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Elizabeth I, the Succession and Foreign Policy

Adams, Simon (2003) Elizabeth I, the Succession and Foreign Policy. History Today, 53 (5). pp. 42-48. ISSN 0018-2753

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Part of a special section on the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. The writer examines the close links between Elizabeth's ascendancy, reign, and subsequent relationships with the states of Europe. Elizabeth had a coherent foreign policy, shaped by the unusual circumstances of her reign. These were less to do with her gender--a much-exaggerated subject--than her questionable legitimacy and the coincidence that the leading members of the wider Tudor royal family were Scots. For example, until her death in 1587, Mary Stuart was the focus around which Elizabeth's foreign policy revolved. Mary was Dauphine and, after July 1559, Queen of France, and the threat of her rival claim to the English throne was the decisive motive for Elizabeth's interventions in Scotland in 1560 and France in 1562.