Before the English defeated the Spanish Armada, it was clear that Spain and Portugal were the largest European empires in the world, as they both claimed a significant amount of territory throughout the New World. Therefore, the armada's defeat represented a shift in power from Spain to England, which became a dominant power in the New World up until even the mid-19th century. With its victory, England also established how powerful its navy was. England boasted the strongest navy in the world until arguably the late 19th or early 20th century. All in all, it was significant even that represented England's progress as a military power.