‘by 1571, Elizabeth Had Solved the Internal and External Problems That She Faced at the Start of Her Reign’ Assess the Validity of This View.

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The years preceding her accession presented her with an insecure international position due to Northumberland renouncing Boulogne in 1549 and Mary losing Calais in 1558, thereby producing an external problem of a potential French invasion which was a plausible possibility considering the Francis I’s occupation of the Isle of Wight in 1545. Furthermore, the Western Rebellion 1549 and Wyatt’s Rebellion 1554 had demonstrated the profound extent of religious division; this posed a significant internal problem of domestic instability. Along with the debasement of the coinage and subsequent inflationary pressures, these factors presented Elizabeth with formidable problems both internally and externally.

The inherited external problem of potential French aggression was arguably one that Elizabeth solved. Although she had done much to antagonise the French by aiding the Scottish Lords via the Treaty of Berwick in February 1560 and intervening in the French Wars of Religion on the side of the Protestant Prince of Conde in 1562, Anglo-French relations began to improve towards the end of the 1560s - primarily due to the Anglo-Franco opposition to Spanish rule in the Netherlands. By 1571, the aforementioned external problem had arguably vanished due to successful negotiations with France that would culminate in the Treaty of Blois 1572, which John Guy has described as a ‘defensive league’ against Spain, thus showing how Elizabeth resolved the external problem of potential invasion from a foreign power. Also, the French renounced their support for Mary Stuart’s claim to the English throne; this effectively helped to solve the internal problem of domestic instability as Mary lacked military and financial support from her hitherto ally to oppose the Tudor government. Therefore, Elizabeth solved the most significant external problem by conducting her foreign policy in accordance with the mutual interest of the English and the French: opposition to the Spanish rule in the...
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