The English Renaissance 1485-1660 Queen Elizabeth I 1558–1603 Queen Elizabeth I lead England as a woman, in what was very much a man's World, and she did this with courage, intelligence and loyalty to her friends
Think about: • The Renaissance era in Europe and in England was marked by a change in the way people thought about themselves and the world. • No longer content with the fixed religious beliefs of the Middle Ages, people became more interested in expanding their knowledge of history, art, science, and especially the classic texts of ancient Greece and Rome. • The Roman Catholic Church was challenged on a number of fronts. • By the end of the sixteenth century, the Church had lost its position as the supreme moral and political power in Europe.
Rediscovering Ancient Greece and Rome • Renaissance is a French word meaning “rebirth” and it refers to the renewed interest in classical learning (writers of ancient Greece and Rome). • Few ordinary people could read. • Those who could read were encouraged to study texts explaining Church doctrine.
Spirit of Rebirth • Some people became more curious about themselves and their world than people had been in the Middle ages, so that gradually there was a renewal of the human spirit, curiosity and creativity. • We use the term Renaissance person for an energetic and productive human being who is interested in science, literature, history, art, and other subjects. • EX/ Thomas Jefferson.
Flourish of Genius • Galileo- telescope • Leonardo daVinci • Michelangelo- Sistine Chapel • Christopher Columbus • Almost everyone in Europe was were Roman Catholic so the church was very rich and powerful, even in political affairs
Livin’ the Good life • Refreshed by the classics, the new writers and artists were part of an intellectual movement known as humanism. • Humanists asked “What is a human being? What is a good life? How do I lead a good life?” • Christianity provided complete answers to these questions • The aim of life is to attain virtue, not success of money or fame, because virtue is the best possible human possession and the only source of true happiness.
New Technology The printing Press transformed the way information was exchanged during the Renaissance. Prior to the printing press, the books were written out by hand. Began a movement for Standardized English
The Reformation: Breaking with the Church • Reformers rejected the authority of the pope and the Italian churchmen. In • England, conflicts with the papacy had occurred off and on over century but could not longer remain civil and a break with the Roman Catholic church could no longer be avoided. • Caused by: strong feelings of patriotism, national identity caused resentment against the Vatican for imposing financial burdens on them. • New Religious ideas (Christianity based on the Bible- not what the pope says) THE CHURCH NEEDED A REFORM
King vs. Pope • The generations-old conflict between the pope and the king of England came to climax when Henry VIII wanted to get rid of his wife of twenty-four years. • Divorce wasn’t allowed and so Henry needed a loophole • He asked the Pope to declare that he and his wife (Catherine of Aragon) were not properly married.. The pope refused and so Henry named a new archbishop of Canterbury who WOULD declare their marriage invalid. • Then, Henry broke from the church and named himself head of the Church
Baby Mama Drama • Why did Henry want a divorce so badly that he broke with the church? • Catherine was unable to have a son although she did produce a girl (Mary). • He lusted after a maid in waiting…. And then fell in love with her sister, Ann Boleyn who refused to sleep with him unless they were married. • He divorced Catherine and had a baby girl with Ann (Elizabeth). • Catherine was put under house arrest because she refused to accept the annulment.
King Henry the Eighth, to six wives he was wedded: One died, one survived, two divorced, two beheaded."
Queen Mary Ann Boleyn-aka Mom Jane Seymour of Aragon (divorced) (Beheaded) bore Edward I (Died) Ann of Cleves Catherine Howard Catherine ParrAka “The Flander’s Mare” Adulterer (Beheaded) Married Thomas Seymour (Divorced) (Survived!)
