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The Elizabethan Era. Test Review. The Social Network. Elizabethan England was spilt into two classes - the Upper Class consisting of the nobility, courtiers, and high ranking members of the Clergy - and then there was everyone else!

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The elizabethan era

The Elizabethan Era

Test Review

The social network
The Social Network

  • Elizabethan England was spilt into two classes - the Upper Class consisting of the nobility, courtiers, and high ranking members of the Clergy - and then there was everyone else!

  • The Upper class were well educated, wealthy and associated with Royalty. They would often become involved in political and religious matters.


  • During the Elizabethan Era, Catholicism and Protestant were the two major religions.

  • Elizabeth was a unique ruler by making Protestant the officially religion of England but allowing Catholics to practice their religion without any fear as long as it did not disturb the peace.

  • Elizabeth’s sister, “Bloody Mary,” and many other rulers often persecuted people of other religions

  • Although Elizabeth allowed Catholicism to be practiced, if you were not either Protestant or Catholic you were often executed.

People of jewish faith
People of Jewish Faith

  • Over the course of time the Jewish faith has been persecuted against. They were exiled from England from 1270-1655

  • Edward I decreed that Jews were a threat to the country. Jews were forced to wear a yellow star on their clothing identifying themselves and were only able to practice their religion in secret. Heads of households were arrested and sent to The Tower of London to await execution.

  • Jews were believed to be witches because of stereotypical features (hooked nose and swarthy complexion). Christians believed that Jews made a pact with the devil and therefore sent the plague to kill everyone of the Christian faith.

  • The jobs they could hold were a peddler or money lender.


  • An increase in poverty was due to the following:

  • A breakdown in the feudal system – The system was built on a hierarchal pyramid in which superiors were responsible for the peasants who lived on their land.

  • Dissolution of Monasteries – Between 1536-1540, King Henry VIII put vast sums of money into the royal coffers instead of the church. This left monks and nuns homeless and poor.

  • Changes in Religion – Due to constant changes in religion (Protestant to Catholic, Catholic to Protestant, Martin Luther’s Reformation), there was a decline in morals and values. People stopped feeding the hungry, helping strangers, clothing the naked, burying the dead, etc. People started committing desperate acts to survive.


  • Land Enclosures – Farms turned into places to rear sheep due to the rise in the wool trade. Farms were used for open fields so needed less people to maintain the land. More people moved into town seeking employment due to the decrease in field jobs.

  • Poor Harvests & Population Increase – The population increased by 25%. Due unsuccessful crops, the price of food increased and people began to starve. Again, in order to survive, people committed crimes to feed themselves and their families.

Queen elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth

  • Ruled from November 17, 1558 until her death (44 years)

  • She was known as the Virgin Queen because she never married.

  • Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

  • Edward VI, Elizabeth’s brother, bequeathed the throne to his cousin Lady Jane Grey. His will was thrown aside, Jane was executed, and “Bloody Mary” took the throne. She was then executed and Elizabeth became queen.

The rise of the british empire
The Rise of the British Empire

  • Elizabeth was cautious in foreign affairs, moving between the major powers of France and Spain.

  • She only half-heartedly supported a number of ineffective, poorly resourced military campaigns in the Netherlands, France and Ireland.

  • In the mid-1580s, war with Spain could no longer be avoided, and when Spain finally decided to invade and conquer England in 1588, the defeat of the Spanish Armada associated her with what is popularly viewed as one of the greatest victories in English history.


  • The death penalty was openly accepted.

  • Traitors or criminals were either punished by beheading, hanging, drowning, being quartered, pressing, starved, or being boiled in oil water ore lead.

  • The two death warrants Elizabeth regretted signing were the beheadings of Mary Queen of Scots and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex.