Elizabethan Era Facts for Kids
1. Tower of London
For 600 years there were lions, tigers and many other exotic animals kept in the Tower of London.
This was a time of exploration and expansion, with English explorers such as Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir John Hawkins sailing to the Americas and around the globe. Drake, for example, completed the first circumnavigation of the globe in 1580.
Sir Francis Drake was considered a heroic sailor by the English, but he was just a common pirate to the Spanish!
3. William Shakespeare
During the Elizabethan Era, England experienced a cultural and artistic renaissance, with famous playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe producing some of the most famous plays in the English language. Shakespeare’s plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Macbeth were all written during the Elizabethan era.
William Shakespeare’s plays have been translated into around 80 different languages.
The Elizabethan era was also known for its fashion, with men wearing ruffled collars, doublets and hose, and women wearing corsets, high-necked dresses and farthingales (a structure worn underneath a dress to shape the skirt).
5. Science & Technology
This period saw significant advancements in science and technology, particularly in the field of navigation. Longer voyages became more possible and safe, which led to increased exploration by sea.
6. The Spanish Armada
The Elizabethan era was also a time of great political upheaval, with Queen Elizabeth I facing several plots to overthrow her.
The most famous of these was the Spanish Armada, which was a failed invasion attempt by the Spanish in 1588. Despite this, Elizabeth I was able to maintain her rule and keep her kingdom stable.
The Elizabethan era was also a time of religious upheaval. Queen Elizabeth I’s father, King Henry VIII, had established the Church of England after breaking away from Roman Catholicism.
While the queen’s religious policies were largely aimed at creating a middle ground between Protestantism and Catholicism, which led to a period of relative religious stability, there were many threats from people who believed there should be a Catholic king or queen on the throne.
8. The Economy
The economy during this time was primarily agricultural, with most people living in rural areas and working as farmers. However, there was also a growing trade and industry in cities such as London, which led to the rise of the middle class.
9. Trade & Industry
The Elizabethan era saw the rise of the middle class, as well as the growth of trade and industry in cities such as London. Trade and industry were heavily regulated, with strict laws and regulations in place to protect the interests of the merchants and manufacturers.
In spite of these challenges, the Elizabethan era is remembered as a time of great cultural and artistic achievement, with the works of Shakespeare and other playwrights still being performed and studied today.
The era also saw the rise of the English navy and the expansion of England’s trade and economic power, which laid the foundation for the country’s future success.