Ferdinand Magellan reached Asia westward across the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans in the Spanish expedition of Magellan-Elcano, resulting in the first circumnavigation of the globe, completed by Juan Sebastián Elcano (1519–1522). Soon after, the Spanish and Portuguese began establishing large global empires in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania. France, the Netherlands and England soon followed in building large colonial empires with vast holdings in Africa, the Americas, and Asia.
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Spanish wars of conquest included laying waste much of the Netherlands and an attempt to invade England. A year later England tried unsuccessfully to invade Spain, allowing Philip II of Spain to maintain his dominant war capacity in Europe. This English decisive disaster also allowed the Spanish fleet to retain its capability to wage war for the next decades.
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