Before the death of Mary I. , she acknowledge her half sister Elizabeth as heir to the throne. On her accession Elizabeth I. - 1558 - 1603 - was 25 years old. After the death of her mother Anne Bolaine, she was removed from the Court.
Later after Edward VI. (her brother) was born she was taken to the Court again and was educated as a prince. She was given the best tutors and received the same education as the future king. She was much respected for her intelect and knowledge. During the reign of Mary I., Elizabeth was imprisoned in Tower for some time, under suspicion of conspiracy. In the first years of her reign, Elizabeth in the advice of Sir Henry, reestablished the supremacy of national Church of England. She passed an act which made her a governor od the Church as well as of the state but she did not claimed the titul of Supreme Head. She continued in the policy of compromise and tolerance, for both Catholics and Protestants.
As England was in a poor economic situation, Elizabeth tried to preserve peace, to save the country from the expense of war, both at home and abroad. At her Court, Eliz. surrounded herself with poets, musicians and dramatists, paid companies of actors performed before and thus provided entertainment for herself and for her noblemen. Her reign was the golden age of literature and drama, as well as for other arts. She was also called Virgin Queen.There were many European princess who longed to control England, as Philip II. of Spain and princess of Austria, France and Sweden.Eliz. kept them in hoping and thus managed the peace with their countries, she remained unmarried. Dissapointed by Eliz. hesitation and insulated by English marytime policy towards Spain, Philip II. started plotting with Scotland. He attempted to have Eliz. assassinate and replace by Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, who was next inline to the English throne and an ortodox Catholic. But in 1568 Mary was obliged to fly from Scotland before the rebelions Scottish Protestants. She asked for her refuge in England, however her refuge became her prison as she was involved in several attempts to murder Eliz. Finally, Eliz. signed Mary´s death warrant and had Mary executed in 1587. Elizabeth realized that the execution of Mary would mean war with Spain. For many years English seamen captured Spanish treasure ships on their way from South America.
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