War with Spain, 1585-1588 (Elizabeth's support for the Dutch rebels…
War with Spain, 1585-1588
Elizabeth's support for the Dutch rebels led to the War with Spain
Elizabeth wanted to protect Dutch Protestantism and prevent Philip from forcing Catholicism on the Netherlands
In 1584 the rebel leader, William the Silent, was assassinated, and the Dutch revolt was in danger of being defeated. Elizabeth decided to give direct assistance to the rebels- in 1585 she signed the Treaty of Nonsuch, which placed the Netherlands under her protection and promised military assistance.
The Netherlands' ports were essential entry points into Europe for most English exports.
In 1581, Protestant rebels in the Netherlands declared independence from Spain and established a Dutch republic. Elizabeth gave limited financial help to the rebels, but she was still reluctant to provoke Philip by getting directly involved.
If the rebels were defeated, Philip might use the Netherlands as a base for an invasion of England.
By the 1850s, the tension between England and Spain had reached boiling point. Elizabeth and Philip were still reluctanct to confront one another, but in 1585 they finally went to war over the Netherlands.
In 1584, Spain was seeking control of the French crown. If the Dutch rebels were also defeated, then Spain would control almost the entire Channel and Atlantic coasts of Europe.
Dudley's campaigns in the Netherlands were unsuccessful
English naval support for the Dutch rebels was more effective-a fleet of English ships patrolled the Dutch coastline, preventing the Spanish from landing some of their forces by sea.
There were several reasons for the failure pf the English campaigns in the Netherlands.
Dudley wasn't a talented general.
His officers were bitterly divided over questions of strategy.
Dudley had a very small army compared to the number of Spanish troops.
The English army was poorly equipped.
Elizabeth didn't provide sufficient funds to pay the English troops.
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was appointed to lead the military expedition to the Netherlands. When he arrived, he accepted position of Governor General. This was a serious mistake-it suggested that Elizabeth had taken control of the Netherlands for herself, which risked provoking Philip even further. Elizabeth forced Dudley to resign the position immediately.