Issues that Elizabeth faced in 1588

How far did the popularity and effectiveness of Elizabeth's government decline after 1558?

  • Created by: tom
  • Created on: 02-04-13 15:47

Death of Privy Council Members

Problem: Death of the Privy Council Members

  • Robert Dudley in 1588
  • Richard Grenville in 1591
  • Walshingham in 1590
  • Hatton in 1591
  • Burghley in 1598

What was it a problem:

  • Elizabeth didn't like change and so rather than appointing the best possible successors, she just appointed many of the old privy councilors' sons. 
  • Her old council had been very strong and her 'decline' started when they began to die.

How big a problem:

  • Lead to the issues with Essex
  • Lack of trust within the council 
  • Weakened government. 
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Popular discontent


  • Inflation was increasing more quickly than wages
  • Vagrancy was increasing 
  • Faliure of first poor law
  • Poor harvests: 86-87 and 94-96
  • Many plots to overthrow her, privy councilors talking to James, Oxford 'rebellion' 
  • Irish Rebeliion 

Why was it a problem:

  • Elizabeth had enjoyed great support from the people for many years, the fact that the support was declining, any drop in support would be noticed. 
  • She needed money- Tax increase needed
  • Irish rebeliion 

How big a problem:

  • Damaged her image (which in turn lowered support)
  • Needed their support as there were many opponents in Europe. 
  • She died before it could become too much of a problem. 
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Irish Rebellion


  • Began in 1595 as Earl of Tyrone goes into open rebellion 
  • English army of 4000 destroyed at yellowford
  • Essex sent with 16,000 men. Many died as he missed his chance to attack before winter. Made pact with Tyrone. Returned home to disgrace. 
  • Rebellion is surpressed by mountjob in 1602. 

Why was it a problem: 

  • Hugely expensive (£2M over the course of the reign)
  • No real gains
  • Spain could use it as a stepping stone

How big a problem:

  • Drain on resources-> £2M is a huge amount of money. It could have been spent on thins in England to lower issues of social discontent. 
  • Causes problems in the PC
  • Leads to issues with Essex
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  • He defied her in Ireland 
  • Burst into her bedchamber
  • drew his sword on her
  • organised rebellion
  • Became a popular figure- rival to the queen

Why was it a problem:

  • Essex had huge popular support, could potentially rise up against the queen 
  • Arrogant and cocky
  • He showed huge disrespect for her authority when he defied her in Ireland
  • Showed the the queen was not infallible, made a mistake when she appointed him

How big an issue: 

  • Could spread disrespect through government if she didn't deal with it
  • challenge to her authority 
  • However she did deal with it very quickly 
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