|Elizabethan Elizabethan Politics and Government - The Privy Council|
The Privy Council consisted of wealthy, powerful nobles who worked together with the highly intelligent men of the times, not necessarily of noble birth. The Privy Council was ruled by Queen Elizabeth and had less than twenty members. The Privy Council met between three and five days each week. All of the members of the Privy Council were chosen by Queen Elizabeth. The Privy Council were responsible for:
- Elizabethan Economics
- Foreign Policy
- Home Policy
- Security and Military matters
The Government of England also included the Laws of the Land which were implemented at local levels. The most important court was the infamous Star Chamber which consisted of members of the Privy Council and judged the noble and wealthy.
Elizabethan Elizabethan Politics and Government - The Star Chamber
The Star Chamber was an English court of law which was located at the royal Palace of Westminster. The Star Chamber witnessed the most important trials of royalty and nobility between 1487 and 1641. The primary function of the Star Chamber was to hear cases involving political libel, heresy and treason. Being called to attend the Star Chamber was serious, and terrifying. The Star Chamber court sessions were held in secret. The Star Chamber was made up of Privy Counsellors and judges and was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against powerful and prominent people who might not be convicted by ordinary courts. Star Chamber sessions were closed to the public and became greatly feared.
- The Star Chamber Court had no jury
- There was no right of appeal
- There were no witnesses
- Evidence was given in writing
The powerful Court of the Star Chamber evolved into a political weapon to use against any opponents of the policies of the monarch.
Elizabethan Elizabethan Politics and Government - Parliament
Parliament was attended by a group of representatives and was divided into the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
- The House consisted of nobility and higher clergy such as bishops and archbishops
- The House of Commons consisted of common people
- The Elizabethan Parliament had much limited power. In the Elizabethan era there was no Prime Minister, no cabinet and no political parties.