Throughout Queen Elizabeth was declared illegitimate, however, she still managed to live in the royal household.
Her father Henry VII died January 28, 1547 and shortly after Elizabeth’s brother Edward VI became king. Advisors told Edward to make his cousin Lady Jane Grey next to throne to stop Mary and Elizabeth from becoming queen. Edward died July 6, 1553 and Elizabeth’s half sister Mary takes reign. Mary is Catholic and now that she is the Queen of England she intends to return England to the Catholic Church. Mary married King Philip II who also intended on returning England to the Catholic Church. Since Protestant had taken firm hold in England Mary and her marriage were highly unpopular. Sir Thomas Wyatt who was an English politician, ambassador, and lyric poet plotted to put Elizabeth on the throne.
Wyatt’s plans soon led to the Wyatt Rebellion which was when the four leaders raised rebellions in one of the four counties, and together they would then replace Mary with her half-sister Elizabeth. Mary came to find out about this plot and saw Elizabeth as a threat and sent her to prison and spent her time in a cell in the Tower of London. Elizabeth’s life was often under threat, it seemed possible she would end her days like her mother, executed in the Tower of London. Time passed and Elizabeth was now free from prison. Mary died November 17, 1558 and Lady Jane Grey takes the throne.
Lady Jane Grey was Protestant and would make sure the Protestant reforms of Edward’s death would remain after his death. Elizabeth still had a strong desire to become queen so she rallied public support and within nine days, seized the throne. Now that Elizabeth was now the Queen of England she used her power and imprisoned Lady Jane in the tower of London. Elizabeth had a very strong education that impacted her tremendously and guided her to success. At age four Katherine Champernowne started to care for Elizabeth. Katherine was often called Kat. Kat got Elizabeth a tutor so she could now expand her knowledge. The tutors taught Elizabeth mathematics, astronomy, history, geography, architecture, needlework, horseback riding, and dancing.
Elizabeth was exposed to many different activities and subjects at a very young age. By the age of ten, she was learning Latin, French, Italian, and Greek. Elizabeth spoke and wrote in Greek and Latin fluently and mastered Italian, Spanish, and even Welsh. Elizabeth was a very bright child and now could use her diverse skills she was taught for her future Queen position. Elizabeth lacked feminine warmth, however she made up in the worldly wisdom she gained from a difficult and unhappy youth. The Queen was educated as a humanist and a Protestant. She was scarcely a patron of Renaissance artists, she was the focus of much of their activity in England during her long reign. During her reign, she was too careful with her money and was cautious when spending money on art, architecture, or poets.
Her court and her tastes inspired many of the creative efforts that mark her culturally brilliant reign. When Elizabeth first became queen the people of England were upset with her. One man wrote that the kingdom was exhausted and the noble class became poor. He also said that the people want good captains and soldiers. He describes how the people are out of order in England and that justice is not carried out.
The country of England is not stable with Elizabeth at throne. As her reign continues and her achievements grow Elizabeth’s reign was then said to be a success. The citizens of England said she ruled with tolerance and firmness and she showered them with affection, people loved their new queen! However, there was always a question on the table, when would the queen get married? Many said that governing was a mans job and she needed a husband to help with her reign.
The people assumed surely she would be married soon. Although Elizabeth’s reign was said to be glorious, she still had to deal with enemies along the way. Political and religious factions had strained the English society, and so Elizabeth knew she was vulnerable. She needed to gain the support of the nobles, the people who had enough political power to launch an uprising against her if they wished. Elizabeth also needed to win the support of the people. Lastly, Elizabeth had to assure her subjects that she would make England a united country and would govern as a wise monarch. Gender played an enormous part in Elizabeth’s reign.
As a woman, she faced pressure to acknowledge male authority in governance. Her advisers would expect her to marry immediately so that she could produce heir and provide the country with a king who would help make decisions. Despite what anyone said Elizabeth was determined to govern the country on her own.
If need be, she would seek the counsel of wise advisors. As problems with Spain grew, Elizabeth appeared before her troops at Tilbury wearing armor, and declared that although she was a weak woman, she had the “heart and stomach of a king” who would stand with them in the fight. This won the queen national affection.
Elizabeth thought war was a waste of money and usually kept her nation out of war and she did so for the first two decades while England was able to build economic and military power which brought stability and prosperity to the land but, eventually she sent men leading them into war with spain in 1585. Elizabeth went in the prison to rally her soldiers but, the soldiers were not needed. The English Navy defeated Spaniards and it was a glorious and defining moment in the English nationalConsciousness. It showed power of the English navy which caused a shift in global authority. Throughout Elizabeth’s reign England had experienced the greatest cultural renaissance in the country’s history. New commercial contacts with Europe and the rest of the world, fueled changes, innovations in poetry, painting, music, and architecture, western Europe became more literate.
By the end of Elizabeth’s reign the people of England developed a growing national pride. The citizens were prouder, wealthier, and more abundant, the population had doubled since 1520, and was now over four million. England’s pride and reputation grew when Elizabeth was queen. Elizabeth’s reign was a time of peace and prosperity, England began to declare itself internationally through sea power. The balance of power had changed and England now had allies in Scotland, France, and Netherlands. Elizabeth’s religious tolerance helped to minimize religious turmoil. The Elizabethan period was a Golden Age and was more peaceful and prosperous than it had been in a century. Trade flourished, the center of trade were in cities, there was growth in cities, not only in size but also importance.
Queen Elizabeth had such a wonderful impact on England that it can be said that she is the best monarch to ever rule England. All civilizations have a time period where they flourish and thrive, due to having a strong, intelligent leader to guide them. England was able to become the powerful, and successful country it is today thanks to Queen Elizabeth I’s triumphant and glorious reign. Elizabeth should be admired for all she has done for England because without her England would not be the same as it it today. It was said that the Elizabethan time period was a time of peace and prosperity, in other words, a Golden Age.
Elizabeth was the prime monarch to rule England. She had many qualities that modeled an absolute substantial ruler such as her being qualified greatly to become queen, people were delighted with her becoming queen, and how she positively impacted England in many ways. Elizabeth defeated the Spaniards, lead trade to flourish, aided English citizens to develop a growing national pride, and lastly, assisted in making England’s international reputation rise. Elizabeth was able to bring light into a country experiencing darkness.
Leaders today can learn from Queen Elizabeth in creating a developed and successful country. In today’s world women are held at lower standard and not looked upon as equal to men. However, with knowing Queen Elizabeth’s story and everything she has accomplished there is no reason why women should be looked at differently. Elizabeth displays that a strong independent woman doesn’t need a husband to be successful.
Elizabeth was the best monarch to rule England and accomplished that with only her experience and knowledge. Women should use Elizabeth as an example to show that women should be treated and seen as equals to men.