Henry Catherine of Aragon Mary Henry Anne Boleyn Elizabeth Henry Jane Seymour Edward
After King Henry’s Death • Edward VI28 January1547–1553 • Protestant • Elizabeth I("The Virgin Queen")17 November1558–1603 • Protestant • Jane Grey("The Nine Days' Queen")10 July–19 July 1553 (Excecuted) • Henry VIII21 April1509–1547 • Catholic-Protestant • Mary I("Bloody Mary")19 July1553–1558 • Catholic
Accomplishments • It was a major accomplishment that she ever survived to become Queen of England! Her mother was executed on the charge of Treason, adultery and incest. She was branded a bastard by her father, King Henry VIII. She lost her title of Princess Elizabeth and had to be referred to as Lady Elizabeth! • It was a major accomplishment to survive the questioning she endured at the Tower of London when she was imprisoned there by her half-sister Mary Tudor ( aka Mary I & Bloody Mary). She was accused of being involved with the Protestant rebellion, led by Sir Thomas Wyatt the Younger • Her reign witnessed widespread increase in literacy and great achievements in the arts - great poets and playrights emerged during her era such as William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe and Sir Walter Raleigh)
Accomplishments cont… • The reign of Queen Elizabeth I also saw significant expansion overseas. Great explorers were encouraged such as Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir John Hawkins, Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Richard Greenville • The new scientific thinking of the renaissance was encouraged and important men such as Sir Francis Bacon and Dr. John Dee emerged during the Elizabethan era • She achieved an excellent reputation as a good and wise ruler, who was truly loved by her people - she was highly accomplished in the art of rhetoric and Public Relations
Accomplishments • A major accomplishment was the defeat of the Spanish Armada of 132 by the English fleet of 34 ships and 163 armed merchant vessels under Lord Howard of Effingham, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir John Hawkins • Her reign saw several rebellions - from the Irish, “The Rising of the North” and the Essex rebellion - all of which she defeated • She survived various Catholic plots and conspiracies such as the Babbington plot involving Mary Queen of Scots
Death Threats • Mary of ScotlandElizabeth survived many pots against her life. • Several were from her cousin: Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (Catholic). • Because Elizabeth had not children, Mary was heir to England’s throne because she too was descended of Henry VII. • Mary was under house arrest but continued to plot against Elizabeth. Eventually, Elizabeth sent her cousin to the chopping block.
The Spanish Armada Sinks • A major accomplishment was the defeat of the Spanish Armada of 132 by the English fleet of 34 ships and 163 armed merchant vessels under Lord Howard of Effingham, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir John Hawkins • King Philip of Spain (Catholic) used Mary’s execution as an excuse to invade England (to save England from Hell). He assembled a fleet of warships for that purpose: the famous Spanish Armada. • England's Royal Navy destroyed the Armada which assured England’s independence from the powerful Catholic countries of the Mediterranean.
Flood of Literature • What is the connection between these political events and English literature? • After the defeat of the Armada, Elizabeth became a beloved symbol of peace, security and prosperity to her subjects and sh eprovided isnpiration to scores of English authors. • Others were dedicated to her because she was a known connoisseur of literature.
Accomplishments • Queen Elizabeth adopted a moderate religious policy. The Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity (1559), the introduction of the Prayer Book of 1559, and the Thirty-Nine Articles (1563) were all Protestant in doctrine, but preserved many traditionally Catholic ceremonies. Although a Protestant she did not persecute Catholics with conviction - she adopted a moderate approach • She established Protestantism as the country's religion
Pope Sixtus V said… • "She is only a woman, only mistress of half an island, and yet she makes herself feared by Spain, by France, by the Empire, by all". • Under Elizabeth, the nation gained a new self-confidence and sense of sovereignty, as Christendom fragmented.
Following the death of Elizabeth I in 1603 without issue, the Scottish king, James VI, succeeded to the English throne as James I in what became known as the Union of the Crowns. In 1604 he adopted the title King of Great Britain, although the two kingdoms remained separate.
Decline of the Renaissance • The difficulties of James’s reign became the impossibilities of his son’s. Charles I turned out to be self-destructive. • Some of his subjects had him beheaded in 1649. • For the next 11 years, England was ruled by Parliament and the Puritan dictator Oliver Cromwell, not by a king.
When Charles’s self-indulgent son, Charles II returned from Exile and came to power eleven years later, England had changed in many important ways. • Renaissance religious morality had eroded • Renaissance energies gradually gave out • Educated people began to become more worldly in their outlook. • Scientific truths were soon to challenge long-accepted religious beliefs.