- Created by: cieran32
- Created on: 10-11-18 01:02
The Last Years of Elizabeth's Rule
Although Elizabeth I is remembered as one of our greatest monarchs, England endured hard times during the last decade of her reign
- England was at war with Spain. Spain was bankrupt and England was under severe financial strain.
- England’s allies were: Scotland, France, the Northern Dutch provinces.
- England’s enemy was Spain.
- England had begun making some headway in the New World, although all attempts to found colonies had failed.
- New trading links had been made with Russia and India.
- Elizabeth was an ageing monarch who was unable to fully manage the new factions at court.
- Robert Cecil took over from William Cecil as Elizabeth’s Principal Secretary.
- The Privy Council met every day by the 1590s. It could govern without needing a parliament.
- Parliament had stood up to Elizabeth over the issue of monopolies in 1601. Her reply, the Golden Speech, was a rare apology.
- The workload of JPs and importance of gentry continued to grow
- The Church of England was firmly established. England’s religion was Protestant.
- Catholicism was less popular in the last decades of Elizabeth’s reign because it became associated with Spain and treason.
- Puritanism had also been associated with treason and its growth checked.
- Employers, landowners, the professions and merchants became richer.
- Cottage industry was doing well.
- Some older towns were doing worse but new urban centres were developing.
- Trade opportunities were increasing. Links with Russia and India were building.
- Wage labourers’ real wages fell. This benefitted employers.
- Enclosure was seen as an evil thing, but was limited in reality
- The social hierarchy remained very much intact. The bulk of the people were poor, illiterate and were adversely affected by inflation.
- The gentry grew as a class. Professionals and employers did well in towns.
- Vagrancy had continued to grow and new systems of poor relief established.
- The rural poor migrated to the towns.
- There was a great hardship in the town and countryside because of the bad harvests and outbreaks of plague in the 1590s
- Theatres and music were thriving and available to people of all classes.
- The England Reformation had a positive impact on theatre, music and literature.
- Literature and education were thriving, but only for the middle and upper classes. Girls’ education was still based around the home even in the middle classes
The Succession Crisis in Elizabeth's Last Years
The Succession Crisis plagued Elizabeth I's reign. She only named her successor on her deathbed, much to the anxiety of her closest advisors
- Elizabeth I only named James as her successor on her deathbed in 1603.
- He was coronated on 25 July 1603 as King James I of England.
- James VI of Scotland was the son of Mary Queen of Scots.
- His claim to the English throne came through his great-grandmother, Margaret Tudor (Henry VIII's sister).
- After it became apparent Elizabeth I would not marry or have children, James was the most likely claimant for the English throne.