English skilfully exploited this fact, and soon challenged the naval supremacy of Spain.
Riches were brought home from the voyages, and many went to explore new territories in he hope of finding gold.
The defeat of the Armada, the beginning of colonization in the New Continent and the commercial expansion to various parts of the world contributed to the consolidation of the maritime power of England, which was destined to develop so succesfully in the next centuries.
The age was characterized by intense national feeling or even national pride dominated by the personality of Elizabeth, the erudite and multi lingual sovereign, who inspired poets and was the beloved queen of adoring subjects.
It is interesting to note that the attitude to Italy was dual.
It was seen as the cradle of culture and the country of Dante and Petrarch; the stories of Boccaccio and Bandello were widely translated; Castiglione's The Courtier provided the ideal of an educated and artistic courtier who advised and supported his prince.
But Italy was also the land of papal Rome and of the Borgias, and the misunderstanding of Machiavelli's The Prince contributed to re- inforce these prejudices.
In fact, Then Prince was not translated into English until 1640, but stangely enough it had a profound influence on the thought and policy or Tudor England, and Machiavelli became a monstrousn legend.