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Queen Elizabeth, monarchy, government


Queen Elizabeth's government, like most early modern European governments, was one that sought to extend its influence and power throughout the realm. But at the same time it possessed minimal financial resources and coercive machinery of power, and therefore, while it issued mandates, it had to depend upon local officials and individuals to whom it delegated power. Nor did Elizabeth’s government have any machinery of oversight to “watch-dog” those delegated powers. Only when issues came to the attention of the Privy Council after-the-fact did the government, occasionally, intervene to redress abuses of those delegated powers. Two areas in which these dilemmas faced by Elizabeth’s government are clearly exemplified are in the delegated powers of arrest and of impressment.