Two Women Who Took The Reins During Their Reigns

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During the years of 1553-1558, England was engulfed in utter turmoil. These were the years of the reign of Mary Tudor, or Bloody Mary, an adamant Catholic who wanted all Protestants murdered. The great Protestant leaders of the time were executed for heresy, and hundreds of Protestants either joined them in martyrdom or fled. This was the condition of England when Elizabeth I came to power, and it was up to her to clean up the terrible mess left behind by her half-sister, Mary. Likewise, in 1762, it was Catherine the Great's duty to help Russia after the end of the pathetic reign of her husband, Peter III. Because he idolized Frederick the Great of Prussia and hated Russia, Peter removed Russia from the Seven Years' War, saving Prussia from military defeat. Catherine overthrew Peter III and tried to put Russia back together and become the strong ruler that the Russian people needed.

Although these two women lived and ruled approximately two hundred years apart, and they contrasted in their backgrounds and private lives, Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great's reigns shared multiple similarities.

Even though they were both princesses, Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great had very different backgrounds. Elizabeth I was born on September 2 7, 1533, to King Henry VIII of England and his second wife, Anne Boleyn. When Elizabeth was three years old, her mother was beheaded for adultery and treason, so she suffered a difficult childhood and an uncertain future. Henry had previously made his marriage to Anne Boleyn invalid; therefore, Elizabeth was illegitimate. With his third wife, Henry produced a son named Edward, pushing Elizabeth even more into the background; however, she was not neglected. Henry was affectionate with all of his children, including his first-born, Mary. Elizabeth spent a large amount of time...