Explain using specfic examples how Phillip II was a defender of the Catholic faith and how that defense impacted Spain?      

Expert Answers
dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Phillip II was politically and religiously motivated, considered himself the defender of the catholic faith and as such sought to restore the catholic religion to England as well as surpress the protestant uprisings in the Spanish Netherlands. (Holland and Belgium) Phillip II was married to Mary Tudor and while she was on the throne in England she banished the protestant religion instituted under her father's reign and restored the catholic faith in England. Elizabeth was Mary's half sister and after Mary Tudor's death she became queen. Phillip II then allied himself with Mary Queen of Scots. Although cousin to Elizabeth she was a catholic and if Phillip succeeded in deposing Elizabeth, Mary of Scots was next in line to the English throne. Mary of Scots promised Phillip II English succession upon her death however she was convicted of treason and Queen Elizabeth authorized her beheading. Queen Elizabeth restored the protestant Church of England. Queen Elizabeth also assisted in the protestant uprisings in the Spanish controlled Netherlands. Phillip II responded to all of these actions in 1588 by launching the Spanish Armada, unfortunately for Phillip II the Armada was brutally defeated by England.  Phillip II's catholic quest was a costly one, building the Spanish Armada bankrupted the Spanish crown. It also began the decline of Spain's political superiority and set the course for England's rise to naval and political superiority.