Lesson video

In progress...





My name is Ms Apps.

And if you haven't gathered from the historical documents and postcards behind me, I'm going to be teaching you a little bit of history today.

I'm really, really excited to be welcoming you into my history class, because we are going to be looking at a period of history that I really, really love.

We are going to be looking at the Elizabethan era, but more importantly, we are going to be tracing the connections between Elizabethan England and the wider world.

So if you haven't already, grab your pen, grab some paper and let's get started.

So you've grabbed your pen.

You've grabbed your paper and we're ready to get started.

Over the coming lessons, we are going to be answering the following inquiry question: why was the world opening up to Elizabeth I and her people? But to get to the point where we can answer that question, first of all, we really need to understand, Elizabeth I's relationship with Spain.

So can you write down our title for today's lesson please, which is Elizabeth I and Spain.

Put a pause on the video now, if you need to.

Well done for getting down your title.

We're going to start today's lesson the way that I like to start lots of my history lessons, which is with a beautiful historic image.

So as you can see on the screen in front of you, you have a painting from the reign of Elizabeth I created for her in the 1570s.

All I would like you to do to get started today is grab your pen, grab your paper, and spend a couple of minutes jotting down everything that you can see going on in this image.

You might even, as a superstar historian, be able to jot down some of the names of the figures if you recognise them.

So put a pause on the video and have a go at that now for me.

Okay, welcome back.

Well done! I'm sure that you've written down a tonne of things about this painting.

So I'm very excited to go through what you might have come up with.

First of all, I'm fairly sure that you may have recognised in the centre of this painting are some very, very recognisable historical figures.

So, of course, in the middle, sat upon the throne is the figure of Henry VIII.

And you may recognise that outfit because it is exactly the same outfit he was painted in in 1536 or 1537 by Hans Holbein in full length with his hands upon his hips, a really, really famous painting of Henry VIII.

You may also have noticed his two daughters.

So we have in brown, the figure of Mary I, Henry VIII's eldest daughter, the daughter of Catherine of Aragon and the Catholic first queen of England.

You may also have noticed with her tiny conical waist and her beautiful white dress upstaging everyone is the figure of Elizabeth I.

What you might not have noticed because he's really, really, really tiny.

And I'd be really impressed if you caught him, is the figure of Edward VI.

Edward VI being Henry VIII's son who came to the throne at the age of nine hence why he's shown as being really quite small.

He was a boy King and died by the age of 15.

If you're really, really, really switched on this morning or afternoon, or whenever you're watching this video, you might also have noticed that stood next to Mary is the figure of her husband, King Philip II of Spain, another Catholic Monarch.

If you're really, really, really switched on, you may have noticed my figure in the pink oval, which is meant to represent war.

So a figure in armour looks Roman or Grecian meant to represent war.

You might also notice that next to Elizabeth, we have two figures, not dressed in Elizabethan or Tudor dress, but looking at a little bit like Grecian or so Greek or Roman goddesses.

And these two figures are meant to represent peace and plenty.

And we can tell that the figure in red represents plenty because she is holding a cornucopia.

So she's holding a cone, which is filled with fruits.

You can see some lemons and some apples as well.

And this is meant to represent the fact that England, in the reign of Elizabeth, there was lots of food.

Nobody was hungry.

Now that wasn't necessarily the case in Elizabethan England, but Elizabeth I wasn't going to create a painting that did anything other than flatter her.

So how many of those ideas did you get? Give yourself a tick if you got some of them.

And if you didn't get all of them, that's absolutely fine.

You can always add them to your list now.

Well done on all your work so far.

So this painting commissioned, so created by Elizabeth in the 1570s is an allegorical painting.

It's meant to give across a message.

And the main message of this painting really is about Spain.

So what I would like you to do now is pause the video.

And I would like you to tell me, what can you infer or guess about Elizabeth's attitude towards Spain from this painting? Think about the figure behind Phillip II.

I would like you to use my sentence starters.

So from the painting, the family of Henry VIII, I can guess that.

Tell me how Elizabeth feels about Spain.

And then this is because what I then want you to do is use a section of the painting to back up your ideas.

Pause the video now and resume once you're finished.

Okay, welcome back again.

Let's have a think now through a model answer and see how our answers compare to the model.

