Elisabetta I

Figlia di Enrico VIII e di Anna Bolena, Elisabetta I, trascorse la sua infanzia lontana dalla vita di corte.

Alla morte del padre salì al trono, prima Edoardo VI e poi la sorellastra, figlia di Enrico VIII e di Caterina d’Aragona, Maria la Cattolica che perseguitò ferocemente i Protestanti tanto da esser detta “Maria la Sanguinaria.

Quando salì al trono Elisabetta, le cose cambiarono radicalmente.

Per prima cosa si dimostrò subito nemica dei cattolici, protesse i protestanti e diede un ordinamento definitivo alla Chiesa Anglicana.

Tra i tanti che condannò a morte ci fu anche sua cugina, Maria Stuarda la quale, regina di Scozia, cacciata dal suo Paese e rifugiatasi in Inghilterra, era diventata la sua grande rivale.

Ma il maggior nemico di Elisabetta, fu Filippo II di Spagna contro il quale entrò in guerra solo negli ultimi anni di regno. Una lunga lotta sui mari tra Spagna ed Inghilterra, portò alla distruzione dell’”Invincibile Armata” spagnola.

Elisabetta da tempo aveva trovato un sistema molto intelligente per indebolire il suo avversario. Appena salita al trono, iniziò a proteggere i pirati che sulle rotte oceaniche assaltavano le navi spagnole di ritorno dalle colonie d’America cariche d’oro e di mercanzie.

Il più famoso di questi pirati fu Francis Drake che rese utilissimi servigi all’Inghilterra, tanto da essere premiato per le sue imprese dalla regina e nominato Ammiraglio.

Elisabetta non trascurò nessun aspetto della vita del Paese.

Accolse a corte, proteggendoli, grandi scienziati e artisti. Favorì le esplorazioni, incoraggiò la fondazione della prima colonia inglese nell’America settentrionale. Diede grande impulso all’agricoltura e all’industria laniera, accogliendo in Inghilterra molti operai fuggiti dalle Fiandre durante la guerra contro la Spagna.

L’Inghilterra diventò ricca grazie al commercio, che fu organizzato con sistemi moderni come l’istituzione della Borsa di Londra e la fondazione della Compagnia delle Indie, una società commerciale per l’importazione e l’esportazione di merci dalle lontane Indie Orientali.

Purtroppo molti commercianti si arricchirono con traffici infami: contrabbando e tratta degli schiavi.

Varie congiure vennero tramate contro Elisabetta.

Gli Irlandesi, convinti cattolici, combatterono strenuamente contro gli Inglesi per salvare la propria indipendenza e la libertà religiosa. Solo dopo molti anni Elisabetta, nel 1603, riuscì ad annettere quest’isola al proprio regno.

Elisabetta seppe tenere saldamente il proprio regno (1558-1603) fino alla morte, meritandosi l’amore e il rispetto del proprio popolo.

Per meglio servire il suo Paese non volle mai sposarsi, per questo fu soprannominata “la Vergine regina.

Con Elisabetta finì la dinastia Tudor.

Dopo la sua morte la corona passò alla dinastia scozzese degli Stuart, la famiglia a cui apparteneva Maria Stuarda, la grande rivale di Elisabetta, che per 19 anni aveva tramato tentando di impadronirsi del trono inglese.

Elisabetta I regina e maga
Non tutti sanno che Elisabetta I d’Inghilterra, la Vergine regina, era dedita alla magia, seguace dei culti lunari della dea Iside

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