The Brilliance of the Golden Age, Elizabethan Era Sarah Ganzon

The Elizabethan Era during the time of the Tudors, marked the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603)as one of the most successful eras in history. It is known as the "Golden Age" and it has led England to gain back stability, creativity and success after a time of unrest and war, leaving its best legacies that are still apparent today. It has led Great Britain to what it is today as one of the powerful economic powers of our time. The success of the Elizabethan Era can be traced to the success of Queen Elizabeth's reign and through their historic activities, social structure and rich cultural awakening.

This paintings show people from the Elizabethan Era crowding in Shakespeare's theater.

One of the key factors that is known during the Elizabethan Era was Queen Elizabeth's admiration and love of the arts. This resulted to the flourish of art culture in England. During the time, English Renaissance was born and created the growth of poetry, music, literature among other arts. The most popular art type that left "the most enduring legacy" was drama. This led to bringing back creativity into England, which was one of the key factors into extinguishing The Great Depression that occured just before her reign. Most of the plays written during this era are considered classics known today.

This is a drawing of a ship going to other countries to trade

Another social aspect that most people participated in were trading goods with others or with other parts of the world. During this era, merchants formed a "great trading company", the East India Company, in 1600. Trading with other countries helped Great Britain bounce back to a better society by giving un-needed goods to Asia, with Asian goods given back to Great Britain that were considered valuable. It was incredably important to trade over seas as well, so it was possible to discover other parts of the world. Many traders who were looking for Asia and landed in other parts of the world, made it possible to learn about other cultures and expand England's colonies.

Other popular activities that people often enjoyed were sports developed back in this era. Elizabethans would play sports that include "fencing, tournaments, leisure and entertainment, games, gambling, bear & bull baiting, hunting and hawking" among other festivities. The Elizabethan Era had a variety of sports that would be enjoyable, which brought back joy after a depression in Great Britain. The Elizabethans were known to have fun!

This painting depicts daily Elizabethans and their daily lifestyle

Daily life in the Elizabethan Era was quite unique compared to present time. The queen was believed to be "God's representation here on Earth. They also believed that God had formed these social ranks and had showered blessings on each rank." Hierarchy was very important and Elizabethans were placed in the society "according to status and location", with the family's wealth determining their place in society. The social structure were in this order, from the monarch, nobles, gentry, merchants, yeomanry, and lastly the laborers.

The monarch was Queen Elizabeth I, who had all the responisbility of ruling her kingdom. Unlike modern times where monarch's are more of figureheads linked by tradition, Queen Elizabeth I took a more active part as she reigned over all of England. She was the ultimate decider and was able to determine issues of national religion, when Parliament would sit and what it would discuss, decisions of war with other kingdoms, welfare of the citizens among others. Although she had various counselors and officials to aid her rule, mainly the nobles, all laws would require her consent to pass. After the monarchy, were the Elizabethan Nobles. This class consisted of men from the greatest and wealthiest families in the land. The oldest families of Elizabethan nobles were generally Catholics, while the new nobles of the era were created during the time when England shifted to the new Protestant religion. Even within the nobility, there was ranking. Within their own class, people can distinguish the importance of the noble by the way he or she was dressed. The third rank in the social hierarchy of the Elizabethan era was the Gentry. This group were the wealthy Aristocrats who owned small parts of land and households. The gentry class consisted of knights, squires, gentlemen, and gentlewomen. They were also treated to be one of the top classes as well. This social class was considered to be one of the most important as Queen Elizabeth took reign, as more people became wealthy due to citizens being able to become land owners and would attain the title of being an "aristocrat". The next social classes were merchants and yeomanry, who were known as the middle class. These social classes were not poor, they had enough money to live simply and they also could afford to be land owners. The main growth during this era was mainly from this social class. Lastly, the lowest social class were the laborers. This consisted of peasants, servants, laborers and other poor people who had no land of their own and worked for other people in the structure.

Women during the Elizabethan Era were not allowed to make decisions for themselves. According to the Elizabethan Era, women had to be "dependent on their male relatives to support them." Women were to be servants to their husbands, depending on the class. Often, they were typically married by their teen years and thier husbands were chosen by their father. This provided evidence that women never had a say in most of their lives and were dictated by their husbands. Sometimes, husbands chose to not help their wives educate themselves so they could gain more control over them.

Education helped extinguish the depression. Queen Elizabeth I created "an extensive educational system" that increased the rate of individuals who can read and write. Education rates during the Elizabethan Era increased after Queen Elizabeth took reign from one-fifth of the population could sign their own names to having one third of the population being literate. This is another piece of evidence that reveals how Queen Elizabeth's reign had a positive impact to the importance of education. She required many to be thaught to read, write, and be literate. This helped people reach their full potential, which led to more art involoved activities such as new music, famous artisits, famous plays, and famous literary figures who are well known to this day.

Religion played an important part in this era. During Elizabeth’s reign, she "achieved a religious settlement that established a moderately Protestant Church of England as the country’s national church" as her views agreed with the protestant religion. When Queen Elizabeth I took reign, she planned to continue what her sister was known for, persecuting protestants. Queen Elizabeth was similar to her sister but instead she "began to persecute remaining Catholics as harshly as her sister had persecuted Protestants" (United Kingdom, the history of the) due to her changed views in religion. Instead of carrying on a legacy a family member started when they ruled, she boldly decided to take matters into her own hands and decided how she wanted to rule Great Britain.

This painting is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, the monarch behind the Elizabethan era.

The Elizabethan period known as the "Golden Age" was one of the successful eras that has made an important mark in history. During her 45 year reign, Queen Elizabeth I was able to lead England to a time of political stability, exploration, great achievements and creativity in which art flourished. This time aslo provided a respite from the division England endured from the Reformation Movement while also growing as a Europen power as new explorations resulting in new colonies in the New World. This gained the people's loyalty and respect for Queen Elizabeth I and these factors contributed to a rising sense of pride in the English nation.

During Elizabeth’s reign, she "achieved a religious settlement that established a moderately Protestant Church of England as the country’s national church." because of her views agreeing with the protestant religion. When Queen Elizabeth I took reign, she planned to continue what her sister was known for, persecuting protestants. Queen Elizabeth was similar to her sister but instead she "began to persecute remaining Catholics as harshly as her sister had persecuted Protestants." (United Kingdom, the history of the) due to her changed views in religion. Instead of carrying on a legacy a family member started when they ruled, she decided to take matters into her own hands and decided how she wanted to rule Great Britain. Her reign and laws certainly helped Great Britain tremndously, leaving it to be one of the great eras of all time.

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Created with images by derwiki - "london parliament england"

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