Elizabeth Government

Here are all of my notes on Elizabethan England Government. I hope they are useful to you.

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  • Elizabeth Government
    • Hierarchy
      • God
        • Queen (coronation in 1559)
          • Nobles and lords (great landowners)
            • The gentry (lesser landowners)
              • Wealthy merchants
                • Farmers
                  • Servants and peasants
          • Privy Council (Elizabeth's closest advisors)
            • Parliament (House of commons and House of Lords)
    • Portraits
      • Ermine is a symbol of royalty. White, soft fur symbols purity
      • Hand on the globe depicts power.
      • The black pearls belonged to Mary Queen of Scots
      • Orb/ sceptre is a symbol of power, authority and religion
      • Olive branch symbolises peace
      • The sword of state represents justice.
      • Her portraits were used as propaganda.
    • Problems Elizabeth face
      • Women were thought to be weak rulers.
      • Catholics thought she was illegitimate.
      • She was short of money. England was in a lot of debt due to Mary.
      • Women were though to be unsuccessful ruler.
      • Elizabeth was getting old and frail so she made her portraits make her look young and smooth.
    • Friends and enemies
      • The Netherlands was also a protestant country and it was near so they could trade goods.
      • Ireland was Predominately Roman Catholic and it was close to England and could attack
      • Scotland and France were both Catholic countries that were friendly to each other and Mary Queen of Scots believed she was the rightful leader.
      • The Pope was head of Roman Catholic countries so Catholics would obey him.
      • The relationship between England and Spain deteriorated.
    • Parliament
      • Elizabeth had a small number of Privy Councillors (around 12-20) making them a manageable amount however she only met with them 13 times.
      • She didn't like them discussing her private affairs/ matters of  state and closed parliament when she felt like it.
      • Peter Wentworth, a Puritan Mp believed that there should be changes in religion which Elizabeth disagreed within he was imprisoned. There were a lot of arguments about the freedom of speech. Some Mps believed that they should be able to discuss whatever they liked.
      • People  were worried that there was no heir to the throne. Elizabeth didn't want to marry as she didn't want her power to be taken away.
    • Justices of Peace mainly dealt with criminal offences and punishments and supervised those who looked after the poor. They weren't paid and helped the Lord Lieutenants.
    • Lord Lieutenants  were the Queen's representatives and were usually noblemen. they were paid and helped control the local area.
    • The House of Commons contained about 450 men, usually chosen by the privy council. Believed they should have more freedom of speech (Peter Wentworth)
    • The house of Lords were more important and contained bishops/ nobles
  • Portraits
    • Ermine is a symbol of royalty. White, soft fur symbols purity
    • Hand on the globe depicts power.
    • The black pearls belonged to Mary Queen of Scots
    • Orb/ sceptre is a symbol of power, authority and religion
    • Olive branch symbolises peace
    • The sword of state represents justice.
    • Her portraits were used as propaganda.

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