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This was the first murder of a world leader by a handgun. Tomb of William of Orange in the city of Delft.

Then the combined fleets would cross the Channel and the invasion of England would be a cakewalk. Then they expected to cross into England, dethrone Queen Elizabeth, and return the land to Rome. The Duke of Parma , led the invasion force in the Netherlands. The ships were filled with fanatical Jesuits. All the while, Parma was as desirous to be on the scene of action as Medina Sidonia was to have him there. The duke had assembled a mighty force. One of his regiments was accounted the finest known in the history of war, and had excited great admiration on its march from Naples to the Netherlands, by its engraved arms and gilded corslets, as well as its martial bearing.

A numerous fleet as we have already said, of flat bottomed vessels was ready to carry this powerful host across to England. But one thing was wanting, and its absence rendered all these vast preparations fruitless.


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Parma needed an open door from his harbours to the sea, and the Dutch took care not to leave him one. They drew a line of warships along the Netherlands coast, and Parma, with his sailors and soldiers, was imprisoned in his own ports.


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  • It was strange that this had not been foreseen and provided against. The oversight reveals the working of a Hand powerful enough by its slightest touches to defeat the wisest schemes and crush the mightiest combinations of man. Thanks to the Dutch, the rendezvous of the Invincible Armada with the Duke of Parma never took place. Coastal sailing barges of the kind gathered by Parma for the invasion of England.

    Dutch warships blockaded the coast and Parma was unable to join with the rest of the "Invincible" Armada. The gallant Dutch foiled the invasion attempt of the "Invincible Armada:". While Howard and Drake held the British fleet in readiness to oppose the Spanish Armada, that of Holland, consisting of but twenty-five ships, under the command of Justin of Nassau, prepared to take a part in the conflict. This gallant though illegitimate scion of the illustrious house, whose name he upheld on many occasions, proved himself on the present worthy of such a father as William, and such a brother as Maurice.

    While the duke of Medina Sidonia, ascending the Channel as far as Dunkirk, there expected the junction of the duke of Parma with his important reinforcement, Justin of Nassau, by a constant activity, and a display of intrepid talent, contrived to block up the whole expected force in the ports of Flanders from Lillo to Dunkirk. The duke of Parma found it impossible to force a passage on any one point; and was doomed to the mortification of knowing that the attempt was frustrated, and the whole force of Spain frittered away, discomfited, and disgraced, from the want of a cooperation, which he could not, however, reproach himself for having withheld.

    The issue of the memorable expedition, which cost Spain years of preparation, thousands of men, and millions of treasure, was received in the country which sent it forth with consternation and rage. Philip alone possessed or affected an apathy which he covered with a veil of mock devotion that few were deceived by. At the news of the disaster, he fell on his knees, and rendering thanks for that gracious dispensation of Providence, expressed his joy that the calamity was not greater. Grattan, Holland. The History of the Netherlands , pp. In a naval engagement entitled the Battle of the Downs, which took place off the coast of England in , the Spanish were decisively defeated by the Dutch navy.

    The Battle of Downs was fought on Oct. The Battle of the Downs was a decisive defeat for the mighty Spanish navy. It was then that the Spanish realized that they would need the English navy to do their fighting for them. Dutch admiral Maarten Tromp , commanded the Dutch navy. This victory led to the English civil wars and the dictatorship of Oliver Cromwell. This marriage between the Stuarts and the House of Orange cemented the friendship between the two allies and made war highly unlikely. Holland was a big winner at the end of the Jesuit instigated 30 Years' War.

    The Spanish Empire was the big loser, and the tiny Dutch Republic was replacing Spain as mistress of the seas. From January , Charles I of England engaged in a number of secret agreements with Spain, directed against Dutch sea power. He also embarked on a major program of naval construction, enforcing ship money to built such prestige vessels as HMS Sovereign of the Seas. Charles's policy was not very successful however. Fearing to endanger his good relations with the powerful Dutch stadtholder Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, his assistance to Spain limited itself to allowing Habsburg troops on their way to Dunkirk to employ neutral English shipping.

    In and he made some halfhearted attempts to extort North Sea herring rights from Dutch fishermen until intervention by the Dutch navy made an end to such practices. When in a large Spanish transport fleet sought refuge in the English Downs moorage, Charles did not dare to protect it against a Dutch attack; the resulting Battle of the Downs undermined both Spanish sea power and Charles' reputation.

    Obviously the king was not cooperating with the Jesuits in destroying the Dutch, navy so he had to be taught a lesson.

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    King Charles I King from to King Charles I was beheaded on Jan. Oliver Cromwell was one of the signers of his death warrant.

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    Depiction of the beheading of King Charles I in The public beheading of King Charles I of England on January 30, , took place on a specially erected scaffold outside the Banqueting House in Whitehall, in Westminster. Cordial relations existed between England and Holland until the regime of Cromwell. An act was passed by the Cromwell "Parliament" in called the Navigation Act.

    It was aimed basically at the Dutch who carried on a brisk shipping trade between the New World, England, and Holland. Moreover, when Cromwell soon afterwards rid the country of internal enemies, there was even less reason for fearing the Dutch. By October, Parliament felt free to pass the contentious Navigation Act which provided that all imports should be brought into England in English vessels or vessels of the country producing the goods.

    The Act was clearly directed against the Dutch traders; it denied them the freedom of the seas on which they had insisted throughout the negotiations at the Hague. Soon afterwards, the English government gave an even stronger proof of its hostility to the United Netherlands, when it issued letters of reprisal to the heirs of an English merchant, who was said to have suffered damage by the Dutch.

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    These letters not only caused the Netherlands an unexpected financial loss, but involved recourse to a maritime law that had always been resented by the Dutch and had been the subject of long and tedious negotiations with the kings of England. To top it all English men-of-war began to search Dutch ships quite arbitrarily for 'contraband.

    Cromwell declared war on England's faithful ally the Dutch. The first of the Anglo-Dutch wars lasted from to General Robert Blake , commanded the English navy. Most of the generals that fought for Cromwell also remained in the English navy after the restoration of Charles II. England was rescued from such a dire fate by the invasion of the Protestant King William of Orange.

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    The gallant Dutch could have left England to that dreadful fate because of their many wars against their country and colonies. As true Christians, they did not render evil for evil, but came to the rescue of the beleaguered country. King James II The Dutch did not abandon England to its fate, but came to their rescue, even though England made war upon them several times. King William III King William granted the people a Bill of Rights which eventually became the model for the U.

    Bill of Rights.

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    However, King William also charted the Bank of England which made London the financial capital of the world instead of Amsterdam. The gallant Dutch nation was a leader in world exploration. Henry Hudson New Amsterdam was founded by the Dutch in The enterprising Dutch even had a colony in Brazil and would eventually have replaced the Spanish. New York City was renamed after him in Aerial view of lower New York City.

    The city was called New Amsterdam until its conquest by the English. New York City was named after the Duke of York in This colony eventually became the nucleus for the United States, and is recognized as such by a national Thanksgiving holiday every November. Only by the grace of God were they able to escape from England, and heroic Holland opened its arms of welcome to them:.