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How many ships were in the Spanish Armada?
Four Great Women And A Manicure (part 1),
The Spanish Armada (Spanish: Grande y Felicísima Armada, literally "Great and Most Fortunate Navy") was a Spanish fleet of 130 ships that sailed from La Coruña in August 1588, under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia with the purpose of escorting an army from Flanders to invade England. The strategic aim was to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I of England and the Tudor establishment of Protestantism in England, with the expectation that this would put a stop to English interference in the Spanish Netherlands and to the harm caused to Spanish interests by English and Dutch privateering.
The Armada chose not to attack the English fleet at Plymouth, then failed to establish a temporary anchorage in the Solent, after one Spanish ship had been captured by Francis Drake in the English Channel. The Armada finally dropped anchor off Calais. While awaiting communications from the Duke of Parma's army, the Armada was scattered by an English fireship attack. In the ensuing Battle of Gravelines the Spanish fleet was damaged and forced to abandon its rendezvous with Parma's army, who were blockaded in harbour by Dutch flyboats. The Armada managed to regroup and, driven by southwest winds, withdrew north, with the English fleet harrying it up the east coast of England. The commander ordered a return to Spain, but the Armada was disrupted during severe storms in the North Atlantic and a large number of the vessels were wrecked on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland. Of the initial 130 ships over a third failed to return. As Martin and Parker explain, "Philip II attempted to invade England, but his plans miscarried, partly because of his own mismanagement, unfortunate weather, and partly because the opportunistic defensive naval efforts of the English and their Dutch allies (the use of ships set afire and sailed into the anchored Armada to create panic) prevailed."
The expedition was the largest engagement of the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). The following year, England organised a similar large-scale campaign against Spain, the Drake–Norris Expedition or "counter-Armada of 1589", which was unsuccessful and resulted in serious economic consequences and the loss of many English lives and ships.
The outcome vindicated the English naval battle strategy and resulted in a revolution in naval battle tactics of the era – using weather gage advantage and line-to-line cannon battle from windward (revealing the opponent ship's hull and rudder as targets) – with the promotion of heavier, more numerous naval cannon gunnery, which until then had played a supporting role to the principal tactics of ramming and crew boarding. The clear choice of sink or capture.
Most military historians hold that the battle of Gravelines reflected a lasting shift in the balance of naval power in favour of the English, in part because of the gap in naval technology and cannon armament it confirmed between the two nations, which continued into the next century. In the words of Geoffrey Parker, by 1588 'the capital ships of the Elizabethan navy constituted the most powerful battlefleet afloat anywhere in the world.' The English navy yards were leaders in technical innovation, and the captains devised new battle formations and tactics. Parker argues that the sleeker full-rigged ship, amply cannoned, was one of the greatest technological advances of the century and permanently transformed naval warfare.
In 1573 English shipwrights introduced designs, first demonstrated in Dreadnought, that allowed the ships to sail faster and manoeuvre better and permitted heavier guns. Whereas before warships had tried to grapple with each other so that soldiers could board the enemy ship, now they more often stood off and fired broadsides that could sink the enemy vessel. Superior English ships and seamanship had foiled the invasion. The English also took advantage of Spain's overly complex strategy that required coordination between the invasion fleet and the Spanish army on shore. But the poor design of the Spanish cannon meant they were much slower in reloading in a close-range battle, allowing the English to take control. Spain still had numerically larger fleets, but England was catching up.
How did women feel about kings marrying numerous women?
The short answer is simple: we don't know exactly; however, historians have inferred that early feminist writers decried the practice but until the Enlightenment women would not express these dangerous ideas: at least not publicly.
An early feminist writer may be instructive.
