By the mid-1580s, England could no longer avoid war with Spain. England's defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 associated Elizabeth with one of the greatest military victories in English history.
Elizabeth's reign became known as the Elizabethan era. The period is famous for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Francis Drake.
Caesar, thou art revenged, even with the sword that kill'd thee.
Elizabeth is acknowledged as a charismatic performer and a dogged survivor in an era when government was ramshackle and limited, and when monarchs in neighbouring countries faced internal problems that jeopardised their thrones.
After the short reigns of her half-siblings, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity.