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Great Rulers Of 15th And 16th Century Dynasties

954 words - 4 pages

During the Wars of Religion, from 1554 to 1648, the actions of Elizabeth I, Henry IV, Louis XIII, and Philip II all demonstrated their worthiness to be considered great rulers. Elizabeth I of England defeated the Spanish Armada, the strongest naval power the world had ever seen. Henry IV of France took many steps that eventually led to a religious agreement in France. Louis XIII of France left France as a major European power. Philip II of Spain made Spain very rich and powerful during the height of his reign.
Elizabeth Tudor I of England accomplished many things during her reign, proving her a great ruler. Elizabeth ruled as a woman in a male-dominant society. She was the first woman to rule England without a king for her entire reign. Adding to her challenges was the fact that she was a Protestant Queen in a Catholic country. One of Elizabeth’s main accomplishments was the Act of Uniformity that was passed in 1559. This required everyone in England to be a Protestant on the surface and to attend Anglican Church on Sunday. Catholics were still allowed to practice their own religion, but had to do so underground, so that England would appear to be religiously unified. Another achievement that made Elizabeth I a great ruler were the 39 Articles that were passed in 1563. This was a Protestant doctrine, but preserved many Catholic ceremonies, which led to a very moderate form of Protestantism. However, the accomplishment of the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, is probably the most important factor in making Elizabeth I a great ruler. The small English ships were much better suited when a storm came along, and the Spanish Navy easily fell to the English. The most powerful navy was destroyed, and it left England with the strongest naval power. With a poor and unstable kingdom given to her in 1558, what Elizabeth was able to accomplish stands out in this period of warfare, and made her a great ruler.
Henry IV of France was a popular king, and was able to accomplish many things both religiously and politically. He ended the civil war that had been going on for thirty-six years by officially becoming a Catholic in 1593. The Edict of Nantes issued in 1598 added to the religious peace in France by giving the French Huguenots essentially the same rights as the Catholics. The Edict of Nantes also allowed nobles to hold Protestant services in their homes. These changes greatly enhanced Henry IV’s popularity among Protestants. Henry IV was a politique, meaning that he placed state above religion. He also laid out the foundations for an absolute monarchy in France. His work on uniting France is arguably the most important accomplishment. Not only did he bring...

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