Christine de Pizan (b. 1365 - d. 1430)
Christine de Pizan was a French Renaissance writer who wrote some of the very first feminist pieces of literature. During the Renaissance, Christine de Pizan broke with the traditional roles assigned to women in several ways during a time when women had no legal rights and were considered a man's property. Because she was one of the few women of the time period that were educated, she was able to write. When she was unexpectedly left to support herself and her family on her own, she became the first woman in Europe to successfully make a living through writing. She wrote in many different genres and styles depending on her subject and patron. Eventually, she began to address the debate about women that was happening during her life through works like Letters to the God of Love (1399), The Take of the Rose (1402), and Letters on the Debate of the Romance of the Rose (1401-1403). Her writing finally culminated in her most famous book, The Book of the City of Ladies (1404-05) and its sequel Book of the Treasury of Ladies (1405).
Christine de Pizan's early life left her well prepared for the challenges that she would later face. Born in Italy, she moved to France at a young age when her father, Thomas de Pizan, became the astrologer of King Charles V. Her father assured it that she had the best education possible. She was married at the age of fifteen to Etienne de Castel. Though an arranged marriage, they were very happy together. Etienne was a nobleman and a scholar who encouraged Christine to continue her studies while they were married.
Soon after their marriage, tragedy struck Christine 's life. When Charles V died in 1380, her father lost his position at the court. he became ill and eventually died in 1385. She and her husband assumed the care for her family after this. Then, in 1389, Etienne suddenly took ill while he was abroad with Charles VI. Christine was left alone to support her mother and her three small children.
Despite wishing for death, Christine persevered and turned to writing as a way to support her family. She began to write both prose and poetry that she sent to various members of the court. As was the custom, they began to send her money in return. She would make copies of poems and send them to multiple people. Eventually, they started commissioning work from her and she was able to pull herself out of debt and save her family. Christine 's ability to write for specific audiences helped build her popularity with her patrons. After her children grew up and became independent from her, Christine was once again able to read and study along with her writing.
As her life progressed, she began to deal directly with the cause of women in her writing. Her most important work, The Book of the City of Ladies, was written to combat the current ideas that existed about woman's nature. City of Ladies is divided into three sections in which Christine builds her symbolic city for women. She includes all the famous women who have ruled in history, women who have honored their parents, guarded their chastity, been faithful to their husbands, and all of those women who have become martyrs for their faith. Her book honored all kinds of great women and gave them a place to be safe from the attacks of men. Christine's book stood as a testimony to the greatness and accomplishments of women, putting them on the same level as men.
Christine's life was remarkable because of the age she was living in. Women were not allowed to have a voice or be independent, but she managed both. Her writing allowed her family to survive and gave her the means to create not just for money, but for her own purposes. She worked to refute the negative ideas that scholars were spreading about women in the Renaissance and showed at least the elite women of her time how they could navigate successfully in what was a man's world.
Did Elizabeth I marry and have children? What was the succession after her death?
What was the relationship between Elizabeth, Mary, and their brother, Edward?
Elizabeth and her favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, c. 1575. Pair of stamp-sized miniatures by Nicholas Hilliard. The Queen's friendship with Dudley lasted for over thirty years, until his death.
From the start of Elizabeth's reign, it was expected that she would marry and the question arose to whom. Although she received many offers for her hand, she never married and was childless; the reasons for this are not clear. Historians have speculated that Thomas Seymour had put her off sexual relationships, or that she knew herself to be infertile. She considered several suitors until she was about fifty. Her last courtship was with Francis, Duke of Anjou, 22 years her junior. While risking possible loss of power like her sister, who played into the hands of King Philip II of Spain, marriage offered the chance of an heir. However, the choice of a husband might also provoke political instability or even insurrection.
Elizabeth's senior adviser, William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, died on 4 August 1598. His political mantle passed to his son, Robert Cecil, who soon became the leader of the government. One task he addressed was to prepare the way for a smooth succession. Since Elizabeth would never name her successor, Cecil was obliged to proceed in secret. He therefore entered into a coded negotiation with James VI of Scotland, who had a strong but unrecognised claim.
