gcse history 16 mark answerWatch
The threat of invasion was Elizabeth's main problem when she became Queen in 1558. How far do you agree?
I agree that Elizabeth’s main problem was the threat of invasion in 1558. Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1558 following the death of her sister, Mary I on the 17th of November 1558, and had a number of problems she faced as queen, for example the problems she faced with illegitimacy, the threat of invasion and problems with religion during the 16th century.
I think that the threat of invasion was Elizabeths main problem when she became queen in 1558. Elizabeth had inherited a bad relationship with France from her sister, Mary I. This is because Mary I was married to King Phillip of Spain, who has formed an anti-French alliance with her. Furthermore, England has been part of the Hundred Years’ War between France and had lost Calais as a result. Calais was a French port which the English had occupied and was responsible for 80% of wool exports. This meant that England had suffered economically as they were not generating any income from Calais.
Another problem Elizabeth I had when she ascended to the throne in 1558 was the problems she had with illegitimacy. Henry VIII had asked the Catholic Church for permission to divorce Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn in 1533, he had been told that he couldn’t divorce. This led to Henry VIII creating the Church of England and made himself the head of the church, before divorcing Catherine and marrying Anne Boleyn. The divorce was not officiated according to Catholicism, and therefore Catholics saw the marriage between Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII as illegal. This led to Catholics seeing Elizabeth I as illegitimate, meaning that she did not have a right to the throne. This meant that many people wanted a different leader and there were risks of Elizabeth being overthrown.
Lastly, Elizabeth had problems with religion in England. Elizabeth’s brother, Edward VI had ruled England as a Protestant country, like his father, Henry VII had. However, Mary I was heavily Catholic and had returned England back to Catholicism, burning over 280 protestants. Religion in the 16th century was very important, as the church had a severe impact on everyones daily lifes, and people felt as if religion was the most important aspect of their lives. Therefore, Elizabeth had the problem of choosing how to rule England, as if she turned England back to a Protestant country, the religion Elizabeth was raised as, she would risk angering a lot of Catholics and being overthrown by Mary Queen of Scots, the next Catholic in line to the throne.
In order to conclude, although I agree that one Elizabeth’s problems were the risk of invasion in 1558, as France was a very wealthy country with a lot of power, I think that the religious problems Elizabeth faced was a more important problem, as religion made up a great deal of people’s lives in the 16th century, and Elizabeth had a big risk of being overthrown by a Catholic monarch.