Impact of the Spanish war

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Society

  • changed the people from monarch worshipping to more critical
  • people were affected by the death of servicemen
  • burden of disabled and injured servicemen
  • court and country growing apart
  • people resented the pressures of further taxation
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Parliamentary relations

  • sale of monopolies
  • complaints & protests in Parliament
  • extraordinary revenue
  • made crown dependent on parliament
  • increased parliamentary taxation three-fold
  • poor parliamentary confidence over foreign affairs
  • the commons had little say upon foreign policy and strategy apart from suggestions about privateering interests in 1589 and 1593
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Economy

  • inflation - food prices rose by 35%
  • times of hardship
  • economic depression/trade depression
  • debt - high cost of the war
  • Oxford city council gave up its annual dinner to fund troops
  • Crown was in desperate need of money for war
  • monopolies were more and more issued simply for the money they would bring in and upon a much wider range of commodities and activities
  • immense costs of wat - tax up to £135,000
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Trade

  • those who traded mainly with Spain looked further afield for trade - e.g. across the Atlantic
  • many markets were diminished (Bristol & Chester)
  • stopped and resumed trade with Spain
  • new privateering industry - finance adventurers who hoped to pay back loans through raids on Spanish shipping
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Attitudes towards monarch

  • critical attitudes towards monarch and Parliament
  • anti-Spanish opinion
  • pride for winning the war in the end
  • some people resented her for not ending the war
  • crescendo of complaint and criticism
  • growing irritation among gentry and townsmen
  • crown kept absolute control over the bishopric's revenues
  • a sense that Elizabeth's reign was declining
  • Elizabeth was blamed although she did not seek nor welcome war and hoped each year to end it
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Elizabeth was successful

  • avoided religious conflict, unlike the French with the Catholic League
  • Spain was distracted from the Netherlands
  • protected national security and prevented invasion
  • semi-independence and some full independence for the Netherlands
  • did win the Spanish war and had support in the end
  • Henry of Navarre recognised Spain as enemy and not England
  • Removed Mary Stuart
  • made Scotland Protestant - stopped French influence in Scotland
  • avoided bankruptcy in England despite war & lack of resources
  • Catholic league unable to join the Spanish to launch an attack
  • prevented invasion until 1588
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Elizabeth was unsuccessful

  • her success was largely due to luck
  • the impact of war was secondary to the impact of harvest failures
  • did not fully intervene in the Dutch revolt as she was too cautious - had an unreasonable fear of France
  • Spain was not defeated
  • England faced a protracted war that could not be won
  • many markets were diminished - e.g. Chester
  • lost support of Parliament and the people
  • huge negative impact on the economy & lacked military resources
  • Calais was lost forever
  • 'enemy' of France & Spain - treaty established protestantism in Scotland
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How significant was the impact?

  • Huge negative impact on the economy - e.g. inflation, depression
  • Poor harvests could be partly to blame for this (above)
  • large impact on the attitudes of society
  • had little benefit beyond supporting the Protestant regime
  • trade expanded to other countries - so not too significant
  • caused resentment of fiscal expedients
  • deteriorating relationships
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