Sunteți pe pagina 1din 4

Rhodes 1

Connor Rhodes

Ms. Barbara Ingber

GLED 301

8 October 2016

Leadership Profile: Queen Elizabeth I

The Official Website of the British Monarchy recounts that Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of

the Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, rose to the throne in November of 1558 following the death of

her Roman-Catholic sister, Princess Mary. Throughout her rule, which lasted over 45 years, she

held absolute and exclusive power over the whole of England. However there was immense

religious tension stateside between Roman Catholics and Protestants. As the Women’s History

department at King’s College notes, after Queen Mary of Scots ordered the execution of over

hundreds of Protestants, Elizabeth established the Church of England, uniting England.

Moreover, she also ended the war with France and her legacy is marked as one of the most

glorious periods in England – The Elizabethan Era, or Golden Age. The reason that I chose to

focus on Queen Elizabeth I is interesting. Growing up, the movies “Elizabeth” and “Elizabeth:

The Golden Age” staring Cate Blanchet were some of my favorite movies – and I have admired

Queen Elizabeth ever since (following, of course, having studied her in secondary school).

She was arguably one of the first feminists, setting fundamental standards for women’s

rights. She excited and funded the exploration of the New World. According to some historians,

the website of the Government of Virginia reports that Sir Walter Raleigh once returned from the

New World having named it “Virginia” in her honor. Virginia was chosen as a reference to one

of her other legacies: The Virgin Queen. King’s College notes that she refused to get married or

to have a master, although there is debate as to whether she enjoyed company in her chambers.
Rhodes 2

She was also a strong supporter and enthusiast of the arts, pushing England (and ultimately the

world) into a time of great advancement in music, visual arts, and literature.

Arguably one of the best leaders in history, Elizabeth ruled autocratically with diplomacy,

honesty, confidence, decisiveness, and above all – loyalty to all of England. King’s College

states that she led a rather peaceful military, focusing largely on the internal issues of England at

the time and maintaining diplomatic relations with other powers in Europe. Her style of

leadership hadn’t been seen before and I believe that her success and legacy as a woman is of

immense historical importance. The Elizabeth I Organization reports that she deliberated

carefully before making decisions (uncommon among those with absolute rule). A speaker of six

different languages and lover of the arts, she was highly intelligent, famously fashionable, and

beautiful. The film illustrates that as God’s anointed queen on earth, she created an image of

herself representative of her divine status, wearing white lead makeup and ornate gowns. She

influenced her countrymen by encouraging expansion of the arts, instituting religious freedom,

and proving that it was the people of England that she served. During her rule, English

exploration struck the fuse that led to the expansion of the Great British Empire. She also

dominated trade in much of coastal Europe, creating ties with some countries that echo today.

Elizabeth as a leader held autocratic power, but within a strong moral code she operated

England’s best interests (as ethically as possible for the time). The organization noted that many

criticize Elizabeth for the costliness of the war against Spain and the economic turmoil that

existed during the late 16th century, which left England in immense debt. Although she faced

strong opposition, through her determination, intelligence, charm, and heart, she and her country

prevailed. She was open to criticism as well. I believe that although she was born into leadership,
Rhodes 3

her ideological foundations were the ultimate factors to many independences we enjoy today;

most notably religious freedom and women’s rights.

I see Queen Elizabeth I as an exemplar for responsible use of power. Through

intelligence, diplomacy, and love for her country, she operated autocratically with the interests of

her people close at heart. I deeply admire her legacy as a lover of the arts who was careful to

avoid war. In a future career in politics, I hope to use her as an archetype for the power of

diplomacy and mediation in international politics as well as stateside. Although her rule in

practice has its faults, as I mentioned earlier I believe that her ideological grounding was the real

influence on the greatness of her leadership. I plan on keeping in mind her overall principles and

ideas that led her to her decisions – leading with her country at heart, leading ethically, seeking

advice, and supporting ideologies behind art, women’s rights, and diplomacy.
Rhodes 4

Works Cited

"Queen Elizabeth I of England." Queen Elizabeth I of England. Ed. Brian A. Pavlac. King's College, 9

Feb. 2009. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Royal Household. The Official Website of

The British Monarchy. The Royal Household, 2009. Web. 23 Sept. 2015.

"The Library of Virginia FAQ." Library of Virginia. The Government of the State of Virginia, Web.

Sharnette, Heather. "CONTENTS." Elizabeth I, 2016. Web. 8 Oct. 2016.