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"Conflict and Contest" or "Cooperation and consent," which phrase best sums up Elizabeth I's relationship with her parliaments

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Introduction

"Conflict and Contest" or "Cooperation and consent," which phrase best sums up Elizabeth I's relationship with her Parliaments? Over the years, there has been much debate amongst historians Orthodox, Revisionist and Post - Revisionist, as to whether the relationship between Elizabeth and her parliaments was one of "conflict and contest," or of "cooperation and consent". Most of the different schools of thought agree on the facts, but disagree in their interpretations of the relationship. In general, taking into account all of the parliaments that took place throughout Elizabeth's reign, the contemporary historians believe that Elizabeth's relationship with her parliaments was one of "cooperation and consent." The orthodox historians believe that Elizabeth's relationship with her parliaments was one of "conflict and contest" and that it came from the puritan choir in the House of Commons. The revisionist historians believe that there was a relationship of "cooperation and consent". Finally, the Post-Revisionist historians believe that the relationship between Elizabeth and her parliaments was one of "cooperation and consent" in some cases, and "conflict and consent" in others. In cases where they believed that there was conflict, they believe that it came from the Privy Council. In order to answer the question, the different schools of thought need to be taken into account, along with the events that back these views up, and the relationships at the individual parliaments need to be assessed, e.g. Religion, succession, free speech, and the monopolies parliaments. Firstly, take religion, which was discussed at the session in 1559. ...read more.

Middle

This view is backed up by the fact that Cecil was calling for the Queen to marry and to name a successor in order to secure her throne, and leave the country in a secure position. Overall after assessing the different historian's views, the relationship between Elizabeth and her parliament that was called due to succession issues, can be seen as one of "conflict and contest". It is however difficult to determine whether the opposition came from the House of Lords, or the Privy Council. Thirdly take the parliament of 1586 -1587 where Elizabeth's councillors pushed her to agree to the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. In general it can be argued that the relationship was one of "conflict and contest". The contemporary view was that relationship was one of "cooperation and consent." However it can be argued against, because the council went against Elizabeth's wishes and had Mary Queen of Scots executed, before she arranged it. However it was cast aside when Neale developed the view that the debates emphasised the emerging threat that came from Presbyterianism, wanting to demolish the Queen's position as Head of the Church, church courts, and episcopacy, therefore believing that the relationship was one of "conflict and contest." This view is backed up by the fact that Elizabeth refused to commit until Walsingham revealed the Stafford Plot, to scare her into signing Mary's death warrant. This shows that rather than cooperate with the Queen they had to force her into signing. ...read more.

Conclusion

However there are events that do not support this view, such as the MP's believed that she was trying to make herself independent of Parliament and therefore was overstepping the bounds of authority, this shows that there was "conflict and contest" rather than "cooperation and consent" which Elton argues. Overall after assessing the different historian's views, the relationship between Elizabeth and her parliament that was called to discuss subsidies can be seen as either a relationship of "conflict and contest", or a relationship of "cooperation and consent". Elizabethan Parliament was a working institution that engaged in the manufacture of legislation by agreement and in sorting out matters that may cause disagreement. It was dominated by the Queen. Overall it can be argued either way, if the view of "conflict and contest" is taken, this applies to the relationship in a number of Parliaments such as, the sessions that discussed the religious settlement, succession, monopolies and freedom of speech. However if the view of "cooperation and consent is taken", this can be applied to the parliaments that concerned money and taxation, and in some cases to the religious settlement, because the Queen and council got their desired settlement. However it is better to argue that the individual parliaments had an individual relationship with the Queen due to the differing outcomes, amount of opposition and the outcomes of each parliament. This is also a good argument because of the amount of conflict, contest, cooperation and consent that occurred differed in each parliament. 1 Graves. Elizabethen parliaments 1559 - 1601 2 Elton. Parliament 3 Graves. Elizabethen parliaments 1559 - 1601 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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