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Compare And Contrast Elizabeth I Of Russia And Machiavelli

Decent Essays
In order to successfully hold power, Renaissance philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli believed that a ruler during the time of enlightened absolutism in Europe had to possess qualities of both a “lion” and a “fox”. By this, Machiavelli means that in order to succeed, rulers had to be aggressive and firm like a lion, while also sly and sneaky like a fox. These traits can be seen in two different European rulers during this time period, Elizabeth I of England and Catherine the Great of Russia, who both follow Machiavelli’s principles successfully.
Elizabeth I of England is the type of ruler that Machiavelli would respect because she behaves both “like a lion” and “like a fox” over the course of her rule. She utilized vigorous tactics in order to help England become a major European power in many different fields. Following the death of her sister, Mary I of England, Elizabeth was left with many religious issues to deal with in in her country. Mary had repealed Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy, which removed power from the English monarch and granted more power to the Catholic Pope in Rome. Elizabeth reinstated the Act of Supremacy when she ascended the throne, declaring herself Supreme Governor of the Church of England. In addition to this act, she also established the Oath of Supremacy. In order for any person to take public or church office, they had to swear on this oath, and to Queen Elizabeth as head of church and state. There were three levels of punishment for refusal of taking
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