To what extent did Elizabeth control her government?
To successfully answer this question there are two main aspects off government to consider, her Parliament and her ministers. It can be argued that Elizabeth successfully controlled both her Parliament and her ministers, and I would agree with this. I would also argue however that whilst she was somewhat successful she also lost control at times such as when parliaments formed ‘factions or Essex's revolt. MacCaffrey supports this view saying “ For the most part, she was extremely successful; however it has to be acknowledged that the start and end of her reign was weak in terms of dealing with parliament”
Elizabeths strong personality helped her control Parliament very successfully. She could be forceful when she needed to be but still used the fact she was a woman to her advantage – even crying to get her own way. Stronger than her sister by far she gave orders in a way that any King would – earning her the respect of her Parliament.
She was known to take a firm stance on key matters such as foreign affairs – something which previous monarchs had failed to do, and was entitled to privileges such as calling and dissolving Parliament, also some thing which previous monarchs had failed to utilise. Many of the issues which were discussed such as the issue of her potential marriage and succession, she had the deceiving say in. The succession was a particularly large point of conflict between Parliament and the Queen. Elizabeth was encouraged to marry or name a successor in three separate parliaments (1559, 1563 and 1566) however she ignored the advice. It could even be said that by not naming a successor she had more control over parliament – as they could not ask more of her until she did. It is obvious that she successfully controlled parliament as she constantly resisted them in key matters such as this throughout her reign, what's more they remained orderly, functional and obedient despite their...