Why did Phillip II launch the Armada and why did it fail? In the summer of 1588, the catholic king of Spain, Phillip II, came up with a plan to conquer protestant England. He would collect his army from the Netherlands and a huge fleet of 130 ships across the channel, with the help of France.
Why did Phillip launch the Armada?- Phillip launched the Armada for many reasons. When Elizabeth became queen, Phillip asked her hand in marriage, but she refused. This angered him, as he hoped to keep power over England, and also keep it catholic. This was also an embarrassment as Spain was one of he most powerful countries in Europe. England was also helping protestants in the Netherlands, (which Spain ruled) to revolt against the catholic Spanish. As well as helping the Portrageas gain their independence from Spain. Phillip also had the support of the Pope who encouraged him to invade England.
Elizabeth had been excommunicated from the church so the pope thought she ought to be removed. During the 1560's English ships began to loot Spanish fleets returning from America with gold. Phillip blamed Elizabeth for backing such raids and taking her share of the profits. In 1587 Elizabeth executed Mary queen of Scots which also angered Phillip as he saw Mary as the rightful queen of England.
Why the armada failed- Phillips plan was to send a fleet from Spain and an army from the Netherlands to invade at the same time. England was aware of the Spanish plans, attacking at CÃÂ¡diz, in Spain and succeeding in delaying it for another year. This meant that the Spanish had to use old, not so good boats for the invasion. The barrels were also destroyed and so the new ones were unseasoned so when the food was put in them, the barrels and food rotted. The man in charge of the Spanish armada was the duke of Medina Scronia, he was not a sea captain, and he was in charge of the army and was sea sick! The English admirals were experienced and well trained. When in the channel and fighting, the English couldn't break the crescent formation. Ships were set on fire and sent into the Armada, producing a panic that broke the Spanish formation. The Armada was forced to sail around Scotland, where they didn't have good maps for. Bad weather also contributed to Spain's misfortune, as it bashed many of the boats to bits. On August 8th the English defeated the Spanish and the Armada sailed home with only about 50 ships left.