Was there really a threat to the Elizabethan regime from the Puritans?
In 1559, Elizabeth created a religious settlement, which was mainly Protestant, but included many Catholic teachings. In theory, the settlement would end religious controversy and unite the people of the country. However, in practice, this didn't happen, as there was opposition to the settlement, from both Catholics and Puritans. Puritans were extreme Protestants who believed that Elizabeth's religious settlement was not enough – they believed that the Anglican church was still too much like the Roman Catholic Church. As a consequence of this belief, the Puritans posed potential threats to the Elizabethan church, however little action was taken by the Puritans towards this and there was little support for their ideas. Therefore the Puritans were no real threat, at least not compared to the threat from the Catholics.
The Puritans posed many potential threats to the country under Elizabeth, particularly in church and in Parliament. Initially, the Puritans were focused on trying to achieve their aims through Parliament. For example, the Puritan Choir, which was a group of around 100 MP's in Parliament led by Marian exiles, forced Elizabeth into a more Protestant religious settlement, as a result of their pressure and leadership. However, as a consequence of the Puritans failing to achieve their aims through Parliament, a number of low level local campaigns were set up with the focus of Presbyterianism and prophesying. The intention of these low level campaigns was to spread the ideas of Presbyterianism, first locally, and then hoping that it would spread further throughout the country. This was a potential threat to Elizabeth because if the low level campaigns were successful, Presbyterianism would increase, creating more opposition.
Within Puritanism, there were different types, including the Moderates, the Separatists, and the Presbyterians. Firstly, the Presbyterians did not support...