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Unit Overview: Elizabeth I: Meeting the challenge, 1558-1588

Lessons:

30 lessons

What challenges did Elizabeth face from abroad?

This lesson examines the position of England in Europe and its traditional relationships with Spain, France, Scotland and the Papal States. It will then compare this to the position of England when Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558.

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Explore the enquiry: How challenging were Elizabeth's early years?

In this lesson, we will complete an enquiry based lesson looking at the different challenges faced by Elizabeth in her early years and comparing them, before coming to a decision about which was the most challenging. Each pause point will support students in making a judgement about each challenge. The main task will allow students to share their thoughts on which challenge was the most important.

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Why did the different religious groups concern Elizabeth?

This lesson examines the religious divide that Elizabeth faced when she inherited the throne in 1558. It looks specifically at Catholic, Protestant and Puritan beliefs specifically related to how church services should be conducted and how the church should be structured.

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How difficult was the settlement to enforce?

This lesson explores the reaction of the clergy and the laity to the religious settlement, and introduces an interpretation of the religious settlement. Students will consider whether they think the settlement was difficult to enforce and whether it was successful.

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How did the key foreign powers react to the settlement?

This lesson examines the reaction to the Elizabethan settlement abroad but also begins to look at Elizabeth's relations with France and Spain at the beginning of her reign and specifically how tension increased with Spain.

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Why was Mary, Queen of Scots a problem?

In this lesson, students will look at the background to Mary Queen of Scots and her legitimate claim to the English throne. Students will consider how her arrival in England in 1568 posed a threat to Elizabeth and consider the options that Elizabeth had in order to deal with this threat.

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Explore the enquiries: Judgement lesson on the enquiries

In this lesson, we will focus on answering the two enquiry questions for the unit. It will explore the biggest challenge to Elizabeth and then also question the extent to which her early years were a significant challenge.

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What made the Northern Earls Revolt in 1569?

This lesson introduces two new enquiry questions about the years 1569-88 and how Elizabeth was challenged by plots and revolts during this time. It begins with examining the causes of the Northern Earls Revolt of 1569.

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How significant a threat did the Revolt of the Northern Earls pose to Elizabeth?

This is the second lesson on the Northern Earls Revolt which explores the events of the revolt in more detail. It then considers the aftermath and why this was a turning point in Elizabeth's reign, as Elizabeth faced excommunication as a result of this. Students will then judge the significance of the revolt.

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How threatening were Catholic plots after 1570?

This lesson focuses on the three Catholic plots that threatened Elizabeth I after 1569. We will examine the aims and consequences of the Ridolfi Plot, the Throckmorton Plot and the Babington Plot. We will also discuss why these plots represented a threat to Elizabeth's position as monarch.

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Why was Mary Queen of Scots executed in 1587?

This lesson examines why Mary Queen of Scots was executed in 1587. It explores why this happened in 1587, with reference to England's relationship with Spain, The Act for the Preservation of the Queen's Safety (1585) and Elizabeth's decision to sign the death warrant. It also looks at the consequences of the execution for both Elizabeth and Catholics at home and abroad.

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How did developments in the New World contribute to the breakdown of relations between England and Spain?

This lesson examines how developments in the New World contributed to the breakdown of relations with Spain. It will introduce the concept of the 'New World' in the 16th century and discuss the causes of the increased global exploration under Elizabeth I. It will then look at the role of different factors including trade and commercial rivalry, privateering and Drake's circumnavigation of the globe in contributing to escalating tension. It will consider how both King Philip II of Spain and Elizabeth I reacted to these developments.

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Why did Elizabeth's relationship with Spain deteriorate due to political challenges?

This lesson examines how political challenges lead to a deterioration in the relationship between England and Spain from 1570 until 1585. It examines how Elizabeth dealt with the issue of the Netherlands after the Dutch rebelled against Spanish rule in 1567. It will examine how Elizabeth and King Philip II's actions in the Netherlands lead to an escalation in conflict between the two countries between 1570 and 1585, culminating in the eventual outbreak of war between England and Spain in 1585.