This is reasonable in light of the fact that Elizabeth was childless and unmarried despite being courted consistently.
In historian J. E. Neale's view, Elizabeth may not have declared her wishes openly to James, but she made them known with "unmistakable if veiled phrases".
She died on 24 March 1603 at Richmond Palace, between two and three in the morning. A few hours later, Cecil and the council set their plans in motion and proclaimed James VI of Scotland as James I of England.
Edward VI (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) was King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was England's first monarch to be raised as a Protestant. During his reign, the realm was governed by a Regency Council because he never reached his majority.
In February 1553, at age 15, Edward fell ill. When his sickness was discovered to be terminal, he and his Council drew up a "Devise for the Succession", attempting to prevent the country's return to Catholicism. Edward named his first cousin once removed, Lady Jane Grey, as his heir and excluded his half-sisters, Mary and Elizabeth. This decision was disputed following Edward's death, and Jane was deposed by Mary nine days after becoming queen. During her reign, Mary reversed Edward's Protestant reforms, which nonetheless became the basis of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement of 1559.
Edward himself opposed Mary's succession, not only on religious grounds but also on those of legitimacy and male inheritance, which also applied to Elizabeth. He composed a draft document, headed "My devise for the succession", in which he undertook to change the succession, most probably inspired by his father Henry VIII's precedent. He passed over the claims of his half-sisters and, at last, settled the Crown on his first cousin once removed, the 16-year-old Lady Jane Grey, who on 25 May 1553 had married Lord Guilford Dudley, a younger son of the Duke of Northumberland.
In his document Edward provided, in case of "lack of issue of my body", for the succession of male heirs only, that is, Jane Grey's mother's male heirs, Jane's or her sisters'. As his death approached and possibly persuaded by Northumberland, he altered the wording so that Jane and her sisters themselves should be able to succeed. Yet Edward conceded Jane's right only as an exception to male rule, demanded by reality, an example not to be followed if Jane or her sisters had only daughters. In the final document both Mary and Elizabeth were excluded because of bastardy; since both had been declared bastards under Henry VIII and never made legitimate again, this reason could be advanced for both sisters. The provisions to alter the succession directly contravened Henry VIII's Third Succession Act of 1543 and have been described as bizarre and illogical.
The upshot is that both half sisters were considered illegitimate as bastards, they were not male, and despite their claim to their mutual father he, or his advisors, passed them over deliberately to find a male heir outside their immediate circle.
Due to domestic unrest and the unresolved religious issue the succession was unusually complicated.
Civilization: The West and the Rest by Niall Ferguson, Penguin Books (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 432 pages
Just why, beginning around 1500, did a few small polities on the western end of the Eurasian landmass come to dominate the rest of the world?” One of the most intriguing questions is why the West suddenly dominated the World after the 1500s which is the crucial question Ferguson addresses here. Ferguson has written one of the best of his several works. He artfully dissects reasons why the West dramatically increased its power and strength over the rest of the world. At present, he says, we are experiencing “the end of 500 years of Western predominance,” and he foresees the possibility of a clash between the declining and rising forces. He wonders “whether the weaker will tip over from weakness to outright collapse.”
Several of Ferguson's works are relevant to his concerns here.
In Empire, Ferguson showed how the Americans lacked manpower for their overseas military efforts, the Americans suffered from an attention deficit and would not pull for their country over the long haul, and perhaps most importantly, the Americans were plagued with a financial deficit.
In Colossus, Ferguson demonstrates that Chimerica, the idea that America can fund its deficit infinitely without severe repercussions, was seriously flawed.
In the Ascent of Money, Ferguson shows the world-wide financial crisis was brought on by a complex of factors but old-fashioned liquidity was the problem during the era of supposedly more secure financial networks.
For his work here, there are six civilizations: Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Islamic, Jewish, and Western (following Melko and Eisenstadt, p. 3). These entities are remarkably resilient despite outside influences and extensive interactions between cultures.
