chapter  3
23 Pages

The Presence Of Aliens And Government Policy In The Reign Of Elizabeth I

Up to this point, I have primarily examined the relationship between aliens and the English government in terms of background to the Elizabethan period, or incidentally as part of the discussion of a broader issue. Government at every level, however, was at the center of all matters concerning aliens in England. As we have seen, there was a more or less sharp dichotomy of attitudes and opinions on virtually every alien-related topic. The tensions caused by the divergent concerns of natives versus aliens, local versus national interests, economic versus security benefits, and welcome versus fear weighed most heavily on government. The authorities, constantly called upon to keep the peace and yet determine what course of action would be most beneficial to the individual community or the nation at large, felt this bilateral pull very keenly. The Elizabethan government’s struggle to resolve both old and new problems related to resident aliens in rapidly changing domestic and international circumstances set patterns and precedents for future immigrations into Britain.