Now, if you have not used exactly the same words as me, but the general gist is there, that is absolutely fine.

We all write and use slightly different words, but this is the basics of what I might expect.

So from the painting, the family of Henry VIII I can guess that the relationship between England and Spain was tense by the reign of Elizabeth.

You might also have said that they disliked each other, that they were angry at each other, that perhaps they were ready to go to war with each other.

Absolutely fine.

This is because in the image, I can see King Philip II of Spain stood next to a figure representing war.

This therefore shows that Philip II is seen by Elizabeth as being aggressive and war-like.

Now you probably haven't done this, but if you want to pause the video and add to it, you might also include a comparison between the way that Phillip is represented and the way Elizabeth is represented.

So in comparison, Elizabeth is being shown as a peaceful ruler, perhaps highlighting that Spain is aggressive towards England and in the wrong.

How did you do? I'm sure you got the basic gist.

So well done, give yourself a pat on the back.

So we now know that there was tensions between England and Spain as represented by the painting, the family of Henry VIII, but let's dig a little bit deeper now.

Why were there tensions between England and Spain? What caused this? So if we go about right to the start of Elizabeth I's reign, when her sister died in November 1558, Phillip II had been Mary's husband.

In the year preceding Mary's death and Elizabeth's taking of the throne, he actually asked Elizabeth for her hand in marriage.

His hope was that this would allow England to remain a Catholic nation.

However, what he didn't account for was the fact that Elizabeth was a committed Protestant.

Phillip was a committed Catholic.

Therefore, one of the main reasons we see tensions between Elizabethan England and Spain is because of religion.

Both monarchs saw the other as a heretic, a person who was the wrong religion.

This got worse when both parties, so Philip and Elizabeth began to undermine the other in their own countries and kingdoms. So you can see on my map of Europe here a purple dot.

The purple dot represents the Netherlands, which today we might also call Holland.

The pink dot, of course, represents England.

And the green dot represents Spain.

At the time of the reign of Elizabeth I, the purple dots of Holland was actually ruled over in a wider empire by Spain.

And in that purple dot of Holland, there were both Catholics and Protestants.

And in the reign of Elizabeth, the Protestants in Holland or the Netherlands rose up against the Catholic rule of King Philip of Spain.

And Elizabeth undermined Philip by pledging her support to those Dutch Protestants, so to those Protestants in Holland or the Netherlands.

In retaliation and around a similar time, Phillip himself supported a series of Catholic plots in England against Elizabeth.

As a consequence of this by the 1580s, England and Spain were officially at war.

But let's have a quick pause point.

Do you remember the basics of what I have just said? Could you copy out my diagram on your paper, filling in the gaps.

Pause the video now and have a go.


How did you do? Let's go through these answers.

So in a nutshell, religious differences helped to cause rivalry and warfare because on the one hand, Elizabeth was happy to support Protestant rebels against King Philip of Spain.

And on the other hand, King Philip of Spain was happy to support Catholic plots against Elizabeth.

And so this led, by the 1580s, to war between England and Spain.

And this story of warfare and rivalry between England and Spain is going to be really, really central to the reasons why Elizabethan England was looking to expand its place in the world.

Another area of tension was the Spanish empire.

The Spanish empire by the reign of King Philip had been developing for some time.

And it went across areas of modern day North America, so Florida, through the Caribbean, into Central America and into South America as well.

And you can see some of the sections of the Spanish Empire on this map, upon your screen, the Spanish Empire had been first established with the voyages of Christopher Columbus in the 15th century.

He'd arrived in the Caribbean in 1492.

Europeans had called this new place, the New World.

Of course, for the millions of indigenous people that already lived in the regions it was no new world at all.

From 1492 onwards Spanish conquistadors, so soldiers, went to this New World to take over areas on behalf of the crown of Spain.

And a serious amount of wealth was extracted, was taken from this region via the enforced, so the forced labour of both indigenous people, so the people that already lived in the region, as well as enslaved labour coming from Africa.

And this is a key source of tension between England and Spain.

Because as we will see, England over the years of the reign of Elizabeth begins to try and challenge the Spanish Empire.

So what I would like you to do now is get a little bit more information on the Spanish Empire.

