The hunted turned hunters, and the last fires of English persecution were lit by those whom the stake had threatened all through the dreary years of Mary's reign. This change of front and the gradual amelioration of penalties which followed show that persecutions are not the monopoly of any sect, but are rather the manifestations of an irresponsible power in a semi-barbarous age.
Philip retired angry and disgusted. The contemptuous refusal of his hand by Elizabeth was a terrible shock to his personal pride; the triumph of the new church inflamed his bigotry; and the sturdy independence of the English people was a severe blow to his pride of country. He brooded over the situation and determined to resent the slights--personal and public--which had been put upon him.
From his purpose he was for a time diverted by the attitude of his rebellious subjects in Belgium. Maddened to ferocity by the failure of his plans, he devoted the whole people to destruction, and he sent his best-equipped armies, under the terrible Duke of Alva, to devastate the cities of the dikes as Pizarro had destroyed the homes of the Incas. After innumerable atrocities, and the wholesale slaughter of men, women, and children, the remnant of freedom was preserved by the obstinacy of the Dutch burghers, the wise policy of William the Silent, the aid of the sea, and the succor furnished by Elizabeth.
Here, again, was practical defeat. His cherished purposes were thwarted, and the high hope of his life was gone. Nothing was left but despair and revenge. At this time Philip began to exhibit in a marked degree the madness which overshadowed the last years of his life. His hatred of England grew from day to day, and at last took shape in a determination to make one supreme effort to conquer his rival, and to check the rising free thought of the English people. For years the preparations went, on for the great conflict, and in 1588, twenty years after the accession of Elizabeth to the throne, everything was ready.
Interesting Facts and Information about the Elizabethan Age and The Spanish Armada
Some interesting facts and information about the Elizabethan Age and the Spanish Armada. Details, facts and information about the Elizabethan Age can be accessed via the Elizabethan Era Sitemap. Continue the story of the Spanish Armada by clicking the following link: