Economy during Elizabeth I's Reign

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  • Economy during Elizabeth I's reign.
    • Land & Agriculture
      • Agricultural production increased.
      • Increase food rotation.
      • Bad harvests 1594-1597.
      • More land used for farming - smaller farms became larger.
    • Trade
      • Cloth making in rural areas increased, although some old cloth towns e.g. Winchester died.
      • Shipbuilding & ports grew with trade.
      • Increased legislation to regulate trade & industry - 2 Navigation Acts; Statue of Artificers 1563; Acts to regulate cloth, leather etc.
    • Urban Prosperity
      • New urban settlements developed.
      • London grew and provided a market for international goods.
      • South-East, Norfolk and Suffolk flourished.
      • Slight decline in Antwerp due to war with the Netherlands.
      • Increase in vagrancy.
    • Depression
      • Four consecutive failed harvests 1594-1597 led to serious poverty.
      • 1596 - real wages collapsed to less than half of the level they were 9 years ago (1587)
      • People died of starvation in the far north - 25 people in Newcastle.
    • Regions
      • London grew to 200,000 in 1600, and remained the largest city.
      • The poorest regions were the North and the West-Midlands
      • North/South divide increased - labourers goods in Hertfordshire worth 3x those in the North.
    • North East Passage
      • 1553 - Willoughby and Chancellor sailed North-East and gained a trading relationship with Russia.
      • 1560 - trading relationship formed with Prussia.
    • North West Passage
      • Frobisher smiles North to Canada in 1576 and discovered new land.
      • Drake circumnavigated the globe 1577-1580 (but failed to make a trading route to China through North America)
      • Failure to make trading links with North America 1585-1587.
    • Slave Trade (West Indies)
      • John Hawkins went to Africa 1562 - took slaves to West Indies in return and brought home money & sugar.
      • Drake's circumnavigation = propaganda & undermined Spain's reputation.
      • Drake raided west coast of America and captured some Spanish ships; voyage 1577-1580 made 4000% profit.
    • Colonisation
      • Many attempts at colonisation failed - Raleigh attempted Virginia 1585 & 1587 but failed.

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