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Ch. 17 RDNG STUDY GDE.—Renaissance
TERMS AND NAMES Renaissance Period of rebirth of art and learning in Europe lasting from about 1300 to 1600 Renaissance begin in Italy? humanism Focus on human potential and The years 1300 to 1600 saw a rebirth of learning and culture in achievements Europe called the Renaissance. This rebirth spread north from secular Concerned with worldly rather than Italy. It began there for three reasons. First, Italy had several spiritual matters important cities. Cities were places where people exchanged ideas. patrons People who financially supported artists Second, these cities included a class of merchants and bankers perspective Art technique that recreates three who were becoming wealthy and powerful. This class strongly dimensions believed in the idea of individual achievement. Third, Italian vernacular Use of native language instead of artists and scholars were inspired by the ruined buildings and classical Latin other reminders of classical Rome. ANSWERS ON ANSWER SHEET Utopia An ideal place 1. What are three reasons why the Renaissance began in Italy? William Shakespeare Famous Renaiss. writer Johann Gutenberg German craftsman who New Values--What new values did people hold? developed the printing press The new interest in the classical past led to an important value in indulgence Release from punishment due for sin Renaissance culture—humanism. This was a deep interest in Reformation 1500s movt. for religious reform, what people have already achieved as well as what they could leading to the founding of new Christian achieve in the future. Scholars did not try to connect classical churches writings to Christian teaching. Instead, they tried to understand Lutheran Member of a Protestant church them on their own terms. founded on the teachings of Martin Luther In the Middle Ages, the emphasis had been mostly on spiritual Protestant Member of a Christian church values. Renaissance thinkers stressed secular ideas. These ideas founded on the principles of the Reformation centered on the things of the world. One way that powerful or Peace of Augsburg Agreement in 1555 declaring wealthy people showed this interest in worldly things was by that the religion of each German state would be paying artists, writers, and musicians to create beautiful works of decided by its ruler art. Wealthy people who supported artists were known as patrons. annul Cancel or put an end to People tried to show that they could master many fields of study Anglican Relating to the Church of England or work. Someone who succeeded in many fields was admired predestination Doctrine that God has decided all greatly. The artist Leonardo da Vinci was an example of this ideal. things beforehand, including who will be saved Calvinism Religious teachings based on the He was a painter, a scientist, and an inventor. Men were expected ideas of the reformer John Calvin to be charming, witty, well educated, well mannered, athletic, and theocracy Govt. controlled by religious leaders self- controlled. Women were expected to have many Presbyterian Member of a Protestant church accomplishments, too, but were not to show them in public. governed by elders and founded by John Knox 2. What are secular ideas? ANSWERS ON ANSWER SHEET Anabaptist Member of a Protestant group during The Renaissance Revolutionizes Art--How did art the Reformation who believed only adults should change during the Renaissance? be baptized. Also believed that church and state Renaissance artists sometimes used new methods. Sculptors made should be separate figures more realistic than those from the Middle Ages. Painters Catholic Reformation 1500s Catholic reform used perspective to create the illusion that their paintings were movement in response to Protestant Reformation three-dimensional. The subject of artwork changed Jesuits Members of the Society of Jesus, a also. Art in the Middle Ages was mostly religious. Renaissance Roman Catholic religious order founded by artists reproduced other views of life. Michelangelo showed great Ignatius of Loyola Council of Trent Meeting of Roman Catholic skill as an architect, a sculptor, and a painter. leaders rule on doctrines criticized 3. How did the methods and subjects in art change? WRITE to ANSWERS on ANSWER SHEETby the Protestant reformers Renaissance Writers Change Literature--How did literature change during the Renaissance? SECTION 1
Italy’s Advantages--Why did the
Renaissance writers also achieved greatness. Several wrote in the vernacular. This means they wrote in their native languages. It was a change from the Middle Ages, when most writing was done in Latin. Writers also changed their subject matter. They began to express their own thoughts and feelings. Sometimes they gave a detailed look at an individual. Dante and others wrote poetry, letters, and stories that were more realistic. Niccoló Machiavelli took a new approach to under- standing government. He focused on telling rulers how to expand their power. He believed rulers should do what was politically effective, even if it was not morally right. 4. What did Renaissance writers write about? WRITE ANSWERS on ANSWER SHEET
The Northern Renaissance Begins--Why was the time right for the northern Renaissance to begin?
