AQA GCSE History: Elizabethan England, c1568–1603

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BC Elizabethan England, c1568–1603

This option allows students to study in depth a specified period, the last 35 years of Elizabeth I's reign. The study will focus on major events of Elizabeth I’s reign considered from economic, religious, political, social and cultural standpoints, and arising contemporary and historical controversies.

Students will study a wide variety of topics compiled into four modules, namely:

Part one: Elizabethan Court and Parliament

Themes include:

  • Elizabeth I and her court: background and character of Elizabeth I; court life, including patronage; key ministers.
  • The difficulties of a female ruler: relations with Parliament; the problem of marriage and the succession; the strength of Elizabeth’s authority at the end of her reign, including Essex’s rebellion in 1601.

Part two: Life in Elizabethan England

Themes include:

  • A ‘Golden Age’: living standards and fashions; growing prosperity and the rise of the gentry; the Elizabethan theatre and its achievements; attitudes to the theatre.
  • The poor: reasons for the increase in poverty; attitudes and responses to poverty; the reasons for government action and the seriousness of the problem.
  • English sailors: Hawkins and Drake; circumnavigation 1577–1580, voyages and trade; the role of Raleigh.

Part three: Troubles at home and abroad

  • Religious matters: the question of religion, English Catholicism and Protestantism; the Northern Rebellion; Elizabeth's excommunication; the missionaries; Catholic plots and the threat to the Elizabethan settlement; the nature and ideas of the Puritans and Puritanism; Elizabeth and her government's responses and policies towards religious matters.
  • Mary Queen of Scots: background; Elizabeth and Parliament’s treatment of Mary; the challenge posed by Mary; plots; execution and its impact.
  • Conflict with Spain: reasons; events; naval warfare, including tactics and technology; the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

Part four: Historic environment

Themes include:

  • Function, structure and location of the historic site
  • How the site reflected the attitudes, beliefs and social structure of Elizabethan society
  • Notable people, organisations and events linked to the site.

Resource Examples

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Historic Environment (2019, 2020, 2021) Resources:

This module download also includes the following teaching resources:

  • AQA GCSE History Exam Booklets (2020 & 2021 Syllabus) (zip)
  • L1 Elizabethan Government (pdf)
  • L1 Elizabethan Government (docx)
  • L1 England Upon Elizabeth I S Accession (pptx)
  • L1 Market Place Information Sheets (pdf)
  • L1 Market Place Information Sheets (docx)
  • L1 Marketplace Chart (pdf)
  • L1 Marketplace Chart (pptx)
  • L10 1601 Poor Law Information (pdf)
  • L10 1601 Poor Law Information (docx)
  • L10 Elizabethan Poor (pptx)
  • L11 Elizabethan Exploration And The Voyages Of Discovery (pptx)
  • L11 Voyages Of Discovery Mind Map (pptx)
  • L11 Voyages Of Discovery Mind Map (pdf)
  • L11 Where S My Pressie- Blackadder Bbc (mp4)
  • L12 Elizabeth Raleigh And Virginia (pptx)
  • L12 Establishment Of The Virginia Colony Snowballing Sheet (pdf)
  • L12 Establishment Of The Virginia Colony Snowballing Sheet (docx)
  • L12 Raleigh Facebook Template (doc)
  • L12 Raleigh Facebook Template (pdf)
  • L12 The Virginia Colony Apush Period 1 2 Chapter 1 2 (mp4)
  • L2 Elizabeth I S Religious Settlement (pptx)
  • L2 Religious Settlement Information (docx)
  • L2 Religious Settlement Information (pdf)
  • L2 Tudor Religion Comparison Chart (docx)
  • L2 Tudor Religion Comparison Chart (pdf)
  • L3 Challenges To Elizabeth S Religious Settlement (pptx)
  • L4 Should Elizabeth I Allow Mary To Stay In England (pdf)
  • L4 Threat Of Mary Queen Of Scots (pptx)
  • L4 Tudor Family Tree For Annotation (pdf)
  • L4 Tudor Family Tree For Annotation (docx)
  • L5 Domestic Threats To Elizabeth I (pptx)
  • L5 Mary Queen Of Scots Source Sheet (pdf)
  • L5 Mary Queen Of Scots Source Sheet (docx)
  • L5 Plots And Revolts Starter Activity (pdf)
  • L5 Plots And Revolts Starter Activity (docx)
  • L5 Revolts Presentation Information (pdf)
  • L5 Revolts Presentation Information (docx)
  • L5 Should Elizabeth I Allow Mary To Stay In England (docx)
  • L5 Should Elizabeth I Allow Mary To Stay In England Copy (pdf)
  • L5 Should Elizabeth I Allow Mary To Stay In England Copy (docx)
  • L6 Anglo-Spanish Relations 1569-88 (pptx)
  • L6 Elizabeth I And The Netherlands (pdf)
  • L6 Elizabeth I And The Netherlands (docx)
  • L6 Increasing Tension With Spain Chart (docx)
  • L6 Increasing Tension With Spain Chart (pdf)
  • L7 Actions Of Sir Frances Drake Chart (pdf)
  • L7 Actions Of Sir Frances Drake Chart (docx)
  • L7 Drake Market Place Information (pdf)
  • L7 Drake Market Place Information (docx)
  • L7 Sir Francis Drake (pptx)
  • L8 English Luck Or Skill (docx)
  • L8 English Luck Or Skill (pdf)
  • L8 Spanish Armada (pptx)
  • L8 Spanish Armada Causes Diagram (docx)
  • L8 Spanish Armada Causes Diagram (pdf)
  • L9 Editable Education Market Place Chart (pptx)
  • L9 Editable Version Of Elizabethan Education Mind Map (pptx)
  • L9 Education Market Place Chart (pdf)
  • L9 Educational Market Place Chart (pdf)
  • L9 Elizabethan Education (pptx)
  • L9 Elizabethan Education Mind Map And Question (pdf)
  • L9 Female Education Market Place Information (docx)
  • L9 Female Education Market Place Information (pdf)
  • L9 Market Place Activity Education For Tudor Nobility (docx)
  • L9 Market Place Activity Education For Tudor Nobility (pdf)
  • L9 Market Place Material Education For The Middle Classes And The Poor (docx)
  • L9 Market Place Material Education For The Middle Classes And The Poor (pdf)
  • L9 Mini Afl Boxes (pdf)
  • L9 Mini Afl Editable Ppt (pptx)
  • L9a -Tudor Leisure In Elizabethan Times (docx)
  • L9a -Tudor Leisure In Elizabethan Times (pdf)