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How did Elizabeth's direct action provoke all-out war with Spain?

This lesson examines how Elizabeth's further intervention in the Netherlands between 1585 and 1587 lead to all out war with Spain in 1588. It looks specifically at the role of the Earl of Leicester's campaign in the Netherlands and Drake's 'singeing of the King of Spain's beard' in escalating tension further.

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Why was the Spanish Armada defeated in 1588?

This lesson examines the reasons for the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. It assesses the role of factors such as ship design, supplies, leadership and tactics and whether these can be considered English strengths, Spanish weaknesses or chance. It also analyses the consequences of the Armada's defeat for both England and Spain.

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Explore the enquiry: When was Elizabeth most threatened between 1569-1588?

This lesson explores the enquiry so far. It will consider what different threats Elizabeth faced between the years 1569 to 1588. It will consider specifically how Elizabeth I was threatened by Catholic plots, Mary Queen of Scots and the deteriorating relationship between England and Spain. It will analyse out of these threats, which was the greatest threat to Elizabeth and why.

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How were people educated in Elizabethan society?

This lesson will examine why education developed in Elizabethan England. It will consider how people were educated in Elizabethan society and how this was dependent upon factors such as social class and gender. This lesson will also assess the extent to which education 'improved' during this period.

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How did people's leisure time change during the Elizabethan period?

This lesson will examine how people's leisure time changed during the Elizabethan period. It will examine how and why popular pastimes such as the theatre, music and sport developed during this time and the impact this had on Elizabethan society. It will also assess the extent to which people's access to leisure and entertainment was influenced by factors such as social class.

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Why did poverty and vagabondage increase in Elizabethan England?

This lesson will examine why poverty and vagabondage increased in Elizabethan England. It will examine the role of various factors such as population increase, changes in farming and changes in the countryside. It will look at how these factors were interlinked in explaining the increase in poverty in this period. It will also consider why poverty was considered such a problem at this time and why people in Elizabethan society believed the poor represented a threat to the social order.

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How well did Elizabeth deal with the problems of the poor?

This lesson will examine how well Elizabeth and her government dealt with the problems of the poor and poverty. It will consider why the government took action to deal with poverty and the various attitudes towards the poor in Elizabethan England, examining the differences between the 'deserving' and the 'undeserving poor'. It will then consider how Elizabeth's government dealt with the problem of poverty through legislation and consider the strengths and limitations of each approach.

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What drove Elizabethans to explore the New World?

This lesson will explore what drove Elizabethans to explore the New World. It will examine the role of factors such as trade, the Triangular Trade, adventure and new technologies. It will also consider the motivations and consequences behind Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the globe in 1580.

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Why did the English want to colonise Virginia and how did Raleigh organise the project?

This lesson will explore what drove the English to want to begin colonisation of the New World in the 16th century. It will consider the significance of Sir Walter Raleigh and the motivations behind his planned colonisation of Virginia in the 1580s. It will then examine how Raleigh planned the voyage and colonisation of Virginia and how successful he was in doing so.

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What was the impact of the colonisation of Virginia and why did it fail?

This lesson explores the importance of the colonisation of Virginia and the impact of this for England and the wider world. The lesson then investigates the reasons for the failure of Raleigh's colonisation of Virginia, looking at the role of factors such as problems on the voyage to Virginia, the inexperience and unrealistic expectations of the colonists and tension between the colonists and the Native Americans.

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Explore the enquiries. What was Elizabeth I's greatest challenge?

In this lesson, we will review Exploration and ask students to reach judgement about the success of it. The lesson, then, reviews more broadly how far Elizabeth met the challenge of her reign by looking over a number of central aspects that we have considered and then reaching an overall judgement as to how far Elizabeth did 'Meet the challenge' as per the overall title of the Elizabethan unit.

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