By 1450, the bubonic plague had ended in northern Europe. Also, the Hundred Years’ War between France and England was ending. This allowed new ideas from Italy to spread to northern Europe. They were quickly adopted. Here, too, rulers and merchants used their money to sponsor artists. But the northern Renaissance had a difference. Educated people combined classical learning with interest in religious ideas. ANSWERS ON ANSWER SHEET 1. How was the northern Renaissance different from the Renaissance in Italy?
Artistic Ideas Spread--What ideas about art developed in northern Europe? The new ideas of Italian art moved to the north, where artists began to use them. Major artists appeared in parts of Germany, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Dürer painted religious subjects and realistic landscapes. Holbein, Van Eyck, and Bruegel painted lifelike portraits and scenes of peasant life. They revealed much about the times. They began to use oil-based paints. Oils became very popular, and their use spread to Italy. ANSWERS ON ANSWER SHEET 2. What did northern European artists paint?
Northern Writers Try to Reform Society; The Elizabethan Age--What did northern writers write? Writers of the northern Renaissance combined humanism with a deep Christian faith. They urged reforms in the Church. They tried to make people more devoted to God. They also wanted society to be fairer. In England, Thomas More wrote a book about Utopia, an imaginary ideal society where greed, war, and conflict do not exist. William Shakespeare is often called the greatest playwright of all time. His plays showed a brilliant command of the English language. They also show a deep understanding of people and how they interact with one another. ANSWERS ON ANSWER SHEET 3. Who were two of the most famous writers of the northern Renaissance?
Printing Spreads Renaissance Ideas; The Legacy of the Renaissance--Why was the printing press such an important development? One reason that learning spread so rapidly during the Renaissance was the invention of movable type. The Chinese had invented the process of carving characters onto wooden blocks. They then arranged them in words, inked the blocks, and pressed them against paper to print pages. In 1440, a German, Johann Gutenberg, used this same practice to invent his printing press. He produced his first book—the Gutenberg Bible—in 1455 on this press. The technology then spread rapidly. By 1500, presses in Europe had printed nearly 10 million books. Printing made it easier to make many copies of a book. As a result, written works became available far and wide. Books were printed in English, French, Spanish, Italian, or German. More people began to read. The Bible was a popular book. After reading the Bible, some people formed new ideas about Christianity. These ideas were different from the official teachings of the Church. The Renaissance prompted changes in both art and society. Artists and writers portrayed people in more realistic ways and celebrated individual achievement. In a larger sense, the Renaissance opened up a world of new ideas to people and led them to examine and question things more closely. ANSWERS ON 4. What effects did the printing press have on northern European life? ANSWER SHEET SECTION 3 Causes of the Reformation--Why was the Church criticized? By 1500, the influence of the Church on the lives of people had weakened. Some people resented paying taxes to support the Church in Rome. Others sharply criticized the Church for some of its practices. Popes seemed more concerned with luxury and political power than with spiritual matters. The lower clergy had faults, too. Many local priests lacked education and were not able to teach people. Some lived immoral lives. Reformers urged the Church to change its ways to become more spiritual and humble. Christian humanists such as Erasmus and Thomas More added their voices to calls for change. In the early 1500s, the calls grew louder. ANSWERS ON 1. What kinds of changes did Church critics want to make? ANSWER SHEET
Luther Challenges the Church----How did the Reformation begin?
In 1517, a German monk named Martin Luther protested the actions of a Church official. That person was selling indulgences. An indulgence was a kind of forgiveness. By paying money to the Church, people thought they could win salvation. Luther challenged this practice and others. He posted a written protest on the door of a castle church. His words were printed and spread throughout Germany. This was the beginning of the Reformation, a movement for reform that led to the founding of new Christian churches. ANSWERS ON ANSWER SHEET 2. What role did Martin Luther play in the Reformation?
