Definitions for elizabethan era

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  1. Elizabethan era

    The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign. Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history. The symbol of Britannia was first used in 1572 and often thereafter to mark the Elizabethan age as a renaissance that inspired national pride through classical ideals, international expansion, and naval triumph over the hated Spanish foe. In terms of the entire century, the historian John Guy argues that "England was economically healthier, more expansive, and more optimistic under the Tudors" than at any time in a thousand years. This "golden age" represented the apogee of the English Renaissance and saw the flowering of poetry, music and literature. The era is most famous for theatre, as William Shakespeare and many others composed plays that broke free of England's past style of theatre. It was an age of exploration and expansion abroad, while back at home, the Protestant Reformation became more acceptable to the people, most certainly after the Spanish Armada was repulsed. It was also the end of the period when England was a separate realm before its royal union with Scotland. The Elizabethan Age is viewed so highly because of the periods before and after. It was a brief period of largely internal peace between the English Reformation and the battles between Protestants and Catholics and the battles between parliament and the monarchy that engulfed the seventeenth century. The Protestant/Catholic divide was settled, for a time, by the Elizabethan Religious Settlement, and parliament was not yet strong enough to challenge royal absolutism.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Elizabethan Era

    according to Carlyle, "the outcome and flowerage of all which had preceded it... in that old age lies the only true poetical literature of England. The poets of the last ago took to pedagogy (Pope and his school), and shrewd men they were; those of the present age to ground-and-lofty tumbling; and it will do your heart good," he adds, "to see how they vault." Elkargeh


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