Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access



The Elizabethan Age was the age of Shakespeare and Marlowe, when the English literacy renaissance attained a claims; the age of Drake, Hawkins, and Frobisher, when English sea power asserted its genius. It was also the age of great statesmen and political improvisation, for England was beginning to emerge as a world power. Headed by a queen whose primary claim to fame rested with her ability to inspire her people and manage her talented ministers, the island kingdom soon attained the status of a major nation. At Elizabeth's accession the government was in a state of decline but skillful diplomacy in the hands of an intelligent monarch warded off successive crises until stability was ensured and the throne was undisputed.

Elizabeth was the keystone amidst talented individuals. Within her government were some of the most able ministers in Europe and at the height of the reign when Elizabethan policy was formulated none exceeded the abilities of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, and Sir Francis Walsingham. Both were members of the privy council, a position which enables them to influence policy profoundly.