Who was Queen Elizabeth?
Elizabeth I, Queen of England, was also known as the ‘Virgin Queen “and “Good Queen Bess. “She was a powerful monarch, popular and intelligent. She was of independent mind and made her own decision. She did not marry and remained a spinster. She enriched and made both the crown and the country powerful and prepared a ground for an English period of imperial greatness.
During her reign, England became a more important power in Europe. Her political awareness led England to greater heights and achievements in various fields. Her reign was the period of English Revolution and revival of arts and literature. Elizabethan England became a nest of poets, dramatists and musician. Her splendid court was full men of geniuses.
Golden Age Period
The well-known sea-dogs like Sir Francis Drake (1540-96), Raleigh and sir John Hawkins, sailed round the world and defeated the so called’ Invincible Spanish Armada”. And at the center of all these great activities was the Queen herself.
She was a woman of great ambition, determination and extraordinary abilities. She was gifted with the power to inspire love and fear at the same time in her subjects. At times she could be cruel and capricious.
Her period can be called the golden age of the British history. She was the last of the Tudor kings and the daughters of King Henry VIII. Poets and countries paid her rich compliments and wrote faltering verse, songs and poems in her honour. They sang of her beauty, grace and power calling her, “Gloriana, the Virgin Queen”.
Controversy between Elizabeth and Philip
The defeat of the Spanish Armada reduced Spain’s importance as a naval power and Britain began to enjoy virtually a free hand overseas and in the world trade. The maritime exploits of Hawkins, Drake and Raleigh added a new feather to her crown.
The great poets and dramatists like Shakespeare, Marlow and Spencer were the jewels of her reign. She introduced many social and financial reforms and consolidated her colonial holdings. She introduced new currency and maintained a power balance between France and Spain and resisted all pressure successfully.
In 1587, Philip was the king of Spain; Relations between Elizabeth and Philip had begun amicably, but had deteriorated over the years as their different political and religious agendas clashed.
In 1588, they were enemies of the first rate. Philip had spoken of invading England and dethroning Elizabeth for years but the execution of the Queen of Scots gave him an added incentive. Now he could claim the English throne for himself and not for her.
In summer of 1588, she sent his mighty fleet against England. But by superior tactics, ship, design, and sheer good fortune, the English defeated them. Elizabeth’s popularly reached its zenith. It was also another personal triumph as she had proved that she, a woman, could lead in war as well as many man.
Elizabeth was the daughter of King Henry VIII by his second wife Anne Boleyn. She was born in 1533 at Greenwich, London. She aces ended the throne of England in 1558 after the death of Mary. She had to first imprison and then execute her cousin Marry, Queen of Scots because the Catholics in Britain considered her the rightful heir to the English throne and conspired with her to overthrow Elizabeth.
When she was excommunicated by the Pope of Rome, she approved anti-Catholic legislation and the Church of England became the country’s official church. She became the formal head of the Church of England.
She became more famous after her death at the age of 70 years because she left England as a very influential, powerful, and prosperous and rich in arts, literature, and architecture, learning. She was clever, cruel, capricious and cold but inspired people with hope and confidence so much so that they were ready to make any sacrifice for her.
She favored and protected the Protestants in her own country as well as the neighboring countries. She resisted all efforts of Catholic revival in England. Queen Elizabeth died on March 24, 1603 at Richmond Palace. She was really totally dedicated to her country.