Historical Context for The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle 1830s England
Time Period Beginnings of the Industrial Revolution –Moving from agrarian society to industrialized. –This started creating a middle class. –England’s colonies created industry –Lots of shipping and business overseas (in South America, Africa, Asia (India)) –Suez Canal opened 1869 (Rise of Sea Commerce) Reform –People wanted more rights for lower classes –Movement to allow more people to vote (the nobility controlled mostly everything, while everyone else’s power was limited). –Started bringing up women’s rights Pre-Victorian Era –King George III ruled for a long time; he died. [Regency Period 1811-1837] George IV was next. Before Victoria was Henry IV
Role of Children Rich Children –Parents were nobles, landowners, merchants, bankers, industrialists. –Taught to be seen an not heard. –Treated as little adults –Boys went away to school; very strict education –Girls were educated by governesses (women tutors), taught basic skills –Focus for girl’s education was to become a good mother and wife
Role of Children Poor Children –Parents were lower class –Forced to work in factories to help provide for family –Conditions in factories were very bad – worked long hours in unhealthy conditions. –Rarely educated
Why did children go to work? Many Victorian children were poor and worked to help their families. Few people thought this strange or cruel. Families got no money unless they worked, and most people thought work was good for children. The Industrial Revolution created new jobs, in factories and mines. Many of these jobs were at first done by children, because children were cheap - a child was paid less than adults (just a few pennies for a week's work).
What jobs did children do? Children worked on farms, in homes as servants, and in factories. Children often did jobs that required small size and nimble fingers. But they also pushed heavy coal trucks along tunnels in coal mines. Boys went to sea, as boy-sailors, and girls went 'into service' as housemaids. Children worked on city streets, selling things such as flowers, matches and ribbons. Crossing boys swept the roads clean of horse-dung and rubbish left by the horses that pulled carts and carriages.
When did children start work? Many children started work at the age of 5, the same age as children start school today. They went to work as soon as they were big enough. Even a tiny child could feed chickens. Older brothers and sisters took small children to work, perhaps to a factory at the end of the street. Other children worked at home, doing jobs such as washing, sewing, sticking labels on bottles or making brushes.
Life in Victorian Age The average wage in the 1850s was about 15 shillings (75p) a week. Many children got just 5 shillings (25p) a week, or less. In Victorian times, many families had 10 or more children. Sadly, many children died as babies, or from diseases such as smallpox and diphtheria. Child-death struck rich and poor families. In a Victorian town, it was easy to tell who was rich and who was poor. Children from richer homes were well fed, wore warm clothes and had shoes on their feet. They did not work, but went to school or had lessons at home. Poor children looked thin and hungry, wore ragged clothes, and some had no shoes. Poor children had to work. They were lucky if they went to school.
Role of Women Very limited rights –Same basic rights as children –Property of her husband –Her income, land, property all belong to her husband. –Divorce was almost impossible – even if granted a divorce, all property/children went to the husband. –Legal for husbands to beat wives. –Could not have own money, or even a job (unless teacher).
Role of Women Women as “Household Generals” Term for women made up by Isabella Beeton in 1861 in her manual Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management. Explained that the mistress of a household is comparable to the Commander of an Army Purpose = run the household and make sure her family is well taken care of. Duties include: –Manage servants –Organize parties and dinners to advance husband’s place in society –Take care of children, parents Must be sweet, nice, have compassion Must be neat, quiet, love order and cleanliness
19 th Century Ships Clipper – very fast sailing ship of the 19th century Had three or more masts and a square rig. Had a large total sail area Carried bulk freight for trade. Made in British and American shipyards, though France, the Netherlands and other nations also produced some. Sailed all over the world, primarily on the trade routes between the United Kingdom and its colonies in the east, in trans-Atlantic trade, and the New York-to-San Francisco route round Cape Horn during the California Gold Rush.
Golden Age of Sailing Period in the 19th century when the efficiency and usage of commercial sailing vessels was at its peak Before steamboats started to take trade away from sail. Ended in the 1860s after the Industrial Revolution allowed steam power.
Your Assignment Write one sentence about what you learned for each of the following: –What life was like for women in the 1800s. –What life was like for poor children in the 1800s. –What life was like for rich children in the 1800s. –What was going on politically in the 1800s. (Who was ruling, what government was like, etc). –What were 19 th century ships like or used for. Turn it in to my basket when you’re done.
Periods and eras in English history Anglo-Saxon period (927–1066) Norman period (1066–1154) Plantagenet period (1154–1485) Tudor period (1485–1603) Elizabethan era (1558–1603) Stuart period (1603–1714) Jacobean era (1603–1625) Caroline era (1625–1649) The Interregnum (1649–1660) Restoration era (1660–1685) Georgian era (1714–1830) Victorian era (1837–1901) Edwardian era (1901–1910) World War I (1914–1918) Interwar Period (1918–1939) World War II (1939–1945) Modern England (1945–Present)