Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Elizabeth I was Henry VIII’s daughter. She became Queen of England in 1558, when she was 25 years old. Elizabeth I was Protestant. With the help of the Parliament, she ended the catholic Pope’s authority over the English Church.
Elizabeth I was a very famous queen. A lot of important events happened while she was reigning. England became the most important Protestant power in Europe.
The English fleet became very powerful during Elizabeth’s time. She rebuilt the fleet, with 134 fighting ships and merchant vessels. In 1558, the English fleet won a great sea battle against the Spanish Armada.
During Elizabeth's reign there was the colonization of America. Sir Francis Drake was an expert navigator and a great explorer. Between 1577-80, he became the first Englishman to sail around the world. He fought many battles against the Spanish in the Pacific Ocean. He explored many parts of the New World on his ship, ‘The Golden Hind’. He also fought against the Spanish Armada. Sir Walter Raleigh was another great explorer during Elizabeth's time. He sailed to south-east coast of North America. There he set up an English colony. He named it Virginia, in honor of Elizabeth I, because she was called the Virgin queen too. In fact, Elizabeth I has never got married. Virginia is now a state of the United States. William Shakespeare, the famous English poet and playwright, lived during Elizabeth’s time. Shakespeare wrote and presented his plays in London. Elizabeth I liked and supported the theatre and the arts.
Some other important writers of this period were Marlowe, Spenser and Bacon. During this lapse also industry and commerce grew up. This was a great period of English history. Elizabeth I died in 1603.