The Response to Luther--What effects did Luther’s protest have? Pope Leo X punished Luther for his views, but he refused to change them. Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, a strong Catholic, called Luther an outlaw. Luther’s books were burned. But it was too late. Many of his ideas were already being practiced. The Lutheran Church started around 1522. In 1524, peasants in Germany hoped to use Luther’s ideas about Christian freedom to change society. They demanded an end to serfdom—a condition like slavery. When it was not granted, they revolted. Luther disagreed with this revolt. German princes killed thousands in putting the revolt down. Some nobles supported Luther’s ideas. They saw a chance to weaken the emperor’s power over them. Other German princes joined forces against Luther’s supporters. They signed an agreement to remain loyal to the pope and the emperor. Supporters of Luther’s ideas protested this agreement. They were called the Protestants. Eventually, the term Protestant meant Christians who
belonged to non-Catholic churches. War broke out between Catholic and Protestant forces in Germany. It finally ended in 1555 with the Peace of Augsburg. This treaty granted each prince the right to decide whether his subjects would be Catholic or Protestant. ANSWERS ON ANSWER SHEET 3. Why did Luther’s ideas lead to war?
England Becomes Protestant--How did England become Protestant? The Catholic Church faced another challenge to its power in England. Henry VIII, the king, was married to a Spanish princess. She gave birth to a daughter. England had never had a female ruler. Henry feared a civil war would start if he had no son. He believed his wife was too old to have another child. He tried to get the pope to annul, or put an end to, the marriage so he could remarry. The pope refused. To remarry, Henry had to get out of the Catholic church. In 1534, Henry had Parliament pass laws that created the Church of England. These laws made the king or queen, not the pope, head of the Church of England. Henry no longer had to obey the pope. Henry remarried five times. His only son was from his third wife. One of Henry’s daughters, Elizabeth, became queen in 1558. She finished creating a separate English church. The new church was called Anglican. It had some practices that would appeal to both Protestants and Catholics. In this way, Elizabeth hoped to end religious conflict. ANSWERS ON ANSWER SHEET 4. What role did Henry VIII play in creating the Church of England?
Calvin Continues the Reformation--What did Calvin teach?
Protestantism arose elsewhere in the 1530s. This time under the leadership of John Calvin. Calvin wrote an important book that gave structure to Protestant beliefs. He taught that people are sinful by nature. He also taught predestination, the idea that God determines beforehand who will be saved. The religion based on Calvin’s teachings is called Calvinism. Calvin created a theocracy in Geneva, Switzerland. It was government run by religious leaders. It had strict rules of behavior that required people to live religious lives. Anyone who preached different religious ideas might be burned at the stake. A preacher named John Knox was impressed by Calvin’s high moral ideals. Knox put these ideas into practice in Scotland. This was beginning of the Presbyterian Church. Others in Holland, France, and Switzerland adopted Calvin’s ideas as well. In France, his followers were called Huguenots. Conflict between them and Catholics often turned into violence. In 1572, mobs killed about 12,000 Huguenots. ANSWERS ON ANSWER SHEET 1. What is Calvinism?
Other Protestant Reformers—What other reformers were important during the Reformation? Another new Protestant group was the Anabaptists. They preached that people should be baptized into the faith as adults. Anabaptists also taught that the church and state should be separate. In addition, they refused to fight in wars. Many women played key roles in the Reformation. They included Marguerite of Navarre. She protected John Calvin from being killed for his beliefs. Katherina von Bora was the wife of Martin Luther. She supported an equal role for women in marriage. 2. Who were two women who played important roles in the Reformation? ANSWERS ON ANSWER SHEET
The Catholic Reformation--What was the Catholic Reformation?
