Elizabeth I - 1558 -1588 - Parliament and Council Revision Notes

Revision notes for Elizabeth's parliament and council, including the relationship with parliament, the role of council and the role of faction.Edexcel Unit 3 History. 

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ELIZABETH 1558 - 1588
First steps of parliament
Elizabeth Summoned a total of 10 parliaments in her 45 year reign.
The first was immediately after her accession to the throne, which granted additional
taxation to cover the current war against France.
Secondly, a religious settlement was authorised whereby England was made a
protestant country.
The parliament demanded more puritan reforms, but the Queen said NO
The Rise of Parliament
It is argued that parliament significant progress under Elizabeth. Opposition and
growth was mainly from puritans who thought Elizabeth wasn't taking drastic steps
towards puritanism.
Parliament arguably rose due to Elizabeth needing them to approve of the new Church
and also to sort out financial problems, as Elizabeth inherited and empty treasury and
an expensive war.
However, parliament would not have independent powers without the Monarch's input
Neale exaggerated the idea of episodes of conflict between the queen and parliament,
arguing this made them rise in power as they challenged Elizabeth on matters such as
encouraging puritanism and making votes on subsidies.
However, Neale has been challenged, saying that he misinterpreted parliament;
revisionists say that the commons never wanted to act as opposition and they did not
rise in power at the monarchs expense.
The fact that parliament met so rarely under Elizabeth suggests its didn't rise in power
In 45 years parliament only met 3 times. For 26 years parliament didn't even meet at
However, meetings increased towards the end of the reign due to the war in spain and
the heightened need for taxation
Parliament really lost its central role it had during the years of the revolution after
1529, with liz makin few changes regarding parliaments approval.
`So....Conflict or co-operation?

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Conflict Arguments
Neal argues that Protestant zeal brought many MPs into conflict with the Queen. He
also argues that the increase of Gentry in parliament replacing townsmen meant more
MPs had legal training and so were more likely to challenge the Crown
However, just because they were educated does not mean that they would definitely
challenge the queen, who is still considered above all other people, including gentry and
It is argued that religion brought MPs and Elizabeth into conflict.…read more

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Largely remained compliant ­ subsidies generally went through easily and speedily
Elizabeth was never completely denied funds ­ during the war years parliament agreed
to multiple subsidies
Elizabeth appeared to have less trouble securing subsidies than any of her
Despite protestant discontent with supporting the Dutch Revolt, MPs never interfered
with foreign policy
Puritan opposition was largely individual issues, not suggesting complete conflict with
MPS and Liz
It was actually the commons that imprisoned Strickland for asking for the old prayer
book, not Elizabeth!…read more

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The council had a significant role, but you can't dispute the primacy of the monarch
Councillors try to manipulate Elizabeth. When they wished to change her mind, they
would often tried to convince her that what they were putting forward was favoured
by the political nation
Most "puritan opposition", including that in parliament, was caused by those bloody
council goers!
It was the council that launched a legislative assault on Catholicism.…read more

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Conclusion = Elizabeth needed the co-operation of her parliament and council, so
ruled by consent, yet was still a very strong monarch. She made pretty much all
of the important decisions, showing her success arguably.…read more


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