Yet, beginning around 1500, something remarkable happened that has not occurred like anything before or since. The West exploded. In 1500, the West accounted for only 10 percent of the land and 16 percent of the world's population. By 1913, Western nations controlled nearly three fifths of all territory and population and a staggering 79 percent of global economic output (p. 5). "The rise of the United States saw the gap between West and East widen still further. By 1990 the average American was seventy-three times richer than the average Chinese" (p. 5). Both the models of governance and economics were Western, whether the civilization was Eastern or Western.
Imperialism does not explain Western dominance. The Ottoman, Safavid, and Ming dynasties existed at the same time while the West and non-Western empires practiced various forms of imperialism thus this does not account for the West's dominance. An important factor to consider are institutions: consider the test cases of Germany, China, and Korea. In each case, if you impose communist institutions on a culture, people suffer; on the other hand, if Western capitalism flourishes, the very same culture flourishes and prospers.
According to Jared Diamond, the monolithic Chinese empire stifled competition whereas in Europe competition bred excellence and advances. According to Ferguson, this is an "appealing" but not a "sufficient" explanation (p. 12).
According to Ferguson, there are six "mainsprings of global power": 1) competition; 2) science; 3) property rights; 4) medicine; 5) the consumer society; and 6) the work ethic. He calls these the "killer apps" (p. 12) of Western dominance.
Property rights are key. Locke argues that if even seven people are gathered together and their beliefs coincide; they constitute a church. Therefore, all beliefs should be tolerated and through the reasonableness of Christianity some may see the truth (p. 113). In the tolerant example provided, in North America, the United States grew in liberty and expanded. In South America though, the area was characterized by "division, instability, and underdevelopment. . . . " (p. 115) "conflict, poverty, and inequality (p. 119). Ferguson addresses the issue of difference. At root is the issue of land. In his early career as a South American Washington, the Liberator Simon Bolivar failed to appeal to non-whites and they rallied to the royalist cause. It was only after two unsuccessful attempts at forming a Republic that Bolivar developed a strategy to unite all people of color. In his efforts he found unlikely supporters among Irish and British freedom fighters. 7,000 U.K. supporters were attracted with promises of freedom and land (p. 121).
Three difficulties plagued Bolivar even after he successfully repulsed royalist forces. South Americans had had no practical experience running their own affairs as the American colonists had enjoyed for decades before their Revolution. Peninsulares had so controlled governance that the creoles had little experience (p. 123). At one point, Bolivar is quoted by Ferguson as stating that the American experiment could never work in Latin America. He states that there is little in common between the English American and the Spanish American (p. 124). Bolivar's vision was not a land-owning Republic with the rule of law but a life-long dictatorship of Bolivar.
The second problem was the unequal distribution of land. A creole elite, merely 10,000 people, 1.1% of the people, owned nearly all the land (p. 124). In 1910, on the eve of the Mexican revolution, only 2.4% of the rural population owned any land (p. 124). In contrast, in 1900, the rural population in the United States owned 75% of the land. Throughout the British Empire the same general statistic of land ownership remains consistent. Up the present, it continues to be one of the primary distinctions between British-influenced areas and Latin America.
Finally, racial antagonism and division doomed Latin America from unity (p. 125). Creoles resented former slaves and vice versa. The indigenous peoples made up a larger component of Latin America than in North America and they were not integrated, or displaced as in North America, into Latin American governance.
Bolivar's grand vision disintegrated into factional disputations and the unity achieved by the United States never occurred. Bolivar depressingly but accurately described the future of Latin America and it was bleak. "The newly independent states began their lives without a tradition of representative government, with a profoundly unequal distribution of land and with racial cleavages that closely approximated to that economic inequality" (p. 127). Unfortunately, when Hugo Chavez celebrates his connection to Bolivar, the dictatorial, sham democracy, and his nationalizing pursuits, Chavez is on sound historical grounds. Bolivar did not create a republic and he was no Washington.