Protestant churches grew all over Europe. To keep Catholic believers loyal, the Catholic Church took steps to change itself. This was called the Catholic Reformation. One Catholic reformer was a Spanish noble named Ignatius. He founded a new group in the Church based on deep devotion to Jesus. Members of this group, called the Jesuits, started schools across Europe. They sent missionaries to convert people to Catholicism. In addition, they tried to stop the spread of Protestant faiths in Europe. Two popes of the 1500s helped bring about changes in the Church. Pope Paul III set up a kind of court called the Inquisition. It was charged with finding, trying, and punishing people who broke the rules of the Church. He also called a meeting of church leaders, the Council of Trent. The council, which met in 1545, passed these doctrines:
• the Church’s interpretation of the Bible was final • Christians needed good works as well as faith to win salvation • the Bible and the Church had equal authority in setting out Christian beliefs • indulgences were valid expressions of faith The next pope, Paul IV, put these doctrines into practice. These actions helped revive the Church. They also allowed it to survive the challenge of the Protestants. 3. What happened at the Council of Trent?
ANSWERS ON ANSWER SHEET The Legacy of the Reformation---What was the legacy of the Reformation? The Reformation had an enduring impact on society. In the wake of the movement, Protestant churches flourished. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church became more unified as a result of the reforms started at the Council of Trent. The Reformation caused an overall decline in the authority of the church. As a result, individual monarchs and states gained greater power. This in turn led to the development of modern nation-states. Women thought that their status in society might improve as a result of the Reformation. However, this did not happen. Women were still mainly limited to the concerns of home and family. 4. What was the result of the declining authority of the church? ANSWERS ON ANSWER SHEET
Pico della Mirandola’s ‘Oration on the Dignity of Man’ Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494) in his youth visited the chief Italian and French universities. In 1486 he issued a challenge to all comers to debate on any of nine hundred theses at Rome, but the debate was forbidden by the pope on the score of the heretical tendency of some of these theses, and Pico suffered persecution until Alexander VI in 1493 absolved him from heresy. He was the last of the Schoolmen and his works are a bewildering compound of mysticism and recondite knowledge. A humanist as well as a theologian, he wrote various Latin epistles and elegies and a series of sonnets. His philosophical writings include Heptaplus and De Hominis Dignitate, from which the following selection is taken.
*** I have read in the records of the Arabians, reverend Fathers, that Abdala the Saracen, when questioned as to what on this stage of the world, as it were, could be seen most worthy of wonder, replied: "There is nothing to be seen more wonderful than man." In agreement with this opinion is the saying of Hermes Trismegistus: "A great miracle, Asclepius, is man." But when I weighed the reason for these maxims, the many grounds for the excellence of human nature reported by many men failed to satisfy me -- that man is the intermediary between creatures, the intimate of the gods, the king of the lower beings, by the acuteness of his senses, by the discernment of his reason, and by the light of his intelligence the interpreter of nature, the interval between fixed eternity and fleeting time, and (as the Persians say), the bond, nay, rather, the marriage song of the world, on David's testimony but little lower than the angels. Admittedly great though these reasons be, they are not the principal grounds, that is, those which may rightfully claim for themselves the privilege of the highest admiration. For why should we not admire more the angels themselves and the blessed choirs of heaven? At last it seems to me I have come to understand why man is the most fortunate of creatures and consequently worthy of all admiration and what precisely is that rank which is his lot in the universal chain of Being -- a rank to be envied not only by brutes but even by the stars and by minds beyond this world. It is a matter past faith and a wondrous one. Why should it not be? For it is on this very account that man is rightly called and judged a great miracle and a wonderful creature indeed . . . . . . God the Father, the supreme Architect, had already built this cosmic home we behold, the most sacred temple of His godhead, by the laws of His mysterious wisdom. The region above the heavens He had adorned with Intelligences, the heavenly spheres He had quickened with eternal souls, and