Queen Elizabeth’s decisive defeat of the Invincible Armada made England a world-classOr, as one site puts it,
power and introduced effective long-range weapons into naval warfare for the first time, ending the era of boarding and close-quarter fighting.
The defeat of the Spanish Armada did not automatically make England the dominant power of the western world. Spain would remain a great force in European affairs for years to come and would be able to continue its war against England into the next century. Nevertheless, changes were afoot:
Spain was weakened by the defeat. The cost of preparing the Armada had been tremendous and left the country with a depleted treasury at the same time that New World riches were beginning to dry up. Further, following 1588 Spain was no longer the dominant naval power in the Atlantic.
In England, the victory inspired a new wave of self-confidence and nationalism. The navy had emerged as a potent force in international affairs and as the prime defender of the homeland. The English also felt emboldened to begin colonization efforts in North America.
Sea Power. It's a Thing.