2 The Victorian PeriodVictorians thought of themselves living in a time of great change.GrowthProsperityProgress
3 Peace and Economic Growth: Britannia Rules Empire grew steadily until 1900IndiaNorth AmericaQueen Victoria was the ruler of more than million people living OUTSIDE of Great Britain
4 Economic Growth Industrial Revolution expanded New towns, new goods, new wealth, and new jobs for people maneuvering through levels of the middle class.Middle class and working class politicians and voters achieved political power while leaving the monarchy and aristocracy in place.
5 The Idea ProgressThomas Babington Macauley voiced middle class Victorian attitudeHistory = progressProgress= material improvement that could be seen and touched, counted and measuredCleanliness and orderVictorians have confidence that all social and material problems can be solved by “progress.”By the end of the era, disruption and materialism led to a reevaluation of these values.
6 The Hungry Forties 1st decade of Queen Victoria’s reign was troubled She came to the throne in the first year of a depression1.5 million unemployed workers (out of 16 million people)were on some form of relief
7 The Hungry Forties Poor working conditions Government commissions investigated poor working conditionsChildren were mangled at machines when they fell asleep at the end of 12-hour work days.Children hauled coal in the mines
8 The Hungry Forties Potato Famine Ireland ( ) – potato blight caused famine that killed a million and forced 2 million to emigrate.Some went to England – caused severe overcrowding in cities
9 The Hungry Forties Pollution and Filth Rapid growth of the cities Filthy and disorderlyMajor cities were expanding because of industryStreets were unpaved; Thames River was polluted with sewage, industrial waste, and drainage from graveyardsBodies were buried six or eight deep
10 The Movement for Reform: Food, Factories, and Optimism Violence and massive political rallies (1840)- To protest government policies that kept the price of food high and deprived most working men of the vote and representation in ParliamentPolitical reformers organized a “monster rally” to protest
11 Movements of Reform Improvements in Diet Mid-century – Price of food dropped because of increased trade with other countries and the growing empireDiet improved – meat, fruit, and margarine (Victorian invention) was available to working-class householdsFactories and railroads made items and services cheap
12 Movements of Reform Florence Nightingale Transformed public’s perception of modern nursingReformed hospital managementOctavia Hill – became authority on housing reformBelieved that adequate housing could “make individual life noble, homes happy, and family life good.”
13 Movements in Reform Reform Bills Almost all adult males got to vote by the last decades of the centuryFirst Reform Act – All men who owned property worth 10 pounds or more in yearly rent could voteSecond Reform Act – Right to vote to most working-class men except for farm workersWomen age 30 and over won the right to vote – 1918Woman age 21 and over – 1921
14 Reform BillsFactory Acts – Limited child labor and reduced usual working to 10 hours with ½ holiday on SaturdayState supported schools established – 1870Compulsory education – 1880Free education – 1891By 1900 – 90% of population was literate
15 “Blushing Cheeks”: Decorum & Prudery Middle class obsession with gentility or decorumCensored books/magazines of things that could bring “a blush to the cheek”In fiction – sex, birth, and death were softened into tender courtships, joyous motherhoods, and deathbed scenes in which old people were saints and babies were angelsSeduced/adulterous women = “fallen” into the margins of society
16 Authoritarian Values Family Autocratic father of middle class households (in both fact and fiction)Women were subject to male authorityWomen marry to make comfortable homes as a refuge for their husbands to escape the male domain of business
17 Authoritarian Values Few occupations for unmarried women Working class – servants in wealthy homesMiddle class – governesses/teachersUnmarried women had painful, difficult lives
18 Prudery and Social Control Used to control immorality and sexual excess associated with violent political revolutions of the 18th century and social corruption of regency of George IV
19 Intellectual Progress: The March of the Mind Humans began to understand more about the earth, its creatures, and natural lawsCharles Darwin – Evolution of the SpeciesTechnology, chemistry, and engineering aided with the industrial movement
20 Questions and DoubtsVictorians questioned the cost of exploiting the earth and human beings to achieve material comfortProtested or mocked codes of decorum and authority
21 The Popular Mr. DickensMost popular and important figure in Victorian literatureThanks to the high literacy rateSon of a debt-ridden clerk, but due to his talents and energy rose from poverty to become a wealthy and famous man
22 Mr. DickensHis books had happy endings, but many characters were neglected, abused, and exploited (esp. children).Oliver Twist (hungry) “Please sir, may I have some more?”Tiny Tim (handicapped) “God bless us, everyone!”David Copperfield (abused by stepfather) “Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.”Attacked hollow, superficial excess of the Victorian Age
23 Trust in the Transcendental & Skepticism Transcendentalists (Romantics) – Purpose of the poet (or any writer) was to make readers aware of the connection between earth and heaven, body and soul, material and idealMid-century- a withdrawal of God from the worldMatthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach”No certainty about God
24 Trust in the Transcendental & Skepticism By the end of the centurySkepticism and denial of God dominatedThomas Hardy and A. E. Houseman
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