Queen Elizabeth & Her Influences in the Elizabethan Era Alex Rosen 6th Period

Thesis: Queen Elizabeth was highly influential in her time and gave the English a greater seat in power through her use of explorers, overseas trading, and colonization attempts


Sir Francis Drake

Drake raided a Spanish settlement and made way to current day San Francisco. He named this area New Albion, "After raiding several Spanish settlements, Drake captured a Spanish ship, the Cacafuego, and stole its cargo of gold, jewels, and silver. Loaded with treasure, the Golden Hind sailed north along the Pacific coast of North America ... Drake repaired his ship near what is now San Francisco and named the area New Albion" (Gibbs). Drake was willing to go into great peril for his queen, and in turn gave her more money and power. He claimed land for the queen, spreading her influence over to a new continent.

Drake's explorations influenced much of the overseas knowledge and trade routes for England and caused an uproar from Spain, "Drake's voyage increased British interest in the Pacific Ocean and led to many trading ventures in eastern Asia. It broadened English knowledge about the world and paved the way for later explorations. Drake's raids on Spanish possessions angered King Philip II of Spain, and he demanded that Drake be punished. Elizabeth responded in 1581 by making Drake a knight" (Gibbs). Queen Elizabeth was very independent, she was slowly gaining enough power to combat one of the greatest forces at the time. Her statement challenged Spain, and could potentially change the world.

Sir Walter Raleigh

Raleigh believed the Inga would give Queen Elizabeth heaps of money, as well as men who could defend against other nations, "the chief city of Inga, he would yield to her Majesty by composition so many hundred thousand pounds yearly as should both defend all enemies abroad, and defray all expenses at home; and that he would besides pay a garrison of three or four thousand soldiers very royally to defend him against other nations" (Raleigh). This shows how Queen Elizabeth's use of explorers benefited her greatly. She made a lot of money through the explorers. Elizabeth was even able to gain control of a new people, broadening the reach of Elizabeth’s kingdom.

Expeditions to the New World

Raleigh made many expeditions to the Americas and he claimed a chunk of land Elizabeth, he named it Virginia, "Raleigh claimed the entire region stretching along the Atlantic Coast between present-day North Carolina and Maine for England. He named the new land Virginia after Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen" (Benson 101). Raleigh was able to claim a large sum of land for the queen again bolstering her power in the West. Even today the area is still known as Virginia.

Trading Companies

The East India company spanned over Denmark, France, the Netherlands and England. The British East India Company lasted over 260 years and heavily impacted the British Empire,"East India companies were private enterprises given charters by the governments of England, the Netherlands, Denmark, and France. The companies received special trading rights from their governments.The British East India Company had the longest life—nearly 260 years—and the greatest influence. It opened India and the Far East to English trade and eventually brought India into the British Empire"(Cafruny). The East India companies were widespread and powerful. The British having their own link in this enterprise gave Elizabeth a sort of power for overseas trade.

The English and French both attempted to gain power through Indian politics, but the French eventually invaded India head on. The British stopped them and their influence spread exponentially, " In the 1740's and 1750's, the French tried to win control of India, but the British, under Robert Clive, stopped them. French influence in India ended in the early 1800's, when the French were at war in Europe. British influence then spread quickly, without French interference"(Cafruny). This shows how England improved their power through the use of the East India trading company. Not only did the British gain power, but the French lost influence and power.

British taking over India

The British company bought the Danish company and controlled India using the East India Company, " Danish holdings in India were sold to the British company ... British government took control of India from the East India Company" (Cafruny). Elizabeth was able to take the entirety of India under her control. She gained massive influence, power, and wealth through her use of trading.

British control over India


After the English defeated Spain, John White was able to go back to Raonoke Island and resupply the colony there. When he arrived the colony was abandoned. Only remnants remained of the colony, "When White landed on Roanoke Island, no colonists came to greet him. Instead, he discovered that the colony had once again been abandoned. The fort had not been destroyed, but the houses were no longer standing. White could only find a few hints as to the colonists' whereabouts" (McGill). This ties in with why the English attempted the second colonization of Jamestown. It also shows the persistence of Queen Elizabeth to make a successful colony in the new world. She and the colonists gained knowledge what to and not to do.


From the failure of the first colony, the English learned from their mistakes and managed to create a successful colony of Jamestown, "Although the colony of Roanoke failed, it was not the last English attempt to settle the New World. In 1606, the Virginia Company established Jamestown, not far from Roanoke. It became the first successful British settlement" (McGill). This shows how Elizabeth's struggles to create a successful overseas colony eventually worked, and grew as well. But, she herself sadly died three years before this success. Without Elizabeth’s constant struggles to establish a colony, the US could possibly not even be here.

Spanish armada attacking England

The English and Spanish broke out into total war for fifteen years, but both sides could not make any headway. Both sides attempted invasions but very little battles had any progression. They were in a stalemate, "In fact Spain and England would continue to battle for fifteen more years, and England won very few victories. England's attempt to invade Spain and Portugal in April 1589 failed miserably. In 1596 Francis Drake and John Hawkins both died after being defeated by the Spanish in Puerto Rico. Spain did little better, however. In 1596 and 1597 Philip used his vast resources to send two fleets greater than the original Armada to invade England but they were, once again, scattered by storms. Until Elizabeth's death England and Spain remained in a stalemate" (Benson 121) Elizabeth was able to gain enough power and Strength to combat Spain, one of the strongest, if not the most powerful, nations at the time. Although they were at a stalemate, it showed that England was a force to be reckoned with. Elizabeth put the British on top, she made England one of the most powerful nations at the time.

Works Cited

Cafruny, Alan W. “East India Company.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.

Gibbs, Gary G. “Drake, Sir Francis.” World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016.

McGill, Sara Ann. Roanoke. E-book, Ipswick, Great Neck Publishing, 2009.

Raleigh, Walter. The Discovery of Guiana. E-book, Auckland, Floating Press, 2009.

Stock, Jennifer York, and Sonia Benson. “Elizabethan Explorers and Colonizers.” Elizabethan World Reference Library, by Sonia Benson et al., e-book, Detroit, Thomson Gale, 2007, pp. 85-102.

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