the excrementary and filthy parts of the lower world He had filled with a multitude of animals of every kind. But, when the work was finished, the Craftsman kept wishing that there were someone to ponder the plan of so great a work, to love its beauty, and to wonder at its vastness. Therefore, when everything was done (as Moses and Timaeus bear witness), He finally took thought concerning the creation of man. But there was not among His archetypes that from which He could fashion a new offspring, nor was there in His treasure houses anything which He might bestow on His new son as an inheritance, nor was there in the seats of all the world a place where the latter might sit to contemplate the universe. All was now complete: all things had been assigned to the highest, the middle, and the lowest orders. But in its final creation it was not the part of the Father's power to fail as though exhausted. It was not the part of His wisdom to waver in a needful matter through poverty of counsel. It was not the part of His kindly love that he who was to praise God's divine generosity in regard to others should be compelled to condemn it in regard to himself. At last the best of artisans ordained that the creature to whom He had been able to give nothing proper to himself should have joint possession of whatever had been peculiar to each of the different kinds of being. He therefore took man as a creature of indeterminate nature and, assigning him a place in the middle of the world, addressed him thus: "Neither a fixed abode nor a form that is thine alone nor any function peculiar to thyself have we given thee, Adam, to the end that according to thy longing and according to thy judgment thou mayest have and possess what abode, what form, and what functions thou thyself shalt desire. The nature of all other beings is limited and constrained within the bounds of laws prescribed by Us. Thou, constrained by no limits, in accordance with thine own free will, in whose hand We have placed thee, shalt ordain for thyself the limits of thy nature. We have set thee at the world's center that thou mayest from thence more easily observe whatever is in the world. We have made thee neither of heaven nor of earth, neither mortal nor immortal, so that with freedom of choice and with honor, as though the maker and molder of thyself, thou mayest fashion thyself in whatever shape thou shalt prefer. Thou shalt have the power to degenerate into the lower forms of life, which are brutish. Thou shalt have the power, out of thy soul's judgment, to be reborn into the higher forms, which are divine." O supreme generosity of God the Father, O highest and most marvelous felicity of man! To him it is granted to have whatever he chooses, to be whatever he wills. Beasts as soon as they are born (so says Lucilius) bring with them from their mother's womb all they will ever possess. Spiritual beings, either from the beginning or soon thereafter, become what they are to be for ever and ever. On man when he came into life the Father conferred the seeds of all kinds and the germs of every way of life. Whatever seeds each man cultivates will grow to maturity and bear in him their own fruit. If they be vegetative, he will be like a plant. If sensitive, he will become brutish. If rational, he will grow into a heavenly being. If intellectual, he will be an angel and the Son of God. And if, happy in the lot of no created thing, he withdraws into the center of his own unity, his spirit, made one with God, in the solitary darkness of God, who is set above all things, shall surpass them all. [Ernst Cassirer, Paul Oskar Kristeller and John H. Randall, eds., The Renaissance Philosophy of Man (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948), pp. 223-225.]
SECTION 1 1. What are three reasons why the Renaissance began in Italy?
2. What are secular ideas?
3. How did the methods and subjects in art change?
About Pico della Mirandola’s ‘Oration on the Dignity of Man’, after reading the ‘Oration’, 1. Pick 2 vocab. items from the TERMS AND NAMES on the front of the packet. that relate to either Pico della Mirandola, or what he says in the ‘Oration’. Explain why/how those terms relate. Include a quote from the ‘Oration’ reading in your explanation. 1st TERM: _________________________ QOUTE from ‘Oration’ reading
4. What did Renaissance writers write about?
Why/how it relates:
1. How was the northern Renaissance different from the Renaissance in Italy?
2. What did northern European artists paint?
2nd TERM: ________________________ QOUTE from ‘Oration’ reading
3. Who were two of the most famous writers of the northern Renaissance? Why/how it relates: 4. What effects did the printing press have on northern European life?
SECTION 3 1. What kinds of changes did Church critics want to make?
2. What role did Martin Luther play in the Reformation?
SECTION 4 1. What is Calvinism?
