Good Queen Bess
Sam, Age 14, Moscow, Russia

Queen Elizabeth I was the first female queen of England. During her rule, she established a better government, encouraged the arts and education, and used key aspects for the benefit of her nation. Born on September 7, 1533, she was daughter to Henry VIII and his second wife. Although she was the daughter of a king, Elizabeth was considered not worthy to be in the king’s presence, and was sent away from his court.  It is believed that because of her father’s many marriages, Elizabeth was scared of the thought of marriage and so never married. At the age of twenty six, Queen Elizabeth became one of the most influential leaders in the history of England.

During her rein, she encouraged privateers to raid Spanish ships. Successfully destroying the Spanish armada, Queen Elizabeth led her country in bankrupting and defeating Spain. With Spain out of the picture, nothing stopped England from globalizing and expanding her borders. England had the most powerful navy from that point on. Elizabeth also paid for the destruction of Spanish boats and colonies in the Atlantic. With a strong admiration for explorations, Elizabeth paid for English explorers to go to the New World and India to explore there.

With the English people grumbling and complaining, Elizabeth used her creativity to change the government. She waited until the last minute to make decisions. She was often criticized for her moves.  Unlike her father, she made many decisions on her own and did not let Parliament rule the country. People respected her for her ability to rule the nation and expand its borders.

Under Queen Elizabeth’s rule, plays, operas, and music became more popular. She encouraged artists and hoped to open the door for more entertainment to be made.  During her reign drama and art flourished. “From the beginning of her reign, Elizabeth was always a major patron of the stage, and drama flourished under her support.”  ( Elizabeth also began paving the way for girls to go to school, something that was not typical of that era. Because of her strong hope to inspire the younger generation to become interested in the arts, not only did artists benefit from this, but also the people.

Elizabeth I was admired by all of Europe. She died peacefully on March 24, 1603. Many thought that she would be a weak queen, but they were proven wrong. She was respected by her people from the time she sat on the throne, to her last breath. It is believed by many that her last words were: “I may not be a lion, but I am a lion's cub, and I have a lion's heart.” She stopped religious uprisings, she changed her government, and she allowed people more freedom than any other monarch at that time. Her ability to think quickly, stay calm, and change her country, makes Queen Elizabeth I one of the best monarchs in the history of the world.

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