Mary Queen of Scots vs. Elizabeth I

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Document Based Question
December 20, 2012
AP Euro A-2
Allyson Maas

For my topic of my document based question, I chose to describe the different tensions between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. This is an important topic to discuss during the Elizabethan era. The aggressive tensions between the two rulers were crucial to the lifestyles of the commoners. During the reign of Elizabeth I, 1558-1603, and Mary, Queen of Scots, 1542-1567, tensions between England and Scotland entered a climactic point. Mary, Queen of Scots experienced a riotous reign as queen. As soon as she was forced to abdicate the throne, Mary fled to England. Religious difference heightened the political tension between Elizabeth and Mary. When Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558 she made England Protestant. Consequently she had many Catholic enemies who wanted to see her replaced by Mary Queen of Scots. In 1558 Mary Queen of Scots, granddaughter of Henry VIII's elder sister Margaret, had challenged Elizabeth for the throne of England, but had failed. The Catholics believed that because Elizabeth had been declared illegitimate in 1536, Mary's challenge to the throne was stronger than Elizabeth's. Political discrepancy threatened the internal stability in England and Scotland. Furthermore, Mary’s Catholicism threatened Elizabeth’s Protestant state. In 1586 letters sent to Mary by a Catholic called Thomas Babington, were found. The letters revealed a plot to kill Elizabeth and replace her with Mary. Elizabeth had no choice but to sign Mary's death warrant. Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded for treason at Fotheringay Castle on February 8th 1587.

Question:
Explain the different tensions and the relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. Documents:
Document 1:
The following painting depicts the 1569 Rising of the North, which was led by Catholic aristocracy and plotted to overthrow Elizabeth I and put Mary, Queen of Scots on the throne.
“Rising of the North.” Painting. Hulton Archive. 17 January 1764. Document 2:
“Her lips stirred up and down a quarter of an hour after her head was cut off. Then Mr. Dean [Dry Fletcher, Dean of Peterborough] said with a loud voice, 'So perish all the Queen's enemies,' and afterwards the Earl of Kent came to the dead body, and standing over it, with a loud voice said, 'Such end of all the Queen's and the Gospel's enemies.’” "Primary Sources: The execution of Mary, queen of Scots, 1587." EnglishHistory.net. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 February 1587 . Document 3:

“Mary,
You have in various ways and manners attempted to take my life and to bring my kingdom to destruction by bloodshed. I have never proceeded so harshly against you, but have, on the contrary, protected and maintained you like myself. These treasons will be proved to you and all made manifest. Yet it is my will, that you answer the nobles and peers of the kingdom as if I were myself present. I therefore require, charge, and command that you make answer for I have been well informed of your arrogance.

Act plainly without reserve, and you will sooner be able to obtain favour of me. Elizabeth”

"Primary Sources: The execution of Mary, queen of Scots, 1587." EnglishHistory.net. N.p., n.d. Web.8 February 1587.

Document 4:
“Tonight, after dinner, I have been advised of my sentence: I am to be executed like a criminal at eight in the morning. I have not had time to give you a full account of everything that has happened, but if you will listen to my doctor and my other unfortunate servants, you will learn the truth, and how, thanks be to God, I scorn death and vow that I meet it innocent of any crime, even if I were their subject. The Catholic faith and the assertion of my God-given right to the English crown are the two issues on which I am condemned, and yet I am not allowed to say that it is for the Catholic religion that I die, but for fear of interference with theirs.” "Primary Sources: The execution of Mary, queen of...
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