Those contemplating the evils of imperialism might consider the advance in medicine assisting the world's people's to live longer. For example, in 1800 the average life expectancy was 28.5 years, and in 2001, Western medicine lengthened life expectancy globally to 66.6 (p. 146). During the colonialist period life expectancy increased during occupation and has declined in the post-colonial period (p. 147).
One of the most dangerous books ever was Rousseau's insistence in The Social Contract that the Noble Savage should not be restrained and he advocated for the General Will. Edmund Burke had early on seen the danger in the French Revolution and consequently wrote against it. "Revolutions devour their own children" (p. 153). Tocqueville pointed out how France was not America: "in sum, they chose Rousseau over Locke" (p. 154).
One of the most intriguing aspects of China's rise according to Ferguson is the simultaneous popularity of Christianity (pp. 277-88). The Chinese authorities have long been wary of religious movements but Christianity is making significant inroads among the population. According to one scholar, the Communists looked into why the West was pre-eminent, and various reasons were advanced: guns, politics, economics, "but in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West has been so powerful" (p. 287). Christianity and transcendence leads society to understand tolerance, equality, environmental protection, among the leading ideas advanced by the West. "The XIVth Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Part was presented with a report specifying three requirements for sustainable economic growth: property rights as a foundation, the law as a safeguard and morality as a support" (p. 288). It is the West that has lost faith in itself.
To illustrate his points in the conclusion, Ferguson invokes "The Course of Empire" which is a five-part series of paintings created by Thomas Cole in 1833-36 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Course_of_Empire). Paul Kennedy (The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 by Paul M. Kennedy, http://www.librarything.com/work/12599/27116122) develops this American concern, that the Republic is at an end and Ferguson deals with current ideas about the decline and fall of civilization. Kennedy identified "imperial overstretch" as the issue to contend with (p. 298). Then there is Green theorist Jared Diamond's Collapse to consider as well (Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond: http://www.librarything.com/work/1070881/27115644). Ferguson disagrees with Diamond's long-term, catastrophic Green collapse; in contrast, Ferguson states civilizations can collapse over night.
This is the most alarming aspect of Ferguson's work: civilizations, as in nature, are complex systems which can collapse quickly and virtually overnight. He illustrates this point with numerous examples from the Roman Empire to the fall of Great Britain. Civilizations collapse.
Contra Diamond, Ferguson maintains that "The civilizational supercycle of birth, growth, and eventual death is a misrepresentation of the historical process (p. 299)." Civilizations are complex systems (p. 299) and "to understand complexity, it is helpful to examine how natural scientists use the concept" (p. 300). Ferguson employs a useful analogy, "To use the jargon of modern physics, a forest before a fire is in a state of `self-organized criticality'" (p. 300). It is teetering on the edge of disaster but no one knows the size nor distribution the fires. Consider how a smallish event, the subprime mortgage crisis in the U.S. led to a worldwide economic phenomenon (p. 301; or, in the case of a large conflict-ridden Empire, the Soviet Union, persisted for decades but then with no warning or insight by any pundits collapsed in six months (p. 303). Supporting Ferguson's point, the Ottoman Empire likewise flourished for centuries but then collapsed quickly with the beginning of the Turkish Republic.
Most importantly, the story of the West and the rest is explained by Ferguson's six killer apps: "mainsprings of global power" (pp. 305-306). Once the killer apps are downloaded, as in the case of Japan, other economies took off as well. India, once its abysmal socialist experiment ended, invoked free-market principles and benefited tremendously as a result.
According to Ferguson, "the financial crisis that began in the summer of 2007 should therefore be understood as an accelerator of an already well-established trend of relative Western decline" (p. 308). The financial situation of the United States is blinking red and according to Ferguson a relatively minor impetus could plunge the entire system into an immediate tailspin. Our debt is held in foreign hands, primarily China, and other nations such as Japan could pull themselves out of a crisis since they have held onto their own liabilities.
