Elizabeth's Government

  • Created by: Molly
  • Created on: 02-03-15 11:05

Important Members:

  • Sir William Cecil (Lord Burghley) - E's chief advisor and Lord Treasurer.
  • Sir Walter Mildmay - Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  • Sir Francis Walsingham - Secretary in 1573.
  • Sir Christopher Hatton - Lord Chancellor, Vice Chamberlain.
  • Robert Dudley (Earl of Leicester) - E's 'favourite'.

Privy Council:

  • Managed Parliament.
  • Enforced the reformation, especially the religious settlement of 1559.
  • Enforced recusancy and penal laws.
  • The Queen had permanent authority.
  • Couldn't pass laws or taxes, only advised on decisions.
  • Assumed responsibility for the management of national finance. This was in conjunction with the Lord Treasurer and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  • Divisions made the council weaker and voices were seldom unified.
  • Regulated economic affairs - supervised Poor Laws, issued proclamations, fixed prices and wages in London...

Factional Rivalry and Divisions:

  • Cecil vs. Dudley - Cecil's promotion was based on merit and ability, determined to assert English independence and maintain security, saw Dudley as a mere adventurer whose sole aim was to become rich and powerful. Dudley was favoured by the Queen, tried to discourage marriage and urged for military intervention to support Protestant rebels whereas Cecil wanted to avoid war at all costs.
  • E vs. Council on her wish to meet Mary Queen of Scots in 1562. E didn't go.
  • E vs. Council over her decision to marry Catholic Archduke Charles of Austria, Leicester tries to prevent this and eventually E rejects Charles. 1567.
  • Cecil and Bacon vs. Leicester and Arundel - C+B wanted to establish foreign alliances with Protestants and L+A favoured an agreement over MQS and France. 1569-70.
  • Leicester and Walsingham vs. Cecil - L+W urging intervention in the Netherlands to aid rebels against Spain but C was against this as he wanted to protect English interests. 1578.
  • E vs. Council over proposed marriage to the French Duke of Alencon, Leicester and Walsingham orchestrate public hostility. Proposal rejected. 1579-81.
  • E vs. Council as the Council want E to call Parliament so it can sanction a death warramt for MQS, Walsingham tries to convince E that she poses a danger. E reluctantly signs the death warrant in 1587.
  • Essex vs. Robert Cecil - new generation of politicians in the 1590s.

How Elizabeth controlled her Council:

  • E consulted with men outside the Council, particularly foreign ambassadors.
  • E promoted divisions among her councillors, encouraging them to compete for rewards.
  • E participated in discussions to prevent the Council agreeing on formal advice which she would later reject. She refused to deal with the Council as a whole, only discussing policy with small groups.
  • E kept accurate notes, which she used to question councillors to catch them off guard.
  • E displayed anger and even violence - exclusions from court, house arrests, imprisonment, execution.
  • E displayed affection and gave rewards.

How Elizabeth and her Council controlled Parliament:

  • Isolated extremistsd by promising moderate reform.
  • E arranged business herself.
  • Making strong speeches to representatives of the House of Commons.
  • E directly intervened to preserve the royal prerogative.
  • Influencing the choice…


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