Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada (01:59)
Elizabeth I earned the reputation of being a warrior queen after her defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Much of the story was embellished and created the mythological idea of the golden age of the British monarchy under Elizabeth I.
Elizabeth I and Philip of Spain (05:40)
Catholic Queen Mary I was married to Prince Philip of Spain and did not want her Protestant sister Elizabeth to inherit the throne. To keep England aligned with Spain, Philip convinced Mary to name Elizabeth as her heir. After Mary’s death, Elizabeth did not convert,
Elizabeth I and Protestantism (04:17)
Religion is usually cited as the reason why Philip II sent the Spanish Armada to invade England. Elizabeth I wanted to challenge Spain and Catholicism’s global domination. Francis Drake attacked Spanish ships and Elizabeth gave protection to Protestants in Spanish territories.
Spanish Armada Invasion (05:07)
The Armada set sail for England in 1588. The story that Drake spotted the Armada from the coast but finished a game before he readied the fleet and the Armada's invincibility are not true.
Elizabethan Propaganda (03:40)
A sailing mistake led to Drake capturing the Spanish Rosario. Authors, playwrights, and songwriters spun the event into a glorious victory for England.
Elizabeth I's Speech (04:53)
Elizabeth I is often portrayed giving a rousing speech on the banks of the Thames before the Armada's defeat. She planned to visit the troops when invasion seemed likely, but the battle was over by the time she arrived.
Armada's Sinking (02:56)
At least 22 ships sunk in storms off the coast of Scotland after the Spanish Armada retreated. It was mythologized as an act of god to further Protestant interests in Europe.
Elizabeth I's Image (06:49)
After the Armada's defeat, propaganda made it seem that Elizabeth I was a beloved monarch. The campaign had created an economic crisis and many of the soldiers were never paid. Elizabeth I began using the idea of the virgin queen and had numerous portraits done.
English Counter Armada (03:43)
In 1589, Drake led an attack to destroy the rest of the Spanish Armada and take Portugal from Spain. It failed and pamphlets were written downplaying the event; the story was mostly forgotten.
Legacy of the Armada Defeat (06:15)
The idea of Elizabeth as a warrior queen continued after her death in 1603. Ten tapestries of the Armada's defeat were made and hung in the House of Lords. They became a symbol of England's power and importance as an empire.
British Sea Dominance (08:01)
The Armada's defeat was viewed as the start of British naval power. The Victorian Era pushed the importance of Drake and naval tactics. In the 1970s, Margaret Thatcher invoked the Armada's defeat in the fight against Communism.
Credits: Elizabeth I: The Warrior Queen (00:39)
Credits: Elizabeth I: The Warrior Queen
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