I have an essay title: "Disagreements in Parliament between 1559 and 1603 signified a failure in Elizabeth's authority." How far do you agree with this statement? (45 Marks)
Seriously struggling with this one could someone point out the big points that I should be concentrating on and then I will research those. Was the idea of marriage a big disagreement? Or am I on the wrong track. Please help me someone
Last edited by Nice Username; 15-04-2012 at 22:01.
You will want to look up all the main areas in which there was parliamentary disagreement, including over religion, foreign policy, and yes, the marriage question. I might suggest that any appearance of the marriage question in Parliament signalled a failure of her authority to at least some degree, as she was adamant that the question not be debated at all but was solely her prerogative. Generally, with a question like this about her authority, I would place a lot of emphasis on her disagreements with Parliament over what Parliament even had the right to debate, and whether that was indeed debated, although since the question focuses on disagreements within Parliament, you will need to point out that much of her disagreement with Parliament became disagreements within Parliament as she was forced to act through her proxies in the two houses.
just as an aside, this should really have gone in the study help section
You might also look at finances, as this was usually (although not always) the main reason why the Queen chose to call Parliament--because she needed them to vote her government more money. Indeed, the Tudor period is part of a transition period in the history of Parliament, although we would not now say that it was a smooth, predestined, or entirely self-asserted transition, which sees its competence grow beyond the financial realm, often to the frustration of the Queen. You might suggest that the fact that she had to keep going back to Parliament for more money, and thus opening up the opportunity for Parliamentary disagreements, showed that the financial weakness of her Government compromised her authority.
On the other hand, you might argue that despite Parliament often debating things that she wished them not to debate, or objecting to things which she thought they had no right to, she still basically got her way, and that it did not represent a failure of her authority. It's a possibility, although I would still go with the first angle, bearing in mind that we should not anachronistically overplay the importance or assertiveness of Parliament.