Queen Elizabeth I was renowned as a Queen with the heart of a king. She was the first Queen, whose name became a synonym in her era of the reign. She was born in 1558 and died in 1603. Queen Elizabeth the first was born to King Henry VIII and Ms Anne Boleyn. She ascended to the throne when her father, the reigning king, died.
The Queen’s Character
Queen Elizabeth I exhibited deft political skills with a strong personal character. Her majesty was highly influential in building up England to become a true world power in the economy and politics. She managed to restore the national pride of her country. She had had many marriage proposals with a close brush with Robert Dudley, the earl of Leicester but the Queen neither married nor had children.
When she ascended to the throne, Elizabeth I inherited a tattered kingdom with high dissension between Protestants and Catholics even at the basic foundation of society. There are no more funds in the royal treasury, which has been usurped by Queen Mary and her advisors. Calais was taken away to leave England empty of continental possessions. France exhibited a strong hold on Scotland while Spain posed a strong threat of security to the kingdom. However, Elizabeth remained calm and composed to plan out strategies to save her kingdom. She made calculating moves to employ capable men of distinction to carry out her royal tasks.
Elizabeth was highly skilled in politics to be a master in political science. It was clear that she had her father’s trait in donning a supremacist view on the monarchy; however, she was wise not to antagonize Parliament directly to keep the peace and support of the members. Elizabeth was able to draw deep devotions from her advisors and council, although they were not quite able to accept her last minute decision characteristic. Unknown to them, it was a powerful tactic that she manipulated well to her full advantage to keep them loyal and unsure of her next move.
Many other factions also fall prey to Elizabeth’s cunning to secure the loyalty and support instead of being influenced or pressured by them. She managed all factions well to play them off one by one until they were cornered and desperate to seek her assistance for grievance resolution.
Her Order of Business
Elizabeth I quickly set out to eliminate impending religious unrest in her realm. She did not incline towards any form of fanaticism unlike her siblings, which put her in good stead in formulating a compromise that reinstated Henrician reforms. She had to adopt a pro-Protestant stance to ward off continental persecutions of Protestants by Orthodox Catholicism exhibited by France, Spain and Mary Queen of Scots.
Mary Queen of Scots gained high loyalty from Catholic factions to attempt several assassinations and overthrow plot on Elizabeth. With irrefutable evidence, Mary was executed in 1587 due to pressure on Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was forced into war when continental Protestants underwent persecution. An army was sent to aid French Huguenots and Protestant factions across the continent as well as in Scotland, where radical Catholic groups were seeking independence from Spain.
A strong confrontation arose in 1588 when Elizabeth declined a marriage proposal with Spain’s Philip II. The enraged Spanish king sent his powerful Armada to wage war against England. Elizabeth travelled personally to Tilbury, Essex to meet the English troops awaiting battle. She motivated the troops greatly with her speech of joining them in war, whether to live or die with them as she willingly lay down all for God, kingdom, people, honour and blood. Many may have viewed her as a frail woman but she claimed to have “the heart and stomach of a king”. She
was adamant that no prince or king should invade her realm. The English troops must have been highly motivated to support Elizabeth as history records a landslide victory with an unexpected stormy English Channel weather to their favour. The huge win set the stage for greater English imperial presence as a strong power in the world.
In the English history, there had not been many English monarchs like Elizabeth I who enjoyed great political power while holding tight the deep devotion of the entire English society.
c. Peter Balanck