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===England as a naval power===
[[File: Armada One.jpg|
200px|thumbnail|left|Sir Francis Drake]]
It has often been stated that the defeat of the Armada ended the Spanish superiority at sea and was the beginning of England’s rise as a global naval power. This was not the case. The year following the defeat of the Spanish Armada the English monarch launched the ‘English Armada.’<ref>Bridgen, p. 135</ref> This was a naval attack on Spain but it was heavily defeated with great English losses. Madrid changed its strategy and a series of fortifications were built in the Americas that gave greater protection against English and other privateers. The fact remains that Spain after the defeat of the Armada remained the premier maritime power outside China. However, the defeat of the Armada did lead to long-term changes that were to prove very important in the rise of England as a naval power. There was a recognition, after the attempted Spanish invasion that the English needed a strong navy and successive English administrations pursued policies that helped to expand the navy and develop new technologies and ‘modern shipyards.’ <ref>Holmes, p. 217</ref> As a result, in the wake of the Armada, the kingdom became an important naval power.
If the Spanish Armada had been a success then it seems likely that the English would not have been able to successfully plant colonies in North America. In the early seventeenth century, English colonies were found at Plymouth Rock and Jamestown. If the Spanish had placed one of their candidates on the throne of England then this may never have occurred. The defeat of the Armada saw England emerge as, if not a dominant naval power but an important one, that had the means to establish colonies and to trading companies such as the East India Company<ref>Holmes, p. 256</ref>. Its naval capability was in the long-term to directly to lead to the growth and development of the British Empire.