The Spanish and Venetian ambassadors in London were shocked at what they regarded as the indecent rejoicings over Elizabeths accession.
They were willing to take all the risks and relieve her of all responsibility; they filled her coffers with Spanish gold which they plundered as pirates, knowing that they might be hanged if caught; and they fought Elizabeths enemies in France and in the Netherlands as irregulars, taking their chance of being shot if taken prisoners.
It required all Elizabeths finesse to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds; but she was, as Henry III.
In other directions the expansion of England, the third stage in the development of Elizabeths policy, was more successful.
Their monopoly Spani~b was broken up by Hawkins, Drake, Frobisher, Raleigh, dominion and scores of others who recognized no peace beyond at sea, the line; and although, as far as actual colonies went, the results of Elizabeths reign were singularly meagre, the idea had taken root and the ground had been prepared.
This expansion was mainly at the expense of Spain; but at first Spain was regarded as Elizabeths friend, not France.
France had a rival candidate for Elizabeths throne in Mary Stuart, the wife of the dauphin who soon ~ (1559) became king as Francis II.; and Spanish favor was sought to neutralize this threat.
Elizabeths head was stronger and she had no heart at all.
The duke of Norfolk was a Protestant, but his convictions were weaker than his ambition, and he fell a victim to Marys unseen charms. The Catholic north of England ~~ was to rise under the earls of Westmorland and andexNorthumberland, who objected to Elizabeths seizure communiof their mines and jurisdictions as well as to her proscription of their faith; and the pope was to assist with a bull of deposition.
But the friendship was never warm; Elizabeths relations with the Huguenots on the one hand and her fear of French designs on the Netherlands on the other prevented much cordiality.
But the alliance stood in the way of a Franco-Spanish agreement, limited Elizabeths sympathy with the French Protestants, and enabled her to give more countenance than she otherwise might have done to the Dutch.
After the murder of William the Silent (1584) Elizabeth sided more openly with the Dutch; the Spanish ambassador Mendoza was expelled from England for his intrigues with Elizabeths enemies (1586); and Execution on the discovery of Babingtons plot Elizabeth yielded of Maiy, to the demand of her parliament and her ministers queen of for Marys execution (1587); her death removed the ~ only possible centre for a Catholic rebellion in case of a Spanish attack.
The subjection of the Netherlands was now almost out of the question, and although Elizabeths help had not enabled the Protestant cause to win in France, Henry IV.
They no longer asked, as many of them had asked in the beginning of Elizabeths reign, to substitute the presbyterian discipline for the episcopal government.
Without fear of danger at home, therefore, James, who as king, of Scotland had taken no part in Elizabeths quarrel with The Philip II., not only suspended hostilities immediately Spanish on his accession, and signed a peace in the following.
In Elizabeths time the danger, if not entirely external, did not come from the government itself.
The strong Protestantism of Elizabeths reign had assumed a distinctly Calvinistic form, and the country gentlemen who formed the majority of the House of Commons were resolutely determined that no other theology than that of Calvin should be taught in England.
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