This is the twenty-third of thirty-one readers used in the Veritas Press Phonics Museum program, designed for first grade.
"If Spain lands, I will be with you, to survive or die with you on this beach."
Then, on her prancing horse, the queen said, in a strong voice, "I may have the form of a weak female, but I am as brave as a king!"
Then the men's cheers shot to the sky.
Philip II was King of Spain from 1556 to 1598, and ruled over a great empire. One of the richest parts of his empire was the Spanish Netherlands, where Calvinism was making inroads. In that region, many nobles resented Philip's heavy-handed policies and his strong opposition to Calvinism. Philip's taxes also alienated the merchant classes. By 1566, Philip faced a revolt.
England's shrewd Queen Elizabeth I had sought to weaken the power of France and Philip's Spain. To do this, for a time she secretly supported French and Dutch Calvinists who were resisting Roman Catholic rule in their respective countries. By 1585, Elizabeth settled upon a policy of active and open military intervention in the Netherlands, which directly challenged Philip's interests. Philip responded by ordering preparations for an armada to invade England. The armada, which set out in 1588, was ill prepared to meet England's faster, sturdier ships, which were equipped with superior firepower.
The defeat of the Spanish Armada marks a turning point in European power. It ensured that England would remain a Protestant country, and it checked any further expansion of Spanish interests.
This paved the way for England to expand its influence in the western world.
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