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The Victorian Period: Paradox and Progress

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Presentation on theme: "The Victorian Period: Paradox and Progress"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Victorian Period: Paradox and Progress

2 Peace and Economic Growth
Industrial Revolution expanded, creating new towns, new goods, new wealth, and new jobs for many Political reforms gave working and middle class citizens more political power

3 The Idea of Progress Middle-class Victorian attitude – progress largely means material improvement that can be seen and touched, counted and measured

4 The Hungry Forties Came to throne during a depression
Poor working conditions -- mangled kids The potato famine -- caused many Irish to emigrate to England, increasing population Pollution and filth -- Thames River

5 The Movement for Reform
Improvements in diet – price of food dropped The Reform Bills – gave the right to vote to almost all adult males; limited child labor; reduced hours in the working day; state-supported schools were established, rising the literacy rate

6 Decorum and Prudery Publishers deleted or altered words and episodes that could embarrass ladies Sex, birth, and death were softened People were arrested for distributing information about STDs

7 Authoritarian Values Uneasy about giving strong authority to a central government Women were subject to male authority Women who didn’t marry had few jobs available – servants (working class); governesses or teachers (middle class)

8 Intellectual Progress & Science
Worked out the history of the earth in rocks and fossils Evolution of species theories Believed the world offered a challenging set of problems that could be understood by human intelligence and solved by science, government, and other human institutions

9 Questions and Doubts Can material comfort fully satisfy human needs and wishes? Cost of exploiting the earth and human beings to achieve comfort Codes of decorum and authority Understanding of the universe

10 Trust/Skepticism in the Transcendental
Younger writers found it difficult to believe in an infinite power and order that made sense of material and human existence Some believed there was no certainty; others that existence was not governed by a kind intelligence that cared for its creatures

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