Between 1558 and 1750, Spain and England, and later Great Britain found themselves at war with each other, or on opposite sides in wider conflagrations on 12 occasions. Between the first and the last there was a very large change in the balance of power between the two nations; in the former, Spain was the most powerful state in Europe, and England did well to just about hold its own in the Great Armada War, while by the time of the last, the War of the Austrian Succession, the balance had shifted far enough to make defeat for Spain inevitable, without powerful allies. If I had chosen to continue my account to cover another 70 years or so, the dominance of Great Britain would have become even more pronounced. The wars in question were only one amongst several causes of this transformation resulting from the weakening of Spain and the strengthening of Great Britain, but they were significant. The document is a relatively brief narrative history. The period considered is too long to allow detailed consideration of individual military engagements while key economic and demographic factors can only be touched on; however, room is found for brief pen-pictures of some of the most prominent individuals involved. The account should give readers an appreciation of a facet of history which is not very well known, and an understanding of why Spaniards might have reason to resent British behaviour during the period in question.
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