Pamphlet literature and the Anglo-Spanish war: a study of anti-Spanish sentiment in England between 1580 and 1590

Bradley, S., 2019. Pamphlet literature and the Anglo-Spanish war: a study of anti-Spanish sentiment in England between 1580 and 1590. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This thesis examines the role played by anti-Spanish sentiment in English pamphlet literature printed between 1580 and 1590. The study identifies the negative traits that were most commonly associated with the Spanish: dishonesty; brutality; cowardice and pride, exploring why these were regularly ascribed to them in the 1580s. Focusing on texts that were less than ninety-six pages in length, the thesis establishes that the pamphlets were accessible to a broad section of English society, suggesting that the ideas within were widely disseminated in late Tudor England. The investigation demonstrates that the anti-Spanish sentiment present in the texts was reflective of the political climate in England. After decades of amicable diplomacy, Anglo-Spanish relations deteriorated rapidly in the late 1570s. The project shows that this was instrumental in the development of English expansionism, as there was no longer the need to appease King Philip II, and much of the anti-Spanish sentiment at the start of the 1580s was aimed at encouraging investment in voyages of exploration. The study demonstrates that as relations worsened, leading to the declaration of war in 1585, the focus of anti-Spanish sentiment shifted. The introduction of ‘cowardice’ and ‘pride’ in the middle years of the decade suggests that the dissemination of Hispanophobic attitudes were intended to bolster English resolve as the threat posed by Spain grew. However, after the attack of the Armada, these negative traits were still being associated with the Spanish in pamphlets literature. The thesis explores why this was the case, establishing that texts about Spanish colonial success and English voyages of discovery, less prevalent in the middle years of the decade, were revived at the end of the 1580s. This project identifies a developing sense of an English identity between 1580 and 1590, built on colonial aspirations, conceived in opposition to the Spanish method of conquest and colonisation.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Bradley, S.
Date: September 2019
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the owner(s) of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 11 Dec 2020 15:56
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:09

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