & gold.
            • By 1580, loss of silver meant that the Spanish government in TN was bankrupt & could not afford to pay its soldiers.
      • By early 1580s Spain & England were on the brink of war.
        • By knighting Drake so publicly, E demonstrated her defiance towards Spain's commercial interests.
        • To Phillip II, Drake & other privateers were little more than pirates.
          • War was the only way to get rid of Elizabeth and Drake to protect Spain's finances.


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