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Political, Religious and Social Context of England in 1599

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Damon Chester

on 1 May 2015

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Transcript of Political, Religious and Social Context of England in 1599

Political, Religious and Social Context of England in 1599
Elizabethan England
Queen Elizabeth I reigned England for 45 years starting from 1588.

February 13th - Pope Alexander VII was born.
-Children's education began to be taught from home.
-They were taught about etiquette and respecting others.
-Boys had to go to grammar schools (no girls allowed).
-Unless needed for work at home, poor boys were educated.
1588 - Spanish Armada defeated.

Conflict with Spain and Ireland continued.
Tax burden grew heavier.
Poor harvests and costs of war led to a bad economy.
Prices rose as standards of living fell.
Elizabeth increasingly relied on spies and propaganda in order to keep up the appearance of stability.

The death of several important politicians and the changed governing body (the privy council) in the 1950s created a new generation of power.
Financial strife in government.
Rivalry between the Earl of Essex and Robert Cecil for political power.
Elizabeth's authority was lessening.
eg. In 1594, ber physician was wrongly accused of treason by the Earl of Essex, though Elizabeth could not stop his execution.
Great navigators such as Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh discovered new seas and travelled further than ever before.

Famous playwrights like Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) and William Shakespeare (1564-1616) were performed.
September 21 1599 - The first reported performance of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar at the Globe Theatre.
"In her last years, mounting criticism reflected a decline in the public's affection for her"
The Renaissance marked a period of renewed interests in ancient and classical learning and a re-examination of accepted beliefs.
Scholars were yielded the ability to read scriptures in their original language --> Protestant Reformation.
Protestantism came to the forefront in the Christian world.
Repression of Catholics intensifed.
Elizabeth authorised the interrogating and monitoring of Catholic households.
"We in England divide our people commonly into four sorts, gentlemen, citizens or burgesses, yeoman, and articifers or labourers" - William Harrison (1577)
People saw themselves belonging to a particular social group.
Gentry Professionals
Yeoman Merchants/Artisans
Husbandman/Articifer Apprentices

Beggars /poor
social pyramid
England was largely a rural society with the export of woolen cloth being their main sense of income.
As much as 90% of the population lived in the countryside.
The Gentry counted for 1% of the population, owned the majority of the land and by birthright were the natural leaders of the community.
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