The period between 1550 and 1650 in Britain was dominated by Queen Elizabeth the Great, who ruled by herself over an ascendant empire. It was marked not only by a rising pride in the power of the British Isles but also by religious struggles between Catholic and Protestant factions, a struggle that resulted in a Protestant revolution in 1642. Additionally, Elizabeth's single status made political intrigues and plots commonplace.Continue Reading
Elizabeth's father, Henry VIII, despite his propensity for trading in wives, had left behind a strong, organized central government. This freed Elizabeth to focus on growing Britain's power, which she frequently did by playing one faction off against another, often using her unmarried status as leverage. In 1588, the Spanish attempted an invasion of England with the goal to destroy Britain's growing maritime power and reclaim the country for Catholicism. The Spanish were soundly defeated both by the British navy and by the unpredictable weather of the English Channel.
When Elizabeth died in 1603, she was succeeded by her nephew James I of Scotland. James cemented Protestantism in England, even funding the English translation of the Bible named after him. His son Charles I, however, found himself increasingly at odds with the Puritans, a religious and political faction that wanted a Protestantism cleansed of all ceremonial trappings. Unfortunately for him, Charles was a clumsy and unrefined politician; his autocratic indulgence in art and courtly trappings plunged England into debt, which the Puritans used as an excuse to push forward their own agenda. At last, Parliament itself revolted against him, leading to a civil war, Puritan rule over Britain and, ultimately, Charles' beheading in 1649.Learn more about Renaissance & Reformation
British Parliament passed the Tea Act in 1773 in order to save the East India Company from bankruptcy. By severely lowering the tax on tea, the legislation allowed the East India Company a monopoly on tea sales in the American colonies.Full Answer >
The Renaissance started in Italy because there were small breaks in the Christendom atmosphere and environment that had previously shaped Italy, which led to a freedom and independence. This newfound freedom and independence along with the presence of the ruins of Roman civilization led to the Renaissance.Full Answer >
Michelangelo was a famous artist from the Renaissance period whose works include sculptures and paintings. His "David" and the "Pietà" are his two most famous sculptures. His paintings include the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.Full Answer >
The historical and cultural period that follows the Renaissance is known as the Enlightenment. This period lasts from the middle decades of the 17th century through the 18th century.Full Answer >