In 1553, Mary I became the Queen of England. Mary married King Philip of Spain in order to secure Catholicism in England. Elizabeth unwillingly became the leader of Mary’s opposition, the British Protestants of the time. She attempted to force her younger sister, Elizabeth, into attending Catholic mass in order to set an example for her followers. Elizabeth was raised Protestant and didn’t want to convert, so she avoided mass by complaining of stomach aches. A man named Thomas Wyatt sent a letter informing Elizabeth that he was planning a rebellion in order to prevent the marriage between the two royals.
When his coup failed, Mary accused Elizabeth of working with Wyatt to plan this attack. She sent Elizabeth to the tower her mother was imprisoned and killed in. As she walked up the slippery steps of the tower, she proclaimed, “I never thought to have come in here as a prisoner, and I pray you all bear me witness that I come in as no traitor but as true a woman to the Queen’s Majesty as any as is now living.” Several men bowed to her and called out to the princess, “God preserve your grace.” Elizabeth I was imprisoned in the tower for two months until she was freed. It was impossible to execute her since there was an extreme lack of proof of her involvement.
Elizabeth I was then taken to Woodstock Palace by Sir Henry. Sir Henry was her new guard at Woodstock Palace. She was kept here for about a year before Marry finally summoned her to court and declaring her innocence. During Mary’s reign, over 300 Protestants were burned to death for refusing conversion to Catholicism. In 1558, Mary I died with no children, so Elizabeth took the throne at age 25. One of Mary I’s loyal bishops stated, “The wolves be coming...
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...ess represents her high rank while her pearls represent virginity.
During a large Catholic rebellion in Northern England, Elizabeth sentenced over seven hundred Catholics to death, including her cousin Mary of Scots. This is another example of how she was often required to take extreme measures against her will. After resisting for nineteen years, her counsel had practically given her no other choice but to sign the papers in 1587.
By overcoming the obstacles presented to her by her subjects, society, and even her own family, Elizabeth I proved to the world that a woman was capable of successfully ruling one of the leading nations of the world. She was a bankrupt country on the brink of war and used her forty-five years of power to single-handedly change the fate of England. Elizabeth was one of the first women to do this, making her an idol for feminists to come.
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