chapter  4
14 Pages

Aliens, Policy, And The Elizabethan Economy

One of the most striking impacts of the immigration of Elizabeth’s reign was the effect it had in the economic sphere. A number of historians have characterized it as a critical juncture in England’s economic development. Ephraim Lipson passionately declared that the arrivals of the Elizabethan aliens enabled the island kingdom ‘to wrest from its rivals the secrets of important industries and become a workshop of the world; while the national fibre was strengthened by the infusion of new blood.’ Carlo Cipolla more prosaically notes: ‘The refugees who moved to England…found an extremely fertile ground,’ and ‘ingenious local imitators…, by pursuing their ideas along original lines, further developed the foreign techniques and opened the way to more innovations.’1