Editors. "English shipping in Spanish ports is confiscated". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 February 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=15316, accessed 03 May 2016.]
England and Spain have been antagonistic to each other for several decades, with the militant Catholicism of Philip II finding Elizabeth's treatment of Mary Queen of Scots and her support for the Dutch rebels difficult to accept. With Sir Francis Drake on a voyage to attack Spain's colonies, the Spanish confiscate the English shipping in their ports as a reprisal. This effectively represents as a declaration of war on England, and the two states are then intermittently at war with one another until the Treaty of London in 1604.
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