The Elizabethan period was a great age which witnessed the establishment of the national church, the remarkable expansion of trade and industry together with the flowering of Renaissance literature. So runs the description of every text-book and the students have grasped the age with almost instinctive certainty that that had been so. For the Englishmen it was the finest hour and the Elizabethan myth still lingers even on the lips of the cynics in this age of disillusion. It is, however, almost an axiom that every generation has interpreted the past in terms of its experience and in accordance with it much has been done to transform the accepted view of Elizabethan history. To those who were brought up in the heyday of British greatness it might have been possible to credit the age with much admiration, but the twentieth century is slowly recreating the Elizabethan age in its own image. First of all, the generation tossed about in every-day fluctuation of national economy may be justified to ask if the Elizabethan England was so happy as to see the soaring economic growth with its benevolent results. Once we take this view into consideration, the answer is definitely to the contrary and a glance at the trade statistics will suffice to show that this was the age of great depression in English overseas trade. The setbacks are all the more worth noting when contrasted with the booming years of the previous half of the century. Came abruptly as it did, this falling off of overseas trade had repercussions which were bound to be significant. One may almost say that it opened a new chapter in English modern history as the crisis of the nineteen-thirties remoulded the twentieth century. The immediate result of the depression following the boom was to launch England on the quest for new market. It may be compared with the economic jingoism in our own time and the Elizabethan counterpart laid the foundation of the British Empire. In the time of depression the Government is also unable to avoid the temptation of checking the growth of industry and there was no lacking of those vested interests who could make the restricton serve their purpose. It is no mere coincidence that the period saw the successive weavers' acts, culminating in the famous Statute of Artificers which appeared in the most critical year of economic shock. If Tudor despotism and mercantilism are coherent entities, they are not the preconceived logic of a text-book writer, but the outcome of the mid-Tudor depression which made them typically Elizabethan phenomena. To complete the Elizabethan picture one thing more is necessary. Writing from the viewpoint of history of ideas, the age was also prolific in literary creations. In religion as well, the impact of the new generation was clearly felt. What they did and thought in the changed atmosphere of the century and in the depth of depression throws a different, if an oblique, light on Elizabethan England. It was the young men who swelled the ranks of militant Puritanism and resurgent Catholicism and the writers of what might be called the "university wits" generation who came on the stage of new literature. Their extremist reactions against the via media of the Elizabethan Settlement and the Marlovian ambitions expressed in their behaviours at last sealed the fate of this famous age.