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'More an expression of political expediency rather than religious feeling' Evaluate this view of the Elizabethan Settlement 1559-63.

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Introduction

History Essay 'More an expression of political expediency rather than religious feeling' Evaluate this view of the Elizabethan Settlement 1559-63. From the beginning of her reign Elizabeth had to make her mark as the new ruler of England. If it was not foreign invasion or an internal plot she feared, then it was being a single woman in a mans world, and amidst all this Elizabeth sought acceptance from her people. It appears she may have tried to do this through her settlement of 1559; after all it was the queen herself who referred to religion as 'the foundation on which all other matters ought to take root...' Elizabeth did however rule on from her Catholic sister Mary who was a devout Catholic that burned heretic protestants at the stake, and upon Elizabeth's arrival to the throne people saw her as nothing like her sister, and some even perceived her as the protestant saviour of England. ...read more.

Middle

new monarch whom people knew didn't share the extreme views as her predecessor, she needed to signal her religious intentions not only to relieve dangerous uncertainty among her own subjects, but in order to gain the support she would need to be a successful ruler and quell any the threats from abroad. Elizabeth had a number of options to choose from regarding her religious standing; she could maintain Mary's Catholicism which could have secured her alliance with the Spanish, and in turn help bring down the main threat of Scotland and France taking the backdoor into England, and also stop any hopes on Mary Queen of Scots laying claim to the English throne. England also had strong ties with the Spanish regarding trade, so pleasing Spain would reap befits in the long run for England, and a fall out had to potential to impact heavily on the English economy. ...read more.

Conclusion

After all the majority of the country was still believed to be Catholic at the time, predominantly in the northern areas so she needed them on her side for her Settlement to work and at least be passed. The queen was under pressure from many sides; she had the Puritan 'choir' singing at her for Protestant reform, and the Catholic bishops ganging up on her as well. It seems Elizabeth had no choice but to go down a middle road and create her settlement. She couldn't abandon her personal beliefs, however mild, about Protestantism due partly to the fact that she had surrounded herself with Protestant thinking people, her small hand picked council. Elizabeth was imprisoned by her own sister and barely escaped death, so the last thing she would want to do is be associated with would be everything her sister stood for, outright Catholicism. Elizabeth was sure of one thing about her settlement; she wanted one settlement, one religion that would unite and maintain stability. ...read more.

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