Bloody Mary and "The Virgin Queen"

1970 WordsNov 7, 20058 Pages
"Bloody Mary and the "Virgin Queen" Mary and Elizabeth Tudor were both, by all accounts, strong and intelligent women endowed with many of the qualities that mark a successful ruler. However, only Elizabeth's legacy is a positive one; her reign has been called the "Golden Age" of England, and she remains a heroine in popular history and even modern film. Mary's reign is scowled at, and seen by most as a brief unpleasant period preceding the glorious ascension of Elizabeth. To account for this, one can examine each sovereign's maternal influences, governing styles, and choices regarding marriage. Maternal Influence Mary's mother, Katherine of Aragon, has been described as a "staunch woman of misguided principles" (Weir 3).…show more content…
She contracted a matrimonial alliance with her nephew Philip, another Catholic monarch (Erickson 331). Their marriage caused a general outcry; the British did not favor Spaniards and feared that, upon their union, Philip would rule England as king; or that, if she died childless, he would seek to seize the throne for himself and his future heirs (337). This seemed a valid fear in light of Mary's traditional feminine deference to male authority, but Mary declared that she would "wholly love and obey the man she married, following the divine commandment, and would not in any way act against his will, but if he tried to interfere with the government of the kingdom she would have to prevent it at all costs" (Erickson 333). For some, this was not enough; and the marriage contract specified that Phillip could not succeed. Thus, Mary was determined to have a say in her own government. However, faith could guide Mary even if her husband could not, and she began to be very influenced by Catholic Cardinal Pole (Erickson 390). "For all men who minimized her authority, Pole was the most blatant" (Erickson 390). Pole gave Mary misguided advice concerning the religious conversion of her realm. "He assumed that the religious situation in England was not unlike that in Italy, where the Protestant heresy had taken rather shallow root and had been decisively crushed by the Papal inquisition" (Erickson 390). He failed to recognize the importance of the fact that a whole

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