Anglo-Spanish relations during the early years of Elizabeth I, 1558-1574.
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By 1574 trade had been restored between England and Spain and normal diplomatic relations reinstituted. But the political relationship between the two countries was not the same in 1574 as it had been at Elizabeth's accession. In fifteen years a transition in English foreign policy had occurred. English rather than Spanish interests were dominant in the aims and objectives of Elizabeth's policies. By 1574 she was firmly established in England and clearly capable of handling foreign affairs In regard to Spain, she fully understood the implications of Philip's hesitancy to take any action against her. By overestimating the potential threat from France, Philip failed to recognize the change in Elizabeth and her foreign policy. Much to his later regret, all the Spanish ambassadors to England, with the exception of de Silva, sent so much false information to him that it was almost impossible to comprehend the political atmosphere in England. One area of Anglo- Spanish relations that was continually exaggerated were the affairs of the English Catholics. The resident ambassadors were deeply involved in Catholic intrigues and gave falsified reports of discontent towards Elizabeth. (See document for rest of conclusion.)
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