1 Was Elizabeth a golden age for the lower classes? - Coggle Diagram
1 Was Elizabeth a golden age for the lower classes?
Basis : Social Hierarchy/Chain of Being
Kings and Queens
Basis : Poor people lifestyles
Considered your fault to be poor
Attitudes started to change towards end of Elizabeth's reign & gov. decided to take action
Officials thought that peasants would eventually riot under their current conditions; disrupted 'social order'
Officials feared that the poor might spread illness
Rising population - rose by a million during Elizabeth's reign and caused an inflation
Inflation - prices rising and wages falling because there was more labour
Cloth trade collapse - England's main export was woollen cloth but demands for it progressively dropped which caused unemployment for the poor
Wars - an after battle result meant that Europe required compensation and increased taxes to help restore damages
Bad harvests - Especially in the 1590's the crops were not up to par and as a result, higher prices were made and higher demand for food
Changes in farming - prior, fields were the main product being produced but landlords decided to prioritise sheep instead of crops
Basis : Education
In the Elizabethan era, for the poor, education was not considered a requirement and in fact, most children grew up to serve their own family whether it was the church, farm or workshop
However, following the ideologies of the Renaissance, it was unanimously agreed that in order to benefit society, education was quite highly prioritised. This lead to :
development of skills - ability to read / write
for the wealthier - better education
openings - more universities and schools
Oxford & Cambridge - universities that were opened and still exist
fears that the poor might spread diseases
fears the social order could be impacted because of growing number of poor people and they could come together and beggars might turn to crime
Unpaid local officials
Unpaid local officials, known also as Justices of the Peace had to take responsibility for issues relating to poverty in their area.
Grouping of poor/unemployed
Authorities would group people into two main categories: the 'impotent poor' and the 'able-bodied poor'
Impotent poor: people unable to work due to health issues such as age, disabilities, or injuries.
Able-bodied poor: people who were physically able to work but are still unable acquire adequate work. It was frequently thought that able-bodied poor were lazy and threatened the social order.