China will consume more, import more, invest more abroad, and innovate more (p. 316). Just as crucial is what could go wrong for China and there are four hypotheses. China could decline as Japan did although before the last two decades Japan was predicted by some to surpass the U.S. Second, China may be plagued with social unrest. A third possibility is that the middle class may demand a bigger piece of the political pie. And finally, China's aggression may drive neighbors into the hands of the U.S.
Other nations have selectively chosen parts of the six killer apps:
"The Chinese have got capitalism. The Iranians have got science. The Russians have got democracy. The Africans are (slowly) getting modern medicine. And the Turks have got the consumer society. But what this means is that Western modes of operation are not in decline but are flourishing nearly everywhere, with only a few remaining pockets of resistance. A growing number of Resterners [Ferguson's name for non-Westerners] are sleeping, showering, dressing, working, playing, eating, drinking and travelling like Westerners. Moreover, as we have seen, Western civilization is more than just one thing; it is a package. It is about political pluralism (multiple states and multiple authorities) as well as capitalism; it is about the freedom of thought as well as the scientific method; it is about the rule of law and property rights as well as democracy. Even today, the West still has more of these institutional advantages than the Rest. The Chinese do not have political competition. The Iranians do not have freedom of conscience. They get to vote in Russia, but the rule of law there is a sham. In none of these countries is there a free press. These differences may explain why, for example, all three countries lag behind Western countries in qualitative indices that measure 'national innovative development’ and ‘national innovation capacity’."
Although other civilizations have portions of the killer apps Ferguson believes that the West may still have an advantage over them.
As Ferguson pointed out earlier, civilizations collapse quickly and although the West no longer maintains a monopoly on advantageous cultural developments there is an endurable package of Western ways of being.
"This Western package still seems to offer human societies the best available set of economic, social and political institutions--the ones most likely to unleash the individual human creativity capable of solving the problems the twenty-first century world faces" (p. 324). It is this package that has done the best job of finding and highlighting talent. "The big question is whether or not we are still able to recognize the superiority of that package" (p. 324).
The Western texts that should be most instructive and promoted in the schools are:
The King James Bible
Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations and Moral Sentiments
John Locke, Two Treatises of Government
Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France
Isaac Newton, Principia
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species
“The biggest threat to Western civilization is posed not by other civilizations, but by our own pusillanimity — and by the historical ignorance that feeds it” (p. 325). Ferguson calls for a return to traditional education, since “at its core, a civilization is the texts that are taught in its schools, learned by its students and recollected in times of tribulation” (p. 324) — by which he means Great Books, and especially Shakespeare. The greatest dangers facing us are probably not “the rise of China, Islam or CO2 emissions,” he writes, but “our own loss of faith in the civilization we inherited from our ancestors” (p. 325).
"Can the West endure any democracy achieved by enemies who in no way resemble them?"
Trump: Western civilisation is under threat, 2:18
What is civilization? Why has the West dominated the rest?
What are the six "killer apps" of Western Civilization?
Competition, Science, Property Rights (Democracy-Rule of Law), Medicine, Consumerism, Work ethic
Civilization Part 1 - BBC Series by Niall Ferguson, 46:57
Civilization Part 2 - BBC Series by Niall Ferguson, 46:54
Civilization Part 3 - BBC Series by Niall Ferguson, 47:33
Civilization Pt4 - BBC Series, 46:52
Civilization Part 5 - BBC Series by Niall Ferguson, 47:00
Civilization Part 6 - BBC Series by Niall Ferguson, 14:45
Civilization Part 6.2 - BBC Series by Niall Ferguson, 14:22
Civilization Part 6.3 - BBC Series by Niall Ferguson, 12:44
Civilization Part 6.4 - BBC Series by Niall Ferguson, 4:58