Study Notes

Early Elizabethan England (1558-1588): Treaty of Joinville, 1584

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas

Last updated 15 Jul 2024

The Treaty of Joinville 1584 was a secret treaty signed by Philip II of Spain and the French Catholic League which planned to end Protestantism in Europe. It was designed as an alliance between the French and the Spanish to take on Protestant England under Elizabeth.

Whilst in practice it was an agreement to respond to the Protestant threat posed by Elizabeth to Europe, both Spain and France did very little to try and remove Elizabeth, both trying not to start a war. Despite this, however, the very idea of both major catholic powers allying against  England was alarming to Elizabeth. This forced Elizabeth’s hand who now did more to help the Netherlands in their fight against the Spanish. This response, was unlike anything Elizabeth had done before, which showcases just show uncomfortable the Treaty of Joinville made her.

The Treaty of Nonsuch is often linked as a direct consequence of the Treaty of Joinville. This allowed an expedition to be sent to the Netherlands to fight the Spanish. Many historians see this as a reason for a war between England and Spain starting with the Spanish Armada in 1588.

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