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To what extent had Elizabeth achieved stable relations with foreign powers by 1571? (45)

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Introduction

To what extent had Elizabeth achieved stable relations with foreign powers by 1571? (45) When Elizabeth came onto the throne in 1558, she established her foreign policy aims very quickly due to the uneasiness there was in the realms after Mary's reign. The newly crowned and Protestant Queen meant that ties that had been formed with Catholic countries under Mary were to be under threat, and Elizabeth did not want any trouble. Her foreign policy aims were to maintain the peace and to aim to build stronger alliances with England's allies. The country was in no state to fund a war, or provide men into armies, and Elizabeth wanted no trouble so early into her reign. These were indeed smart aims, however, overall by 1571 it can be argued that she failed to achieve this aims to a certain extent - whilst there were no major wars, she failed to keep the peace with France and Spain especially, which would prove to cause her in the future a great deal of stress. The immediate issue with foreign relations for Elizabeth was the issue of Spain. Mary I, the former Queen and Elizabeth's sister was married to Philip II of Spain, a powerful catholic monarch, which provided to be almost awkward considering that upon Elizabeth's crowning, England was thrusted back into a protestant regime that Mary had worked to destroy during her reign after the death of Edward VI. ...read more.

Middle

Historian Charles Wilson described her actions as "risky and an act of Piracy" which obviously infuriated Philip further, which caused him to retaliate. Trade between England and Spain, and England and the Netherlands came to a halt due to Elizabeth's harassment of Spain - which caused obvious tension. Although there was an unsteady relationship between the two nations, Spain did not attempt a war or an sort of invasion that he could have done, instead both Elizabeth and Spain sat in their own corners sulking and disliking each other - and in terms of Elizabeth's original aims to avoid war, she was successful in being able to avoid possible conflict with Spain, however, at the expense of her trading links. England's relationship with France had always been historically negative, especially due to the strong alliance between Scotland and France - a problem with one meant a problem with the other country, and Elizabeth realised this was a major threat to her, especially due to the fact that both countries were ruled by strongly Catholic monarchs who disliked the change of religion England was currently facing. Unluckily for Elizabeth, Mary had joined with her husband - Philip II of Spain - in conflict with France, and so Elizabeth had to make sure she did not worsen the relationship more than it had already had been, but this was not helped by the confirmation of ...read more.

Conclusion

The assignation of the pro-English Earl of Moray had Elizabeth's armies in Scotland again, indicating the shaky and unstable relations between England and Scotland, in order to maintain the peace. Relations with Scotland weren't stable and even after1571, Elizabeth never really felt secure for her throne or herself for many years after, due to the fundamental differences in religion between the two nations. It can be argued that in terms of Scotland, although she didn't cause major conflicts, she didn't make things any worse as relations had traditionally been bad. However, she failed in terms or her aims, because she never achieved stable relations with Scotland at all. On the whole, it can be argued that Elizabeth's attempts to achieve foreign relations with foreign powers was overall successful if based on her original aims which were to avoid major conflict and war - which up to 1571 was relatively true to what she had done. Although she didn't manage to overly improve her situation, especially with Scotland and Spain, she did manage to avoid greater troubles. Some Historians will argue that in terms of her aims, she was overall successful, but it had to be taken into account that Elizabeth didn't achieve any more stable relations, and was unable to create any stronger alliances with foreign allies, apart from France. Overall in balance, up to 1571, Elizabeth had achieved stability with foreign powers, but it was after 1571 that deeper and greater troubles were to come. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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