So pause the video, read the slides on the next page about the Spanish Empire and answer the comprehension questions.

Resume this video once you are finished.


Welcome back.

I'm sure you did really, really well.

Well done on getting that task completed.

Now I'm going to warn you and I've already warned you that I'm a little bit of a history nerd as you can tell from the historical document behind me.

You would have just read about Christopher Columbus' voyage to the New World.

And when I was in Gran Canaria I actually forced my friends to go with me to visit Casa de Colon, so the house of Christopher Columbus, which is the place in which he'd stayed the night before he voyaged the New World.

And the reason why I wanted to do that was because I, myself am really fascinated with this bit of history, but I'm particularly fascinated with the stories of the indigenous people that he encountered.

So I wanted to go and visit this house because I suppose it's a bit weird because it's a museum now.

And for a long time, Christopher Columbus was a really celebrated figure in history.

But now, today we understand that actually what happened to the indigenous people in the Caribbean and later in America as well, was really, really terrible.

So I was quite interested to see how this museum deals with that story.

Anyway, Ms Apps being a massive nerd over, let's go through some of these comprehension questions.

So where did Columbus think he was headed to in 1492? An acceptable answer would have been, and you can give yourself a tick, that he was going to either India or China.

A really, really brilliant answer would have been he believed he was headed to Asia to either India or China.

So let's try to remember as much as possible even though we aren't in school to use our full sentences.

Question number two, what did Columbus wish, why did, sorry, Christopher Columbus wish to take over the Caribbean Islands? An acceptable answer might have been that he believed there was gold there because of the earrings that some of the indigenous people were wearing or that he believed they were easy to conquer.

A really good answer would have been he believed that there might be gold in the islands, and also believed that the indigenous people of the Caribbean would be easy to conquer.

Question number three, what permission did the Pope give the Spanish? An acceptable answer, he gave them permission to take over the New World, the New World, because it wasn't really new to the indigenous people.

A really good answer would have been the Pope's Papal Bull gave the Spanish permission to take the lands of any non-Christians.

Number four, who was Hernan Cortes? An acceptable answer would have been that he was a conquistador or he was a soldier, or he was somebody who went to the New World.

A really good answer would have been Hernan Cortes was a conquistador who was involved in conquering the Aztec Empire and Mexico.

You might also have included that he used violence and divisions between the Aztec people to take over.

Five, challenge question, a little bit more open here, how did the English feel about the Spanish empire? You could have said they felt a sense of jealousy.

They felt a sense of distaste or they disagreed as Protestants with the power of the Pope to give the New World to the Spanish.

So we have learned an awful lot of information in today's lesson.

So let's put a pause on this for a second and do a bit of a recap together.

So firstly, from 1492 onward, Spain had developed a large empire and wealth, which had made it one of the most powerful countries in Europe.

From that point onwards, The Reformation when Henry VIII had broken with Rome and made England Protestant had sparked religious tensions between England and Spain, which became worse with the arrival of Elizabeth because she made England, which had been Catholic, under Mary I Protestant again.

We then see through the reign of Elizabeth I tensions rising between England and Spain.

So we see the English privateers go to the Spanish Empire and begin to steal and raid different ports and shipping.

We see on both sides, Elizabeth I support Protestant plots and Phillip II support Catholic plots and all of these lead to war, war between the English and Spanish in the 1580s.

As a result of these tensions and warfare, Elizabethan England sought to expand, to be like Spain in both wealth and power.

Well done for making it this far.

We are now pretty much done with our lesson today.

Over the coming lessons, we are going to trace how wealth, religion and warfare contributed to the Elizabethans wishing to develop their connections with the wider world.

And we will, by the end of these lessons, be able to answer the question why was the world opening up to Elizabeth I and her people? You may already have noticed that today religious tensions with Spain and the beginnings of warfare with Spain contributed to Elizabethan privateers, so pirates with permission from the queen, going to the Spanish Empire in the New World.

We will pick up that particular story next lesson.

So well done for all your work today.

I would absolutely love to see what you've been getting on with.

So please feel free to share your work with Oak National.

If you'd like, ask your parent or your carer to share your work on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter by tagging #oaknational and #learnwithoak.

Again, well done for all your hard work.

I will see you soon.

I've been Ms Apps and goodbye.