Spanish Armada – III

Lead: Clearly provoked by English policy, in 1588 Philip II of Spain sent a large fleet to support an invasion of southern England. It turned out not to be much of an Armada and was certainly not invincible.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: By 1585 Philip was convinced that in order to break English economic, diplomatic and military power and to restore Catholicism to England, he would need to mount an invasion. As it evolved, here was the plan. The Spanish would assemble a fleet of warships filled with supplies and troops, sail to Flanders in what is modern day Belgium, secure the Straits of Dover from English naval interference, screen the transport across the English Channel of 30,000 troops under the command of the Duke of Parma, vice-regent of the Spanish Netherlands, and support the invasion. From the beginning, almost everything went wrong.

Spanish Armada – II

Lead: In 1588 Spain sent a powerful fleet to support an invasion of southern England. Despite English propaganda to the contrary, this action was clearly provoked by the government of English Queen Elizabeth I.


                Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: In the early days of her rule, one of Elizabeth’s best friends was King Philip II of Spain. He had been the husband of her sister and predecessor, Mary Tudor. He hoped that Elizabeth would continue Mary’s policy of Catholic restoration and, perhaps, even accept his hand in a powerful dynastic and diplomatic marriage. By 1560, however, it was clear Elizabeth desired a modified Protestantism for England and that she was toying with Philip’s affections just as she would every man who sought, by winning her heart, to compromise her power and capture her kingdom.

Spanish Armada – I

Lead: By the mid-1580s Philip II of Spain had had enough. He determined to destroy his heretical sister-in-law Elizabeth and bring her backward, troublesome little island kingdom to heel.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: Philip of Spain always had high hopes for Elizabeth. He had, after all, been her brother-in-law, married to Mary Tudor, her older sister. Mary’s rule was short, however, and the queen died before she and Philip could produce the Catholic heir that might, over time, have restored stubborn England to the true faith. Philip didn’t like the English and they returned the compliment. Nevertheless, he hoped that when Mary died and Elizabeth took her place in 1558, he might win her hand and continue to pull England back out of Protestantism. A marriage would also maintain the European balance of power thus keeping France at a diplomatic disadvantage. Unfortunately, Elizabeth understood that marriage to Philip would drag England into continental disputes on the side of Spain, but more importantly, insure her power as a female ruler would be compromised in a marriage. Therefore, she paried Philip’s advances as she did the long line of suitors that tried to ensnare her heart and her throne.

Edward Gibbon Wakefield, Prophet of Colonialism – III

Lead: It lost its first empire in North America with the American Revolution and there was trouble in other possessions. To bring order and imperial stability, Britain turned to the ideas Edward Gibbon Wakefield.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: His reputation and career destroyed by a conviction for kidnapping of a prospective bride, three years in London’s Newgate Prison changed the life of Edward Gibbon Wakefield. He took on capital punishment and his writings helped bring the end to the death penalty in England, but it was on colonialism that he made his greatest contribution.

Edward Gibbon Wakefield Prophet of Colonialism – II

Lead: His prison term changed Edward Gibbon Wakefield from a self-indulgent dilettante to one of Britain’s most perceptive social critics. He helped fashion the world’s largest colonial empire.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: While imprisoned for kidnapping a rich 15-year old heiress in order to marry her and thus further his fortune and political career, Edward Wakefield was awakened to a different world. He met fellow inmates sentenced to death for minor crimes such as sheep stealing and forgery. Wakefield was so incensed that he composed a brilliant critique of the contemporary use of the death penalty. Facts Relating to the Punishment of Death, like all but one of his major works, was published anonymously to avoid diminished impact because of his own sorry reputation. It received enthusiastic reviews and helped build support for the elimination of the death penalty in England.

Edward Gibbon Wakefield and Rational Colonialism – I

Lead: In May 1827 London’s Newgate Prison had a new prisoner. Who could have imagined that this new inmate would become one of England’s most influential social critics and help change the destiny of a worldwide empire?


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: Edward Gibbon Wakefield was the spoiled son of prominent, politically well-connected London Quaker family. He piddled his way through school, but was possessed of a certain charm and the skills of the intellectually glib. He landed a job as a diplomatic courier for the Foreign Service on the Continent and persuaded a rich heiress, 16-year old Eliza Anne Frances Pattle, to elope with him. The resulting settlement from her estate provided for him generously and they started a family. Eliza died at the birth of their second child Edward in 1820.

Gandhi in South Africa – III

Lead: Mahatma Gandhi developed what some have erroneously come to call, “passive resistance” in turn of the twentieth century South Africa. There he acquired vital political skills, which he would use to great effect later in India.


Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: In theory at least, citizenship in the British Empire whether that be in India, Fiji, Jamaica, South Africa or England itself, implied equal rights with all other imperial subjects. The theory did not always work out it practice.

Jean Baptiste Colbert – II

Lead: Schooled in the intricate politics of the royal administration of France’s King Louis XIV, Jean Baptiste Colbert had ambitious plans for France’s economy. His hopes were crushed by King’s rush to war.


                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


                Content: Colbert served in many capacities over the years, adapting quickly to the King’s desire to build a civil administration based not on connections, wealth or aristocracy, but rather on talent. Colbert gathered many jobs under his wing over the years but his most important was Superintendent of Finance. In that capacity, he revised the tax system, removing many of the exemptions that the nobility enjoyed from paying the taille, a land tax, the principal source of national revenue. He created a new civil office, the intendent, royal agents sent into the provinces to collect taxes and keep the King informed about local public opinion. He helped build Paris into a more modern capital but was frustrated in this by the King’s diversion of enormous sums into the construction of Versailles the magnificent royal lodge in the Paris suburbs.