Elizabeth's Early Foreign Policy: 1558-1571
Elizabeth's Early Foreign Policy: 1558-1571
• 1559 – Philip prosed marriage, Elizabeth declined
• Religious differences
• Joint suspicion of the Guises – sufficient to keep the two countries reasonably friendly – Philip II didn’t want E’s excommunication as better a Protestant Tudor Queen than a Catholic Stuart Queen when she was a tool of the Guise
• Spanish Netherlands – part of Philip II’s Burgundian inheritance. Important for the English wool trade; Netherlands had ports which were potential springboards for invasion of England.
• 1566 – Philip faced a major rebellion in the Netherlands. Immediate cause – resentment at the Spanish king’s attempt to run the Netherlands as a colony of Spain. Spanish officials – undermining the traditional importance of the great nobles at the Council of State, which was the policy-making body in the provinces • Attempted centralisation – sinister to the nobility and town authorities, and sinister to England – especially when Philip sent a Spanish army under the Duke of Alva to supress the rebellion in 1567
• Elizabeth did not follow consistent policy towards Netherlands
• It was important that Spanish authority was not backed by an army of occupation, which would effectively destroy the semi-independence of Netherlands
• 1568 – the rebels in the provinces had suffered major setbacks. Two of their leaders, Horn and Egmont, had been executed, others had been defeated in battle. Elizabeth was not prepared to commit English forces to the rebel cause – lacked the military muscle
• Members of Elizabeth’s council saw an opportunity to strike a blow at Spanish finances when, in nov 1568, storm-battered Spanish ships were chased by privateers and sought shelter in devon and cornwall. These ships had 400,000 gold coins on board as payment for Alva’s army. Liz decided to take advantage of money. Some historians argue seizure was dangerous, pointless whereas others that it made sense to create whatever difficulties she could for Alva. Seizure of ships was not uncommon – she did not expect major repercussions from her action
Philip was increasingly ready to encourage plots against Elizabeth, instructing Alva to prepare to send 10,000 troops to england at the time of the ridolfi plot of 1571
• Elizabeth had entered a realm with a war with France, with the loss of Calais humiliating Marian government.
• Elizabeth was worried that France would jump to try and question the legitimacy of Elizabeth’s title to throne. (Mary Stuart was married to Francis I who was the heir to the French crown).
• However, Henry II was much more concerned with creating peace than trying to put his daughter in law on the throne.
• France suffered from religious wars from 1562-1598 which limited its ability to intervene internationally. In which the Guise factions attempted to persuade the king into Anti-Protestant activity.
However the resulting unrest (Tumult of Amboise) worked against the Guises and enabled Catherine de Medici to persuade Francis to relax the heresy laws. Yet this was counteracted when Francis died and Charles came into power as by autumn of 1561, the Duke of Gude had withdrawn from court and was building up an alliance to defend Catholic interests. He had sought financial and other help from Philip of Spain who saw in the crisis splendid opportunity both to defend his faith and to exploit divisions of France.
• 1559 Treaty of Catueau- Cambresis 1559 ended Hapsburg- Valois conflict for financial reasons. Notable for loss of Calais for 8 years, although never returned.
Mary had connections with the french Guise family and Elizabeth didn't want to see home use Mary stuart to control not only Scotland and France, but also England.
April 1564 Treaty of Troyes - England gave up rights to Calais. Arguably strengthened Liz's dislike of aiding rebels against a legitimate monarch
20 Sept 1562 Treaty of Hampton Court/Richmond - Louis de Bourbon Conde, Huguenot leader, would receive 140,000 crowns and 3000 troops under Earl of Warwick to protect Le Havre
Religious reason - factional, Dudley trying to persuade Elizabeth to show that he was not just a favourite but a political heavyweight
Political - exploit divisions in France
Strategic - exchange Le Havre for Calais
Having taken Le Havre the English soon alienated the Huguenots by trying to exchange Le Havre for Calais
Meanwhile, Huguenots made peace with Catherine de Medici (tolerant regent) As a result, combined Cath/Prot attack on Le Havre recaptured it
Always tense relationship, due to alliance between Scotland and France
Eng and Scot relationship before 1561: 1559 treaty of Cateau- cambresis confirmed engs loss of calais and france domination on scotland.
1560 liz concluded the treaty of berwick with the scots and sent an army to Scotland, attempts to defeat french garrison failed but the death of mary of guise and the loss of the french task force at sea caused f to withdraw f troops.
relaitonship with scot 1561-68: 1561 m returned to scot, she left when she was five, now it was port and riddled with factions.
• she was prepared to ratify the treaty of ed to secure her claim to the eng throne.
• york conference 1569, gave the eng gov grounds to hold her in captivity, accused m of murdering darnley, could be staging it for their political purposes.
treaty of edinburgh, eng and f agreed to withdraw troops from scot and m gave up her claim to the eng throne.
July 1560 Treaty of Ediburgh - TRIUMPH! Both french and english troops withdrawn from soctland. freedom of worship guarenteed. MQS recognised Liz as queen of england
Feb 1560 Treaty of Berwick - offered scottish protestants liz's protection. 8000 English troops under lord grey marched on leith
1563 embargo on English exports to Antwerp imposed by Cardinal Gravelle, Phillip II's chief minister in Netherlands alongside the regent, Margaret of Parma. Gravelle believed Liz involved in international Prot conspiracy - had aided Scottish Prots in 1560 signed Treaty of Hampton Court 1562 and allowed England to be base for Protestant Privateers to attack French Catholic shipping. Ended 1564 when Granvelle dismissed
1568 Liz seized Spanish ships which sought refuge at English ports from pirates. THe ships were bound for Alva in the Netherlands. The Southern Netherlands had been in revolt since 1566 Iconoclastic Fury
Characterised by anti-Catholic riots, it was fundamentally against Philip running the provinces as a colony of Spain. In 1567, Philip sent the 10,000 troops under the Duke of Alva to suppress the (protestant) rebels
This force was later increased to 50,000, a source of concern to Liz
By 1568, the rebels had been largely defeated. 2 leaders, Horn and Egmont had been executed and William of Orange had been defeated in battle by Alva. Whilst Liz had avoided costly military intervention on behalf of the rebels, a little harassment was desirable
Thus, Liz seized 400,000 florins being loaned to Philip by Genoese financiers - this significantly aided Liz efforts at re-coinage begun in 1560
De Spes, Philip's ambassador in the Netherlands, seized English ships and goods
Imposed embargo on export of English goods to Antwerp 1568-73
Liz did same to Spanish ships in England
Fears of escalating conflict
actions 'costly and senseless
• Elizabeth’s talk about the virtues of an unmarried state was as the start of the reign, taken by her councillors as maidenly but impractical in political terms.
• Most serious candidate in 1559 was probably the Archduke Charles, younger son of Austrian branch of hasburgs.
• This would have kept Phillip II happy and be a potential ally against France aggression in Scotland.
Match came to nothing, however.
• Elizabeth favoured Robert Dudley.
• However he lack meaningful support in the Queen’s council, Cecil and others saw him as catastrophic candidate: a dangerous rival.
• Queen decided against marriage but Dudley retained a place in her affections making him quite influential.