Year 8

Elizabeth I's later years

I can explain why the last years of Elizabeth's reign were more difficult.

Year 8

Elizabeth I's later years

I can explain why the last years of Elizabeth's reign were more difficult.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. The growth in importance of the gentry caused a great deal of change in English society.
  2. There was a growth in literacy rates and expansion of arts during the Elizabethan 'Golden Age'.
  3. Elizabeth faced a lot of factionalism in her government at a time of bad harvests and growing unemployment.
  4. Tyrone rebelled against Elizabeth in Ireland.
  5. Elizabeth faced a rebellion from the Earl of Essex.

Common misconception

The Elizabethan period was a Golden Age.

Whilst there were many positives that came about during the Elizabethan era, many people suffered from poverty and starvation.


  • Golden Age - a Golden Age is a time of peace, prosperity and plenty

  • Gentry - the gentry are people of good social position, specifically the group below the nobility in position and birth

  • Factionalism - factionalism is the splitting of a group into factions, or smaller groups, which have slightly different ideas

  • Monopolies - monopolies is the term given to the exclusive control of the supply of products or services

Make it clear to students that, although much of English history focuses on London and its inhabitants, the rest of the country was often experiencing very different conditions.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains subject matter which individuals may find upsetting.


Adult supervision suggested.


This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).



6 Questions

What is an 'alliance'?
Correct answer: a friendship between different countries
a rivalry between different countries
a promise of marriage between monarchs
a declaration of war between monarchs
Complete the name of this English sailor, hated by the Spanish: Sir Francis ...
Correct Answer: Drake, drake
What is the name given to a person or an armed ship allowed by a government to attack and steal from other ships at sea?
Correct Answer: privateer, Privateer, Privateers, privateers
In what year did the Spanish Armada set sail to try and invade England?
Correct Answer: 1588
What was the name of the main battle during the Armada expedition?
Correct answer: the Battle of Gravelines
the Battle of Trafalgar
the Battle of Jutland
the Battle of Midway
Match the example to the factor which helped to cause the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
Correct Answer:Spanish mistake,Philip II placed an inexperienced admiral in charge

Philip II placed an inexperienced admiral in charge

Correct Answer:English skill,fire ships broke the defensive formation

fire ships broke the defensive formation

Correct Answer:luck,fierce storms wrecked many ships

fierce storms wrecked many ships

Correct Answer:Spanish mistake,the army and navy were unable to meet up

the army and navy were unable to meet up

Correct Answer:English skill,fast, manoeuvrable ships could fire cannons from distance

fast, manoeuvrable ships could fire cannons from distance

Correct Answer:luck,fierce storms prevented an earlier invasion

fierce storms prevented an earlier invasion

6 Questions

Which social class grew in power during Elizabeth's reign?
Correct answer: gentry
Which of the following is a reason why Elizabeth's reign has been called a Golden Age?
years of good harvests led to an excess of food
peaceful relations with all other foreign powers
Correct answer: growing interest in the theatre and arts in London
lots of affordable housing built for poorer people
What name is given to the type of houses the gentry built during the Elizabethan period?
Correct Answer: prodigy houses, Prodigy houses, prodigy, Prodigy Houses, Prodigy
How much did the population grow by during the Elizabethan period?
20% - from 2 million to 2.4 million
30% - from 2.25 to 2.9 million
40% - from 2.5 million to 3.5 million
Correct answer: 50% - 3 million to 4.5 million
Which country was the Nine Years War, or Tyrone's Rebellion, fought in?
Correct Answer: Ireland, ireland
What year was Essex's Rebellion?
Correct answer: 1601

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