Women in Power: Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth I was the most remarkable women leader in English history. She was born on September 7, 1533 at Greenwich Palace. Her birth was not celebrated; instead it was a bitter disappointment to her father King Henry VIII, who was highly anticipating the birth of a son. Her mother was executed for treason shortly after her birth Elizabeth lost all heredity to the throne. After Henry VIII’s third wife Jane Seymour died, however, Elizabeth was placed back in the order of succession after Edward and Mary by act of parliament.
When she came into power, Elizabeth I had to clean up the big mess that was left by her sister Mary’s five year reign. Mary had abruptly changed the national religion from Protestantism to Catholicism, and she was not going to hear any objections. She mercilessly hunted down and executed Protestants who refused to convert. After Elizabeth I took the throne-she switched back to Protestantism and, as Miriam restored religious order in England. Under Elizabeth I, religion and nationality were almost the same. Her first act as Queen was to form a loyal government: she replaced the Privy Council with qualified advisors such as nobles, lawyers, and businessmen. Although she had an excellent board of advisors, she did not allow them to dominate her decisions. Elizabeth was determined to set up a safe and stable government.
During Queen Elizabeth’s forty-five year reign, England prospered considerably. Her reign witnessed a wide increase in literacy and achievements in the arts. Famous writers such as Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, and Christopher Marlowe emerged. England also expanded significantly overseas. Elizabeth encouraged explorers like Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir John Hawkins. Her sponsorship of explorers like these led to the establishment of English colonies around the world. Under her rule, a middle class of merchants, tradesmen, and craftsmen flourished. Elizabeth I...
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