Essay on Elizabeth I: A Woman in a Man's World

Essay on Elizabeth I: A Woman in a Man's World

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Gender was the leading cause of distress in the 1500’s: King Henry VIII wanted nothing more than to have a son, yet was “cursed” with the legacy of a sickly son, whom died before the age of 18 and two daughters, one of whom broke every convention of her gender. Queen Elizabeth I never married nor had children, yet can be considered one of England’s most successful monarchs. By choosing King James VI of Scotland as her heir, unbeknownst to her, she created the line that leads to the modern Queen of England, Elizabeth II. The question posed is then, how did Elizabeth I’s gender affect her rule?
It was the death of Edward VI, in 1553, that brought about the realization of Henry VIII’s nightmare of having no male heirs. Although Edward attempted to keep his sister’s out of the will (he did not want his Catholic oldest sister, Mary, to have control of the Protestant country he had inherited from his father) and appoint Jane Grey as heir. However Mary quickly declared herself queen at her manor Kenninghall on July 9, 15531. Jane’s feeble claim,passing over Mary, Elizabeth, Mary Stuart, and her mother, could have been declared Edward’s desire, however his council’s authority died along with him. Northumberland, the man behind Jane’s campaign, also did an about face at Cambridge, supporting Mary’s claim to the throne. This was due to his forces being wreaked by deserters. However Mary showed no mercy and he was executed in August as a traitor, along with Sir John Gates and Sir Thomas Palmer.
Mary went on to re-implement the Catholic faith in England, however not the Catholic faith before her father broke with Rome. Mary was attempting to go along with the Counter Reformation happening on the continent. This showed great th...


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... aging and dying. The suspicious queen started delegating her lords more and more responsibilities. The next thirty years were much more serious than the previous fifteen. Court life itself reflected shift.
Elizabeth aslo began enforcing greater fines for not attending church each week from a few shillings to several pounds. Though no documents in Elizabeth’s handwriting survives to tell whether she truly believed in the Protestant faith as staunchly as projected by her governmental ministers and policies, one thing is certain, when King Phillip attempted to invade England with the Spanish Armada, Elizabeth was further turned from Catholicism.
In 1588, when King Phillip II launched an attack that, logically, should have decimated the English fleet, known as the Spanish Armada, he justified it by citing the Papal Bull that excommunicated Elizabeth in 1570.

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Essay on Elizabeth I: A Woman in a Man's World

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