Il giorno 13 Jan 01, alle 21:50, Rebing si trov=F2 a scrivere: > After the political triumphs of the defeat of the > Spanish Armada, ending the global predominance of Englands most > dangerous enemy, and the consolidation of the reign of Elizabeth I the > country entered a long period of prosperity. Now: are Shakespeare, > Donne, Purcell indeed indicators of Verflachung? Sorry but I have to disagree. If you think that the destruction of the Armada made England the world-dominating power it became only well after 1660, you are acritically accepting an ideologically-biased narration of British history that has been questioned and mostly rejected by historians. Shakespeare & c. are surely not signs of Verflachung (flattening?), but the country entered a long period of prosperity only after 1650, with the Puritan dictatorship which gave a new impulse to its internationl policy and after Holland was defeated and then somewhat incorporated in the 80s of the XVII century. There are several reasons why the myth of the defeat of the Armada was created. Basically it had to hide a military failure, that is the insuccess of the expedition to Holand. And the sad truth that Elizabeth and her croonies had been scared shitless by the Spanish fleet, partly destroyed and scattered by a tempest and only then attacked by British ships. Elizabeth retired her army form Holland and imprisoned her counselor and lover (unfortunately I can't remember his name) because he had (according to her) given her the wrong advice (by the way this Dutch mess was the small war where the famous poet Philip Sydney died, and his death shocked Liz quite a bit). What happened in 1588 was that the English rulling elite understood they where small fry compared to Spain, and they had to keep a low profile untile they weren't richer and better equipped to deal with an intercontinental power. Spain declined during the 30 years war, when it squadered an incredible amount of money to crush the Protestant countries, and it took the best energies of Bohemia, Saxony, Denmark, Sweden and a lot of Dutch money. The fact that it was a Catholic country (France) to deal the final blow to Spain at Rocroi and Saint Quentin is only incidental. By the way, the war ended in 1648, and England went to war against Spain (under Cromwell) soon after, managing to grab Gibraltar--but Spain was already KO. I suspect that the real consolidation of the British Empire as dominating world power took place only during the 7 years war (1750?) when France was defeated as a candidate to the domination of the oceans (and lost her posessions in India and North-America). That's when Britannia began to rule the waves... Umberto Rossi "Nothing is so remote from us as the thing which is not old enough to be history and not new enough to be news."
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