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Queen Elizabeth

By Tsheats Feb 28, 2013 1489 Words
Queen Elizabeth l Research Paper
TJ Sheats
Augusta, Paine College

Queen Elizabeth had a 45 year reign which was considered one of the most glorious reigns in English history. Her reign also included many famous accomplishments she had in 1554 during her reign. Accomplishments like ending the war with France and was a diplomatic genius in handling European countries. She also brought back the Church of England, by signing law called the "Religious Settlement" which was refused to ever marry. Queen Elizabeth used her single status as a tool in foreign policies and used courtship as part of her diplomatic game. Elizabeth sent an army to help Protestants in the Dutch Netherlands to fight the Spaniards, Then she destroyed the "Spanish Armada" when the Spaniards came to attack England, Dubbed herself "The Virgin Queen" after dedicating herself to be married to England then encouraged English literature and world exploration around England and the world. Queen Elizabeth also sponsored the establishment of a colony in the New World and Sir Francis Drake's voyage around the world during her reign. Another famous accomplishment of Queen Elizabeth l was when she encouraged Sir Walter Raleigh to send settlers to America, setting up the great colonial empire-later becoming the United States of America.

During this famous time period this period this was known as the “Elizabethan Age” or the “Golden Age." England's economy prospered and Elizabeth I's court became the center for musicians, writer and scholars, such as William Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlow and Edmund Spenser. After Mary died in 1558, Elizabeth was next in line to become Queen of England. The people loved her and Elizabeth was crowned Queen Elizabeth I in 1559 at the age of 25. Mary had already plunged England into a costly war with France and the country's treasury was empty. England hoped Elizabeth would bring back peace and prosperity and stop the persecution of the Protestants. Queen Elizabeth I was an extremely intelligent and a powerful diplomat. She was an incredibly popular queen and reminded people of King Henry VIII, with her red hair and brilliant speaking abilities. Elizabeth I also chose genius advisors, which included the brilliant Sir Francis Walsingham and Sir William Cecil (later named Lord Burghley), who was cautious and conservative like Elizabeth. Elizabeth relied on their wisdom and guidance for forty years. During Elizabeth's long reign, the nation also suffered from high prices and severe economic depression, especially in the countryside, during the 1590s. The war against Spain was not very successful after the Armada had been beaten and, together with other campaigns, it was very costly. Also Queen Elizabeth kept a tight rein on government expenditure; Elizabeth left large debts to her successor. Wars during Elizabeth's reign are estimated to have cost over £5 million (at the prices of the time) which Crown revenues could not match - in 1588, for example, Elizabeth's total annual revenue amounted to some £392,000. Besides combinations of financial strains and prolonged war after 1588, Parliament was not summoned more often.

Elizabeth defeat of the Spanish Armada was one of the most famous events in English History. Although what was really Queen Elizabeth's finest hour during her reign. For years she hailed as the English Deborah, the savior of the English people. Then it seemed that this is what she had really become. She was now Bellona, the goddess of war, and in triumph she had led her people to glory. Spain was the most powerful country in the world defeating the greatest power in the 16th century world. New England which was a small country, with little wealth, few friends, and many enemies. If Queen Elizabeth ever felt nervous about challenging the greatest power in the known world, she never showed it. She appeared to believe completely in the devotion and loyalty of her people. By believing in them, they believed in her. Philip II who was a marking in Spanish history ruled vast territories of land, and had unparalleled wealth from the New World.

As early as 1585, Philip had begun to prepare a great fleet that, under the Spanish commander Santa Cruz, would invade England. At first the aim of the Armada was to liberate the captive Queen of Scots, but when Mary was executed for conspiring Elizabeth's death in 1587, Philip planned to invade England in the name of his daughter, the Infanta Isabella. On March 24, 1603, Elizabeth died as the oldest monarch to rule England until King George III. Her era saw the advancement of England as a military might, restored the Anglican faith, and ruled her country effectively through council for 45 years in a time when women were still being looked upon as being inferior to men. Although plots and conspiracies plagued her reign, her unification of the England is the reason for the label that is commonly attached to her as England’s greatest monarch.

Elizabeth was probably at the royal manor at Hunsdon when her mother was arrested and executed after being at court for Christmas and likely the last time she saw her mother. Then Elizabeth went to live with the Queen Dowager Katherine, but left her household after an incident with the Lord Admiral, Thomas Seymour, who was now Katherine's husband. Although because Elizabeth was a daughter of the late King Henry VIII, she was in line to the throne despite several attempts to remove her from the chain, she was in Henry's will as an heir. Therefore it being a most sought-after bride, during the reign of Edward VI, Thomas Seymour asked for Elizabeth's hand in marriage, which she refused. From this incident, both Thomas and Elizabeth were suspected of plotting against the king. Elizabeth was questioned, but was never charged.

Elizabeth inherited a tattered realm dissension between Catholics and Protestants tore at the very foundation of society. The royal treasury had been bled dry by Mary and her advisors, Mary's loss of Calais left England with no continental possessions for the first time since the arrival of the Normans in 1066. Many (mainly Catholics) doubted Elizabeth's claim to the throne. Continental affairs added to her problems - France had a strong foothold in Scotland, and Spain, the strongest European nation at the time, posed a threat to the security of the realm. Elizabeth proved most calm and calculating even though she had a horrendous temper, employing capable and distinguished men to carrying out royal prerogative.

Elizabeth was a master of political science. She inherited her father's supremacist view of the monarchy, but showed great wisdom by refusing to directly antagonize Parliament. She acquired undying devotion from her advisement council, who were constantly perplexed by her habit of waiting to the last minute to make decisions (this was not a deficiency in her makeup, but a tactic that she used to advantage). She used the various factions (instead of being used by them), playing one off another until the exhausted combatants came to her for resolution of their grievances. Few English monarchs enjoyed such political power, while still maintaining the devotion of the whole of English society. The arrival in England in 1568 of Mary Queen of Scots and her imprisonment by Elizabeth caused a political crisis, and a rebellion of the feudal nobility of the north followed in 1569. Friction between English and Spanish sailors hastened the breach with Spain. When the Dutch rebelled against Spanish tyranny Elizabeth secretly encouraged them; Philip II retaliated by aiding Catholic conspiracies against her. This undeclared war continued for many years, until the landing of an English army in the Netherlands in 1585 and Mary's execution in 1587, brought it into the open. Philip's Armada (the fleet sent to invade England in 1588) met with total disaster.

The war with Spain continued with varying fortunes to the end of the reign, while events at home foreshadowed the conflicts of the 17th century. Among the Puritans discontent was developing with Elizabeth's religious settlement, and several were imprisoned or executed. Parliament showed a new independence, and in 1601 forced Elizabeth to retreat on the question of the crown granting manufacturing and trading monopolies. Yet her prestige remained unabated, as shown by the failure of Essex's rebellion in 1601.

In 1560 Elizabeth l re-founded Westminster Abbey as the present Collegiate Church of St Peter. This was incorporating a School for forty scholars, which is now Westminster School. She founded Jesus College Oxford in 1571 and Trinity College Dublin in 1592. Many members of these four institutions, past and present, attended the ceremony. Roses for the ceremony were given by an American benefactor, and earlier in the day school children laid on the tomb a bouquet of plants from Virginia, an American state named after Elizabeth l.

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