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England’s Finest Golden Age

By: Andrew Yao

Queen Elizabeth I, a selfless queen, carried England through hardships and led her people to a golden age. Elizabeth I, born on September 7th, 1533, was crowned at age 25. I believe the Elizabethan Era was a golden age because people experienced immense progress, and the peaceful environment she created.

The Elizabethan era was a time of immense progress in exploration, culture, politics, and economics. Britain, a significant European power, engaged in many voyages of discovery. The “discovery” of the New World opened up further opportunities for exploration. England sought faster, more economical routes to the eastern part of the world as well as resources in the Americas. For example, Sir Walter Raleigh set sail to Roanoke Island, which later became the first (unsuccessful) colony in the New World. Also, during the Elizabethan era, the English Renaissance was a time of immense progress in culture. The Renaissance was an era of culture evolution, starting in the 15th century. The Renaissance was a summit of poetry, literature, music, and arts. People like William Shakespeare and Philip Sydney were highly influential during this time. Throughout the Elizabethan era, England flourished politically and economically, which lead to them becoming more powerful. Queen Elizabeth I was the sovereign of England, meaning she had authority and rule. The Elizabethan government operated on a hierarchical system. Queen Elizabeth I introduced many laws including the 1588 Act of Supremacy, the 1588 Act of Uniformity, and the 1588 Treason Act.

Queen Elizabeth I is often regarded by people today as the Peacemaker of England. She is most known for defeating the Spanish fleet in a brutal battle off the coast of Gravelines, France. This later lead to England’s victory in their war against Spain. Spain sought to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and her establishment of Protestantism in England. Thousands of warriors either died or got wounded. Additionally, Elizabeth I was responsible for helping to enforce the religious settlement. When she took the throne, England faced significant differences over religion. For centuries, Catholicism was the religion of England. However, there were many citizens that had become Protestant. They were rejecting Catholic traditions and wanted a Protestant ruler on the throne. In turn, the Catholics wanted to protect their religion and way of life. Queen Elizabeth I helped resolve some of these differences. She helped establish the Protestant Church of England and appointed herself as the head. She declared that religious books and services must be in English rather than Latin, also known as the language of the Catholic Church. Protestantism became the official religion of England, but Elizabeth I preserved certain Catholic traditions, such as the use of candles and crucifixes in worship services. Lastly, when Elizabeth I eventually died in March 1603, her advisors ensured a peaceful transition of the throne to her heir, Jing James VI. Unlike previous reigns, there will be no protests or plots.

Queen Elizabeth was among the greatest monarchs of England. She is the reason why England went through immense progress and peace. Elizabeth I conquered lands, and prevented invasions. That is why I think the Elizabethan Era was a golden age.

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