Queen Elizabeth

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Queen Elizabeth I was the most remarkable 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, and as Aninna Jokinen states in her article, “Elizabeth lost all heredity to the throne” (Jokinen 1). 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 Greenblatt says, “restored religious order in England” (Greenblatt 15). Greenblatt continues to say that “under Elizabeth I, religion and nationality were almost the same” (Greenblatt 19). 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 (Greenblatt 15). Although she had an excellent board of advisors, she did not allow them to dominate her decisions (Alchin 1). 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” (Alchin 1). Famous writers such as Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser,... ... middle of paper ... ...beth had survived through all this turmoil is very remarkable. Queen Elizabeth I had truly earned the love and devotion of her people. Before she was crowned, most people did not believe that a woman could take on the responsibility of ruling a country; Elizabeth proved them very wrong. Her accession day, November 16, even became a national holiday (Havelin 65). “Queen Elizabeth I developed her image of the devoted ruler who courted her subjects’ opinions and as Gloriana, the goddess around whom England revolved” (Greenblatt 15). Queen Elizabeth I was the strongest monarch in English history. Throughout her reign she proved that she really did care about her country and the people in it. She successful in keeping the country together and safe, as many before her had failed to do. Even after four-hundred years, the people of England still love and remember her.

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