III. Elizabeth I （1558-1603）
Elizabeths religious reform and her foreign policy
Elizabeths religious reform was a compromise of views. She broke Marys ties with Rome and restored her fathers independent Church of England， i.e. keeping to Catholic doctrines and practices but to be free of the Papal control. He religious settlement was unacceptable to both the extreme Protestants known as Puritans and to ardent Catholics.
For nearly 30 years Elizabeth successfully played off against each other the two great Catholic powers， France and Spain， and prevented England from getting involved in any major European conflict. Through her marriage alliances which were never materialized， Elizabeth managed to maintain a friendly relationship with France. So England wad able to face the danger from Spain.
IV. The English Renaissance
Distinctive features of the English Renaissance
1） English culture was revitalized not so much directly by the classics as by contemporary Europeans under the influence of the classics；
2） England as an insular country followed a course of social and political history which was to a great extent independent of the course of history elsewhere in Europe；
3） Owing to the great genius of the 14th century poet Chaucer， the native literature was sufficiently vigorous and experienced in assimilating for foreign influences without being subjected by them；
4） English Renaissance coincided with the Reformation in England.
VI. The Civil Wars and their consequences
Because of the absolute rule of Charles， the confrontation between Charles I and the parliament developed into the civil war. The war began on August 22，1642 and ended in 1651. Charles I was condemned to death.
The English Civil War is also called the Puritan Revolution. It has been seen as a conflict between the parliament and the King， and a conflict between economic interests of the Crown. The economic interests of the urban middle classed coincided with their religious （ Puritan） ideology while the Crown‘s traditional economic interests correspondingly allied with Anglican religious belief. The English Civil War not only overthrew feudal system in England but also shook the foundation of the feudal rule in Europe. It is generally regarded as the beginning of modern world history.