The 16th and 17th century England was not speedy than the present. Before 16th century there was no woman who was in power. Because in the culture of England it was too much difficult to be a woman in power than to be a man in power. Nevertheless in the 16th and 17th century England we see that several powerful women. During this period, there were three types of women: single women, married women and widowed women. As noted above, the single woman was considered her father's chattel and under heavy pressure to marry. Only through marriage did she gain any measure of power and control, and then usually only over her own household. Even with marriage, a woman held no legal identity or rights. Widows, on the other hand, did have legal identities and legal rights.
Powerful Women in the 16th and 17th Centuries:
For many people during this early modern period, powerful women were considered aberrant and perilous. The image of female dominance is an image of social disorder. The patriarchal society of the time was a society in which all levels of the society looked towards a male figure as the one who holds supreme power. Powerful women were therefore often denigrated and seen as dysfunctional. Despite having three reigning monarchs during this period, Mary Stuart, Mary Tudor and Elizabeth Tudor, there was still a feeling of uneasiness among the general population at the thought of these women rulers.
Mary Tudor (R. 1553-1558)
Mary Tudor is chiefly remembered as a zealous Catholic, reviled for her bloody persecution of Protestants and for her attempt to bring England once again under the Roman Church.
Mary gained the throne with popular support and was an able ruler, as stubborn and strong-willed as her father. Her main failure was perhaps in attempting to reform the kingdom overnight. Moreover, her close relations with Rome and Spain aggravated a growing sense of English nationalism. Despite appeals from the Commons that she wed an Englishman, Mary formed a...