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Word Count: 929
Many different problems faced Elizabeth I on her accession to the throne in 1558 behind her lay years of turmoil England was torn by religious strife was economically insecure and was involved in a disastrous war with France To these problems Elizabeth brought a thorough education innate shrewdness and a skill in diplomacy that she had constantly exercised during the reigns of Edward and Mary when one mistake might have meant her death Mary I died on 17th November 1558 in the early hours of the morning Followed by the death of Cardinal Pole on the same day Elizabeth almost certainly knew of the death of her sister before it had been proclaimed To avoid embarrassment to she had sent Sir Nicholas Throckmorton to London and instructed him to ride back post-haste on the death of the Queen When he arrived it appeared that Elizabeths court was already aware of the proceedings and preparing itself for the events to come Sir William Cecil who was to be appointed secretary was ready at his desk and from that moment forward continued to keep concise notes that allow us insight into the events that took place From this day forward proceedings ran remarkably smoothly until the day that Elizabeth was pronounced Queen on 15th January Henry VIII had begun the reform of the Catholic Church in England when the Pope had refused to allow him to divorce Catherine of Aragon These changes under Henry VIII were followed by the even more radical reform under Elizabeths half-brother Edward VI However when the throne fell to Mary I after Edwards short reign she tried to re-establish Catholicism to Britain Elizabeth had witnessed all of these reigns and had noted what mistakes had been made and also what had been successful She was in this way able to learn from the errors of her predecessors and employ a religious policy that supported Protestantism without driving
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