2. Who were two women who played important roles in the Reformation?
3. What happened at the Council of Trent? 3. Why did Luther’s ideas lead to war?
4. What role did Henry VIII play in creating the Church of England?
4. What was the result of the declining authority of the church
Trade in Renaissance Europe
HR: ________ DATE: ______________
Directions: Read the paragraphs below and study the map carefully. Then answer the questions that follow.
For centuries Venice and other coastal Italian city-states had a monopoly on trade in their region, the Mediterranean Sea. As a result, around 1200, European merchants to the north began organizing far-ranging, controlled trade routes of their own. Northern European cities formed a federation called the Hanseatic League. By the 1300s the League had incorporated most of the Baltic and North Sea ports, with German states serving as a go-between. Lübeck, built in the 1200s, was situated in a sheltered port and became the “mother town” of the League, which stretched from Russia to England. Merchants from the nearly 100member cities—including such inland locations as
Cologne and Novgorod—made up the League’s governing body. Along with a great growth in ship traffic in the upper European region, land transport also increased. Cloth, metals, and other goods such as fish, timber, animal skins, tar, and turpentine were brought to ports and exchanged for the raw goods of Scandinavia and Russia. The League eventually set up branch offices in England and created monopolies to protect their commerce. However, in the early 1600s, the League was hit by internal strife and foreign attacks and was so weakened that it disbanded. At this time, English and Dutch merchants took over control of shipping in the region.
1. What was the Hanseatic League?
2. Name four port cities where the Venetian and Hanseatic trade routes met.
3. Besides location and length, what would you say marks the major difference between the Hanseatic and Venetian trade routes?
5. In the 1300s a land route and then a canal connected Lübeck with Hamburg. Why would that linkage have been important?
4. Describe the movement of goods from the port of Marseilles to London in two ways: by Venetian and by Hanseatic trade routes.
6. The Baltic Sea has been called a “Scandinavian Mediterranean.” Explain why that comparison seems logical.
7. Considering the weather possibilities of their far northern location, what do you see as one great disadvantage to the Hanseatic League’s sea routes?
A Flowering of Creativity and Knowledge In this chapter you read about the explosion of creativity historians call the Renaissance. In Chapter 10, you read how arts and learning flourished in Muslim society during the time of the Abbasids’ rule. How did Muslim achievements in the arts and sciences resemble the achievements of the Renaissance that began in Italy in the 1300s? Use information in Chapters 10 and 17 to answer the questions that follow.
1. As Muslim rule expanded, prosperous urban centers developed in Baghdad, Damascus, Córdoba, and Cairo.
a. What led to the growth of cities in northern Italy? __________________________________________________________________ b. How might sophisticated urban centers contribute to learning and the arts?
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Leaders of the Umayyads and the Abbasids encouraged scholars to translate ancient texts. Who were patrons
of artists and scientists in the Renaissance? ____________________________________________________________________________ 3. Islam forbade making pictures of living beings, so Muslim artists developed high skills in areas such as calligraphy and the decorative arts. How did Christianity affect the art of the Renaissance?
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. A ninth-century Muslim philosophical society visualized the ideal man in terms of faith, education, astuteness, good conduct, piety, knowledge of sciences, ability to interpret mysteries, and spiritual life.
a. What values did the Renaissance look for in a “universal man”? ___________________________________________________
b. How are these ideals alike? How are they different? ________________________________________________________________ 5. A major contribution of Abbasid artists and scholars was to preserve and develop ideas from earlier cultures—Greek, Roman, Indian, and Arabic. In your opinion, what was the major contribution of the
Italy: Birthplace of the Renaissance CLARIFYING: WRITE T IN THE BLANK IF THE STATEMENT IS TRUE. IF THE STATEMENT IS FALSE, WRITE F IN THE BLANK AND THEN WRITE THE CORRECTED STATEMENT ON THE LINE BELOW IT.
____ 1. During the Renaissance, patrons of the arts were people who frequented many art festivals.
__________________________________________________________________________ ____ 2. The technique of perspective was used by Renaissance painters to show three dimensions on a flat surface. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ ____ 3. The Renaissance, a movement that started in Germany and lasted 300 years, brought about a growth of creativity in art, writing, and thought. __________________________________________________________________________ ____ 4. The general emphasis of the Renaissance movement was religious.
