Triumph of Elizabeth; War, Disorder and Succession

Notes from the AQA A2 Textbook Chapter 9: War, disorder and succession covering war and its impact and crisis, disorder and rebellion

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Rachel Jones 1
Chapter 9
War, Disorder and Succession
War and its impact
The continuing war against Spain
Defeat of the Spanish Armada was not the end of the war with Spain
o Dragged on for 16 years
o Fought at sea off western Europe and the Caribbean and on land in France, the Netherlands and
Ireland connected with the Irish revolt
Elizabeth's war aims: national security, autonomous Netherlands
o Anxious to avoid the Huguenots in France
England was involved in a war for both national and religious survival against a universal Catholic conspiracy
nature of the conflict required an explicit commitment to the assistance of coreligionists in France and the
o View shared up to a point by Lord Burghley saw Philip in a war of conquest
War at sea
1592: Drake's expedition with abortive attack on Lisbon
Profitable plundering expeditions of Frobisher and Cumberland
1593: Unprofitable plundering expeditions by Hawkins and Frobisher
1594: Capture of treasure ship Madre de Dios
1595: Failed plundering expedition of Drake and Hawkins in West Indies
1596: Capture of Cadiz
Some wanted a more expensive naval campaign and they argued that:
o The war in the Netherlands tended to be expensive and difficult
o England was successful with smallscale naval attacks in the Caribbean and Spain (1585/7)
Queen was not persuaded by Hawkins's suggestion immediately after the Armada proposing a naval blockade
of key Spanish ports
o Agreed in 1589 to an expedition in Portugal that aimed to:
Destroy what remained of the Armada
Place the pretender Don Antonio on the Portuguese throne and in the process reassert
Portuguese independence
Secure the Azores
Intercept Spanish vessels bound from America laden with treasure
o Early example of publicprivate partnership financed partly by Crown and partly private investment
o Attracted the irritation of the English commander in the Netherlands as it removed men from
command made his immediate task more difficult
o DISASTER! strategic flaws, poor command, lack of artillery, drunkenness and disease all took their
Queen accused leaders of putting profit and pursuit of fame before strategic needs
MacCaffrey: the failure of the Portuguese expedition illustrates clearly `the tissue of
constraints and contradictions' that limited the ability of Elizabethan government to
wage war effectively
No coherent objectives

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Chapter 9
Scheme was overambitious, underresources and contradictory
Crown was a minor participant in this naval warfare mostly undertaken by private vessels
o No fewer than 236 vessels operated from 1589 to 1591
1589: Expedition led by Earl of Cumberland and Martin Frobisher profited and damaged Spanish shipping
1590 expeditions were much less profitable
MacCaffrey: doubted the viability of the whole strategy
1592: leading privateers all made a profit and able to present a substantial sum to the Queen capture of
Madre…read more

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Chapter 9
Little had been achieved at very great cost place of the Elizabethan `sea dogs' in national mythology had
been firmly entrenched
War in France
Assassination of King Henry III of France coincided with the return of the fleet from the Armada
o Succession crisis surrounding Henry of Navarre
1589: Paris and most of the other major cities were run by the Catholic League supported by Philip II
Henry IV badgered Elizabeth and got troops
o 3,600 troops were raised but…read more

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Chapter 9
The Pale was a small anglicised part of the island around Dublin, under the control of a Lord Deputy appointed
by the Crown and with a representative parliament
The south was under the control of AngloIrish noble families (Fitzgeralds and the Butlers), the rest dominated
by Irish clans, most importantly the O'Neills
Henry VIII sought to bring Ireland more tightly under control of the English Crown in the 1530s
o 1541: Henry was proclaimed King of Ireland by the Irish…read more

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Chapter 9
o Day to day foreign policy was handled by Principal Secretary
Received reports from English agents abroad
Problems of communication made a regular flow of quality information difficult
Privy Council occasionally consulted about foreign affairs
o Wernham: did this in Dec 1559 before intervening in Scotland and policy towards Mary Stuart
Parliament played a very limited role in foreign affairs
o Little amount of time Parliament was in session
o Did discuss Mary Stuart and succession
o Crowson: the…read more

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Chapter 9
The Essex Rebellion
Sept 1599: Essex deserted his post, returned to the Court and burst into the Queen's bedchamber
o Charged in the Star Chamber and suspended from Privy Council and his offices and kept under house
o A charge of treason was laid against Essex
o Political vulnerability was made worse by his desperate financial situation £16,000 debt
Christmas 1600: contemplating an armed coup that would secure the downfall of his enemies
o Palace of Whitehall would be…read more

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Chapter 9
o He dealt with it very carefully and Cecil smoothed his path to the throne
o Elizabeth refused to name a successor right up to the end no conclusive proof that she signified
James' succession on her deathbed
Feb 1603: Queen's final illness evident
o Gradual decline
o Outlived all her noble contemporaries
o Undercurrent of feeling that the time had come once again for the rule of a king
o Gave Cecil a chance to organise the succession
Earl…read more

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Chapter 9
England was in a much better position than it had been at the start of her 45 year reign
Crown had been strengthened but could not rule without the governing classes
National unity achieved
Succession completed without a hitch `Golden Age'??
Elizabeth had to deal with underlying religious problems from Henry VIII's reign while ruling a country which
seemed powerless next to Catholic Spain and France
o Dealt…read more



This is a very detailed but clearly set out document with key information about foreign wars, rebellions and the succession question during the reign of Elizabeth I. Highly recommended.

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