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[[File: Armada 3.jpg|200px|thumb|left|King Phillip II of Spain-mortal enemy of Elizabeth I]]
The defeat and destruction of the Spanish Armada (1588 is seen by many as the high point of Elizabeth I’s of England’s reign. If the Armada had been successful then it could have changed the course of English and indeed, world history. The defeat of the Armada was to have profound consequences for England. The first consequence of the English victory was that it secured the independence of that kingdom. The defeat of the Armada led to England becoming a naval power and this was to prove important in the foundation of the future British Empire. As a result of the failed invasion, by Catholic Spain, England became more self-consciously Protestant and, Catholicism became very unpopular and seen as anti-English. The defeat of the Armada was an act of divine providence and it confirmed the opinion of many that England was a kingdom destined for greatness and this was to play a very important role in English national identity for many centuries.
===The Spanish Armada===
The launch of the Armada had been delayed several times, including once because of a raid by the English on Cadiz. The Spanish Armada was a fleet of 130 ships and it first left the port of Coruna in August 1588, under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, the most powerful noble in Spain.<ref> Holmes, p. 215</ref> The fleet was ordered to sail to the English Channel and transport a large army in Flanders into England. The aim of the invasion was to depose Elizabeth I and to reimpose Catholicism on the English people. The fleet was an impressive one and the Spanish were experienced, sailors and navigators. However, the commander Medina-Sidonia was old and relatively inexperienced and he was to commit mistake after mistake.