Queen Elizabeth I: 3 Ways She Changed The World

BornSeptember 7th, 1533
Died24th March, 1603
Famous Quote“The past can not be cured.”
Known ForDefeating the Spanish Armada, building the United Kingdom, Starting the English Colonies
Region Of WorldEngland and North America

Elizabeth the first was the queen of England and Ireland during the late 16th and early 17th century. Elizabeth would rise to the English crown and become for a time the most powerful person in the world during a time when few women had any opportunity.

Just being a Queen would not be enough however. Queen Elizabeth’s reign significantly impacted the development of the western world. In many ways she can be considered one of the most influential women of all time.

Queen Elizabeth I has three lasting legacies that changed the world.

  1. Defeating the Spanish Armada in 1588
  2. Consolidating English power and society to allow for the industrial revolution
  3. Starting the English Colonies which would later become the United States.

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Without further ado, here are the 3 ways Queen Elizabeth I changed the world.

1: Sinking of The Spanish Armada in 1588

Queen Elizabeth I was a protestant queen, this upset several powers across mainland Europe which were Catholic.

Spain was one of these powers and in 1588 the Spanish King Phillip II sent 130 ships to help overthrow Queen Elizabeth I and institute a Catholic government.

Up until 1588 the largest and most powerful empire in the world was the Hapsburg Spain. After ‘discovering’ the new world Spain would become immensely wealthy by extracting natural resources back to Spain.

From 1516 up until 1588 nobody dared challenge the might of Spain. In 1588 however that changed as Queen Elizabeth I held her ground and defended England against the Spanish fleet.

Over the course of a couple weeks the English navy consisting of only 34 ships successfully drove the Spanish Armada up the east coast of England where bad storms decimated the Spanish fleet.

The failure of the Spanish Armada instantly propelled Queen Elizabeth I into fame. Here this queen defeated the largest naval fleet the modern world had ever seen.

A cult of personality began to form around Queen Elizabeth I which induced nationalism to spread across England. In many ways this nationalism propelled English knowledge, and culture.

Out of this nationalism sprang great minds such as William Shakespeare and John Locke.

2.) Consolidating English Power and Society To Allow For The Industrial Revolution

Because of this, English nationalism began to form and Queen Elizabeth I developed a cult personality. Out of this English nationalism came a consolidation of power in England and the surrounding lands.

This consolidation of power allowed for rapid development of technology. Shortly after the death of Queen Elizabeth I England would undergo the Industrial Revolution.

Because of this rapid industrialization of the English working class, England would begin to create a worldwide Empire which at its peak stretched across the world.

While the industrial revolution was a slow change over time culminating in the late 18th century. Without Elizabeth I in the 17th century the English would have had a difficult time gathering the necessary workforce and resources to jump start their economy into an industrial one.

It was this nationalism that came from Queen Elizabeth’s reign that allowed a consolidation of an English agricultural workforce into one industrial society.

Today we take for granted how different society looked to people 400 years ago. The average person would have only known maybe 10 people their entire life outside their immediate family.

English nationalism changed that by encouraging people to connect with their ‘fellow countrymen.’

3.) Starting The English Colonies Which Would Later Become The United States.

Before 1588 the Spanish controlled all access to the new world. After the sinking of the Spanish Armada the seas were now open for English exploration and colonization.

The first attempt at this colonization in the new world was the colony of Roanoke. This first attempt mysteriously failed and to this day nobody knows what happened to those first colonists.

However Queen Elizabeth would allow a second charter to explore and settle in the new world in the modern U.S state of Virginia (named after her, the virgin queen).

This colony would be the first successful English colony in the new world and was named Jamestown. It would be from this new colony of Jamestown that the modern United States would spring up from.

Over the course of the 17th and 18th centuries the English would rapidly expand in the new world and found 12 other colonies across the eastern coast of the modern United States.

Today these colonies have become the modern nation of the United States of America. However the powerful nation of the U.S would never have become possible without the sinking of the Spanish Armada in 1588 by Queen Elizabeth I which opened up the seas to English exploration.

As a result we can feel the impact of Queen Elizabeth up until the modern day in the nations of North America.


There you have it, an entire article on 3 ways Queen Elizabeth changed the world.

The study of Queen Elizabeth is still ongoing. Many new students of history chose to do their thesis on the virgin queen and to this day she proves to be a subject of much professional debate.

However one this is certain, this woman defied stereotypes of her day to become at one point the most powerful women on the planet. As a result we can feel the impact of her upon the world even today.

Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. If you like this type of content feel free to sign up for the free newsletter to remain up to date on all things history.

Further, you can check out some of the other articles below.

Until next time, I wish you the best of luck in your history endeavors.



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