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Elizabethan Age, or Elizabethan Era, was a period of English history during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, from 1558 to 1603. Elizabeth was a strong ruler who gained the loyalty and admiration of her subjects. The Elizabethan Age is sometimes called the Golden Age, because it was a time of great achievement in England. Elizabeth was born in 1533. She was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth became queen in 1558. During Elizabeth’s reign, she achieved a religious settlement that established a moderately Protestant Church of England as the country’s national church. She also long avoided war with Europe’s leading Roman Catholic nations. In 1588, the English navy defeated the powerful Spanish Armada, a fleet of armed ships that tried to invade England. English merchants and sailors then challenged the Spanish with greater confidence around the world. England’s economy prospered during the Elizabethan Age. Under Elizabeth, England advanced in many areas. Merchants formed a great trading company, the East India Company, in 1600. Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, and other English adventurers explored the Caribbean region and the coasts of North and South America. English literature flowered during the Elizabethan Age, with the work of such writers as Francis Bacon, Ben Jonson,Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, and William Shakespeare. Notable composers from the period included Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. Popular pleasures during the Elizabethan Age included archery, bowls (similar to bowling), and dancing. People liked music, and wealthy people were expected to play musical instruments on social occasions. The English also enjoyed dressing up for masques, pageants, and plays at Christmas and other special times. Elizabeth’s court became a center for musicians, scholars, and writers. Not everyone prospered during the Elizabethan Age. Strict rules regulated clothing, land ownership, marriage, and religion. In the latter half of Elizabeth’s reign, she actively persecuted Catholics. Some radical forms of Protestantism also were not tolerated. A number of people were executed for activity opposing the established church. By law, such action could be regarded as treason. In 1587, Elizabeth execute her cousin Mary Stuart, the former Catholic queen of Scotland. Mary had been the willing focus of several Catholic plots against Elizabeth. An Irish rebellion and a worsening economy darkened the final years of Elizabeth’s reign. The Elizabethan Age ended with Elizabeth’s death in 1603. Elizabeth was succeeded by James VI, the Protestant son of Mary Stuart.See also United Kingdom, History of the.Contributor:Jake Bumgardner, B.A., Author; Editor in Area Studies, World Book, Inc.MLA:Bumgardner, Jake. “Elizabethan Age.” World Book Student, World Book, 2018, Accessed 8 Jan. 2018.APA:Bumgardner, J. (2018). Elizabethan Age. In World Book Student. Retrieved from

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