The year 1588 has long been recognised as at most a stage in the military history of Elizabeth's reign, but in domestic events it continues to be thought of as a date of great significance. In the history of the Church of England, the 1590s were a time of consolidation and mounting triumph. The internal enemy—puritanism—was subdued; the external enemy—catholicism—wasted its strength in private dissensions. While the presbyterian movement thus entered upon a decline from which only Scottish support rescued it for a time during the civil war, the sectarian or separatist movements seemed to gain in strength. The queen's statesmanlike obstinacy seemed to end the chance of splitting the catholic ranks by exploiting the archpriest controversy, but in fact it secured such a split without surrendering to catholic demands and by a typically Elizabethan manceuvre. Though the war occupied most of the ships and seamen of England, some of them continued to go further afield.