The Invincible Spanish Armada Set Sail - May 19
- 2013 5 May
The invincible Spanish Armada set sail MAY 19, 1588, to conquer England. Queen Elizabeth relied on Sir Francis Drake and his smaller, faster vessels. Drake ingeniously floated burning ships at night into the anchored Spanish fleet, dispersing them in a panic. Aided by gale force winds half of Spain's Armada was eventually wrecked. Had England lost, there would have been no Pilgrims, no New England, and no United States. In 1776, Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations: "The Spaniards, by virtue of the first discovery, claimed all America as their own, and...such was...the terror of their name, that the greater part of the other nations of Europe were afraid to establish themselves in any other part of that great continent...But...the defeat...of their Invincible Armada...put it out of their power to obstruct any longer the settlements of the other European nations. In the course of the 17th century...English, French, Dutch, Danes, and Swedes...attempted to make some settlements in the new world." A coin minted in Holland in 1588 had engraved on one side Spanish ships sinking and on the other side men kneeling under the inscription "Man Proposeth, God Disposeth."