Government and people during the Elizabethan wars
in War and politics in the Elizabethan counties
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This chapter examines the government’s efforts to maintain public consent and support for the war. Historians have tended to assume that public opinion about the war was overwhelmingly negative; this chapter disputes such a view, and describes a range of more supportive, resolute attitudes. The efforts of the government, both central and local, to encourage support for the war through propaganda, persuasion and the careful provision of legitimation for demands are described. This chapter also considers the extent of resistance to government demands, arguing that historians have overstated this problem. Although there was clearly reluctance to comply with troublesome and expensive demands, in most cases there was a recognition among local elites and the wider political community that the demands were necessary, and there was remarkably little open complaint or protest. Where complaints did arise, they tended to be because of anomalous demands or those perceived as unjust, and resistance tended not to become general or widespread. Finally, this chapter analyses the internal organisation of the lord lieutenancies, describing the mechanism for implementing demands in the localities.

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