Early Elizabethan England, 1558–1588: Challenges to Elizabeth at home and abroad – Review sheet

Last updated: 19/12/2023
Contributor: Harriet Rix
Early Elizabethan England, 1558–1588: Challenges to Elizabeth at home and abroad – Review sheet
Main Subject
Key stage
Exam board
British studies: Elizabethan England
Includes answers
Resource type
Knowledge organisers

Review the challenges to Elizabeth at home and abroad in this Early Elizabethan England topic review sheet for years 10 and 11. 

Suitable for the Edexcel exam specification, it covers all the key knowledge for this topic. Use it as an all-in-one revision resource for the end of the topic or interleaved practice and reviewing learning as you go.

Available to download in two different printable versions:

  • Eight-page A4 printable with space to write their answers directly on the worksheets
  • One-page A3 printable designed for students to write their answers in their books.

All answers are included.

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An extract from the answers:

Section 3: The paragraphs below are just suggested answers for the two sets of prompts.

Task 1: Elizabeth knew that Spain would send a naval fleet to invade England and so began fortifying the coast – including by building a series of watchtowers and beacons so that swift warning could be given when the Spanish came into view. Her other primary preparation in England was to order the conversion of trading ships into small and nimble frigates – a new class of ship which was more manoeuvrable than the Spanish galleons. Abroad, Drake continued to harry the Spanish in the Spanish West Indies (Caribbean), earning himself the Spanish nickname of El Draque (the Dragon) because he was so skilled. He returned to Elizabeth in time to help against the Armada, bringing with him treasure worth over £30,000, stolen from the Spanish.

Task 2: Drake’s raid on Cádiz helped Elizabeth’s preparations against the Armada as it pushed back the departure of the Spanish Armada even further. On his return from his 12-month privateering trip in the Caribbean, Drake had already boarded and robbed the ship San Felipe (belonging to Portugal, which had been newly conquered by the Spanish) and taken £144,000 worth of loot. Wanting to push further, Drake headed for Cádiz harbour, a key military base, in April 1587. Drake burned 33 Spanish ships whilst they were still in the harbour, severely reducing the Spanish fleet and forcing them to recoup their losses for several months, delaying the departure of the Armada until 1588.

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