Queen Elizabeth I Queen Elizabeth & Her Explorers (1558-1603) Princess Elizabeth, a slender, athletic, extremely intelligent young woman, recieved an ideal Rennaissance education in Latin, Greek and modern languages, in history and Scripture. As Henry VIIIs second eldest child, shunted back to third in line for the throne by the complex politics of the period, she also had a very practical education in political intrigue – and the fine art of political survival. She came in 1558 to the royal throne shaken by a decade of misgovernment, religious fanaticism, and economic problems. She proceeded to give England 45 years of strong government, moderate religious policies, and unexplained prosperity. Elizabeth was a prudent ruler. She avoided costly wars, however, supported the war with Ireland. The creation of this English colony (Ireland) led to the expansion of markets for English goods and the growth in imports of desirable commodities. Elizabeth sought for religious compromise rather than religious crusades, worked through her appointed ministers, and dealt firmly with an increasingly vocal Parliament. She was well served by lifelong royal counselors such as Lord Treasurer Burghley and veteran warriors such as Francis Drake. She was less well supported by dashing younger cavaliers such as the Earl of Essex. Queen Elizabeth supported colonization ventures only if they did not detract from what she believed was the primary purpose of her government: to defend the nation and its territory and to consolidate royal authority within the realm. She was much more concerned with with preventing invasions of Scotland and Ireland and protecting the English Channel against the Armada, the Spanish Fleet that threatened English ships on the high seas. But her governments hesitance ebbed after the English gained access to the seas with their seemingly miraculous victory over the Spanish i…

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