__________________________________________________________________________ ____ 5. The Prince, by Niccolò Machiavelli, stated that people are selfish and corrupt, and that a prince should be feared more than loved. __________________________________________________________________________ ____ 6. Some Renaissance writers wrote in the vernacular, or in the author’s native language.
__________________________________________________________________________ ____ 7. An intellectual movement called humanism focused on scientific information about the human body.
__________________________________________________________________________ ____ 8. “Renaissance men” were men who mastered many fields of endeavor.
“It is my desire to live nor reign no longer than my life and reign shall be for your good. And though you have had, and may have, many princes more mighty and wise sitting in this seat, yet you never had, nor shall have, any that will be more careful and loving.”—Elizabeth, addressing Parliament (1601)
alled “Gloriana,” Elizabeth I, the new queen of England in 1558, ushered in a period of unmatched artistic growth and political achievements. She survived a difficult childhood to reach the throne at age 25. She patched over religious differences, skillfully manipulated other rulers who sought her hand in marriage, helped guide England past a serious foreign threat, and presided over a period of intellectual and artistic flowering. She became a magnificent symbol of England’s rise. The daughter of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, Elizabeth was forced to grow up fast in an unstable and dangerous court. When she was not yet three years old, her father accused her mother of conspiracy and had Anne Boleyn executed. Elizabeth, like her older half-sister Mary, was declared illegitimate. In 1544, Elizabeth was named third in line to the throne, but her troubles did not go away. She was suspected of being involved in a plot against her half-brother Edward when he became king. She responded well to tough questions, though, and her innocence was accepted. After Edward’s death, Mary became queen. She was Catholic, and became suspicious of Elizabeth, who was Protestant. Once again, Elizabeth was wrongly accused of plotting against the crown. She was arrested and placed in the Tower of London but was released two months later. In 1558, Mary died, and Elizabeth was crowned queen. Elizabeth inherited a miserable situation in England. One contemporary described the state in hopeless terms: “The queen poor. The realm exhausted. The nobility poor and decayed. . . . The people out of order. Justice not executed.” However, her reign reversed these trends and revived the English spirit. In the first decades of Elizabeth’s rule, she played a skillful game of cat-and-mouse with the powerful nobles of Europe, who wanted to marry her and win control of England. She entertained several possible husbands, changing her course as she believed was best for English policy. In the
end, she frustrated all suitors and never married. While her policy ensured the independence of England, it was risky. If she died unexpectedly, a struggle for the throne was bound to result. Elizabeth also attempted to heal the religious differences that plagued England. In 1559, she persuaded Parliament to approve a law that made England Protestant but that also gave some concessions to Catholics. Though laws against Catholic practices grew stricter under her rule, she managed to lighten them in practice. In the 1580s, England drifted toward war with Spain. Elizabeth allowed English sea captains to plunder Spanish ships bringing gold and silver from the New World. She also sent aid and English troops to the areas of the Netherlands that were fighting to win independence from Spain. In 1588, Philip II of Spain launched a huge fleet, the Armada, against England. England’s faster ships outsailed the Spanish fleet and inflicted heavy damage on them. A severe storm destroyed many Spanish ships and helped defeat the Armada. In Elizabeth’s later years, England suffered other problems. The Irish, encouraged by Spain, rebelled against English control. These wars and the defeat of the Armada drained the treasury. The economy weakened. Nobles and government officials jockeyed for power and influence. During this time, however, English writers produced an outpouring of poems, plays, and other works that showed great creativity and skill. The queen, now 70, finally weakened and died in 1603.
Questions 1. Making Inferences What actions do you think demonstrated that Elizabeth was both a clever and fair ruler? Explain. 2. Drawing Conclusions Why was Elizabeth such a desirable match in marriage? 3. Clarifying What policies led to conflict with Spain?