Image: Northeastern Atlantic and Elizabethan Naval Wars
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The last half of Elizabethan times - the late 1580s and the 1590s - was marked by wars with Spain, the French Catholic League and the uprising in Ireland. Elizabethan times started what the world would know as the English military and naval superiority. With Sir Francis Drake, they attacked Panama in 1573 and circumnavigated the globe in 1577, starting the direct contact between England and the East Indies and lining the England's superiority in the world with the foundation of the East India Company in 1600. The expansion of England inevitably conflicted with the magnificent expansion of the Spanish empire overseas. By 1585, a battle for pillage, traffic, and colonization was fuming. This was highly damaging to Spanish interests, inflicting a disaster on Spain’s shipping. England’s naval excellence in the Elizabethan times was undoubtedly confirmed with the victory over the mighty Spanish Armada in 1588, where Sir Francis Drake’s audacious and military astuteness was crucial in the battle. This was the historical turning point that took England to the world apex as a world power.
Map Source: University of Texas at Austin, Perry-Castaneda Library, Map Collection
From "The Cambridge Modern History Atlas" edited by Sir Adolphus William Ward, G.W. Prothero, Sir Stanley Mordaunt Leathes, and E.A. Benians. Cambridge University Press; London. 1912