Elizabeth I 1558 - 1588

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Elizabeth I 1558 - 1588 Foreign Policy Was religious foreign conflict unavoidable? Elizabeth was cautious in foreign policy. She avoided a religious war as it would split the English and was concerned with the sheer power held by Spain Spain declared war after the execution of the Catholic Mary of Scots, seeming to show that religion sparked conflict. However, this can be said to have just been a justification for war, as if conflict was unavoidable purely on religious grounds, it would have happened sooner as Elizabeth has always been protestant and Phillip had always been Catholic. = using a religious justification for war She was close with the catholic French and nearly married into France = not to do with religion She didn’t defend the Huguenots (protestants) of France, but this maybe partly to do with not having the resources Instead of religion, it could be said that England and France had a common interest against Spain, so joined forced against it Elizabeth seemed to put politics over religion. Phillip was a very pious Catholic, but Elizabeth was quieter about her religious disposition. War may have happened a lot faster if both Elizabeth and Phillip put religion over politics It was more the actions and decisions of Elizabeth, rather than religion that led to foreign conflict, such as refusing to send back booty stolen by English pirates from the Spanish ships. If it as purely religion, war would have taken place long before. Examples of her decisions: Choosing to support Spain’s enemy (the Dutch Rebels) which essentially sets a declaration of war. She was also more reluctant to execute Mary of Scotland in fear of the neighbouring French, rather than Spain, as Mary of Scots was French. Elizabeth’s refusal to reign in people such as Francis Drake, perhaps due to not wanting to be seen as backing down (weak). She also gained financially from such
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