In a time period of what was considered England's Golden Age, there was a sole ruler who has been described as one of the greatest English monarchs. This monarch was none other than Queen Elizabeth I. England's Golden Age was also known as the Elizabethan Era and for a good reason. Queen Elizabeth I was responsible for England's flourishment during the the mid 1500's to early 1600's. Elizabeth's life was characterized into three periods: before her reign, during reign, and after reign.
Before Her Reign as Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth's early life was filled with many troubles and hardships, however there were many key events that eventually helped her in her rise to the crown and in her success as queen.
Queen Elizabeth I was born in Greenwich, England to Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn. As a girl she was not intentionally supposed to succeed the throne and to Henry VIII, "the birth of a second daughter was a bitter disappointment that dangerously weakened the new queen’s position,"(Greenblatt). Anne Boleyn was eventually beheaded when Elizabeth was at the age of 3 and the effects of this on her were unknown. Even though Elizabeth was not the ideal born ruler this could be seen as what drove her to be a great ruler.
Henry VIII married a third wife named Jane Seymour who birthed him a son, Edward. Although he would be named heir due to him being the only male successor, she still received education that was usually reserved for male heirs. Her education course consisted of classical languages, history, rhetoric, and moral philosophy. Her tutor even wrote that "'Her mind has no womanly weakness...'"(Greenblatt) In spite of being a woman Elizabeth did appear as such when it came to her education. Elizabeth was now considered third in line for the throne with Edward being first and her sister Mary being second. In spite of this, she still obtained the education usually given to male heirs. This helped her all throughout her reign.
Being third in line, it was unlikely for her to take the throne, but in the end she did. After the death of Edward and Queen Mary I she was "proclaimed Queen of England"(Alchin) on January 13, 1559. Her ascension to the throne was the beginning of her reign as queen and became one of the key moments of her life.
accomplishments and feats During her reign
During her reign, she had a wide variety of accomplishments especially when it came to art, trade, theater, literature, science, and others.
During Elizabeth's time many famous poets, playwrights and explorers emerged. For instance people such as "William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh...Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir John Hawkins, Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Richard Greenville,"(Alchin) arose during her time. Many of these people helped in making England's Golden Age come about with their creations and discoveries.
Although Elizabeth was a woman she still became a great ruler recognized all throughout England. It even states that, "Queen Elizabeth achieved recognition for England as a leading power in Europe and lead England as a woman, in what was very much a man's World. She did this with courage, intelligence and loyalty to her friends"(Alchin). Elizabeth being a woman was underestimated by her critics and enemies. However, in spite of that she came out on top as one of England's greatest rulers.
Under Elizabeth, England advanced in many areas of life. She was able to form a major merchant company and incorporate popular pleasures into her kingdom. In fact, because she did such things her court became a "center for musicians, scholars, and writers"(Bumgardner). With Elizabeth the East India Company was formed and many things such as music, dance, archery, pageants, etc flourished in her kingdom. She was able to give the people entertainment and fun during her reign all while balancing the problems going on around her.