Type of Reign

Elizabeth's 45 year reign was the result of her personality, strong will, intelligence, and popularity with the people. After the last 15 turbulent years of the reigns of her brother and sister, Elizabeth managed to restore the kingdom to its former glory by defeating the Spanish Armada and keeping England out of war. She believed war was expensive and peace was cheap. This belief also led to some discontent because some believed her to be too slow in making decisions and therefore unfit to rule.

Elizabeth's fear of committing to action when it came to foreign affairs was largely due to her childhood. She witnessed the high cost of war and the costs of a failing government and therefore knew the consequences of unnecessary battles. By the time she had ascended to the throne, England was in a very bad international position and because she had no clear heir towards the end of her reign, foreign powers were constantly vying for control of England.

Elizabeth constantly accentuated the features she had that were similar to that of her father's. She wanted to be seen as her father's daughter, the true ruler of England (even though she was never actually restored to legitimacy). Her image was one of splendour and invincibility, used to inspire her subjects and create awe in her opponents. She made herself a national symbol, a saint to her people; she represented the power and magnificence of England. 

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