Britain: Elizabethan England - Foreign Policy 1558-1585

As part of their studies on the history of Britain in GCSE History, students will be taught about Elizabethan England. One aspect they will look at is England's foreign policy at the time, and this is the first of two quizzes which look at that topic, concentrating on the early part of Elizabeth's reign.

Elizabethan England had many diplomatic problems,. These were made worse by religious differences., The queen's use of her marital eligibility to tempt foreign princes into marriage agreements further complicated England's foreign policy in the early part of her reign.

Try this quiz to see how much you know about the foreign policy of early Elizabethan England.

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  1. With which of his possessions was Philip II continually at war from 1566 onwards, tempting Elizabeth to intervene on the Protestant side?
    Philip dealt harshly with rebellions, sometimes sending commanders like the Duke of Alba, whose repression could make matters worse
  2. Which port in Northern France was Elizabeth hoping to recover by her attacks on the town of Le Havre in 1562-3?
    Elizabeth wanted a foothold on the continent for trade and military purposes
  3. Who led the 1577-1580 naval expedition that sailed around the world and attacked Spanish installations?
    Elizabeth supported such voyages of piracy to make money and to annoy the Spanish
  4. With which fellow pirate did Drake cut his teeth in the 1560's, accompanying his voyages on at least two occasions?
    Drake served his apprenticeship as a sailor and a pirate during his 20's
  5. Which senior member of the French royal family married Mary, Queen of Scots shortly after Elizabeth's accession?
    The revival of the "Auld Alliance" of France and Scotland alarmed Elizabeth as she faced a potential threat from both north and south at the same time
  6. In 1580 Elizabeth sent her first ambassador to the Sublime Porte. By what name is this state better known?
    Elizabeth was anxious to set up a diplomatic service to represent English interests abroad. The Ottoman Empire was centred around modern-day Turkey
  7. In 1570 the Pope took action against Elizabeth. What action was this?
    Until 1570 the Popes were hopeful that Elizabeth would emerge as a Catholic. When this no longer seemed likely, Rome struck against the English queen
  8. Which of Elizabeth's courtiers served as ambassador in Paris in the 1570's, and ended up as the queen's security advisor? He consistently supported a French alliance directed against Spain.
    Several of Elizabeth's courtiers pressed for a more proactive policy against domestic plots and their backers in Spain
  9. Which port in South West England was the main base for Drake's activities?
    Drake operated from a port that commanded the Channel, and was a vantage point from which to observe French or Spanish naval movements
  10. With which Russian monarch did Elizabeth maintain contact, following her half-brother's dealings with them?
    Elizabeth was keen to build on Edward VI's contacts for trading reasons

Author: Edward Towne

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