What problems faced Elizabeth I in 1558?

Indicative Content: condition of government, finance, foreign affairs and religion upon Elizabeths succesion.

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  • Created by: Terri
  • Created on: 23-03-10 19:07

What problems face Elizabeth I in 1558?

Condition of Government:

Privy council:

  • Decide on composition.
  • Choice would be early indication of her governing style

Disputed Succesion:

  • Elizabeth was not regarded as a legitimate heir to throne.
  • Many people supported her Catholic cousin MQS.

Inexperienced Queen:

  • Majority of English welcomed Elizabeth as Queen.
  • Some feared weak rule, from an inexperienced women
  • Stability within tudor gov. linked to indisputed male heir.
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Condition of finance:

Crown debts:

  • Royal finances were severly strained by Mary's war with France.
  • Mary had left a debt of £300,000
  • Mary had resorted to selling crown lands - weakened monarchy's finances

Rises in prices and unemployment:

  • Most important industry, wool, had lost its trading place in Antwerp after it collapsed
  • This meant thousands of people were out of work and lost finances for England
  • England turned to debasting coins to increase money circulation, but this decreased the worth of English coinage, once again reducing trade
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Habsburg alliance:

  • Traditional English alliance to preserve the balance of power in Europe
  • Habsburgs staunchly Catholic
  • Elizabeth had to work out how to keep alliance despite a Protestant England

Religious Settlement:

  • Elizabeth had to decide on the nature of her settlement
  • Pope may excommunicate her at any moment as he regarded her as illegitimate
  • She had a choice between her familys turbulent choices in religion.

Religious divisions:

  • Gentry and nobility plus the majority of people were Catholic
  • Protestantism was strong in the south east, especially in London
  • Marian Exiles had immigrated to England expecting to be influential within Government.
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Foreign affairs:

Unrest in Ireland:

  • Mary Tudor attempted to colonise Ireland which had caused unrest.
  • Ireland was staunchly Catholic, which could cause problems later on.

French troops in Scotland:

  • Ruled by Mary of Guise, on behalf of MQS
  • Presence of French troops within Scotland posed a threat to England's security

War with France:

  • Mary had sent forces to aid her husband in his war against the French
  • England's last stronghold in France, Calais was lost
  • Elizabeth needed to make peace, but permanent loss of Calais would be humiliating for Elizabeth
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Threat from abroad:

  • England was a weak country compared to Spain and France
  • If England became protestant Spain may lead a Catholic Crusade
  • Scotland was under French control
  • MQS had made a claim to the Englsih throne, which was supported by English Catholics

Loss of Calais:

  • English saw the loss of Calais as a stain on England's honour
  • If Elizabeth excepted the loss its status in Europe would decreased further
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