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The Victorian Period 1830-1901. Quotes from the Times…  “Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret” Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby  “’Tis.

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Presentation on theme: "The Victorian Period 1830-1901. Quotes from the Times…  “Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret” Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby  “’Tis."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Victorian Period

2 Quotes from the Times…  “Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret” Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby  “’Tis better to have loved and lost/ Than never to have loved at all” Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “In Memoriam, A.H.H.”  A man’s reach should exceed his grasp,/ Or what’s a heaven for?” Robert Browning, “Andrea del Santo” Tennys on Bro wni ng

3 A Time of Change  London becomes most important city in Europe  Population of London expands from two million to six million  Shift from ownership of land to modern urban economy  Impact of industrialism  Increase in wealth  World’s foremost imperial power  Victorian people suffered from anxiety, a sense of being displaced persons in an age of technological advances.

4 Queen Victoria ( ) Reign: SShe had the longest reign in British history BBecame queen at the age of 18; she was graceful and self-assured. She also had a gift for drawing and painting TThroughout her reign, she maintained a sense of dignity and decorum that restored the average person’s high opinion of the monarchy after a series of horrible, ineffective leaders 11840-Victoria married a German prince, Albert, who became not king, but Prince-consort AAfter he died in 1861, she sank into a deep depression and wore black every day for the rest of her life

5 The Growth of the British Empire EEngland grew to become the greatest nation on earth EEmpire included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Kenya, and India EEngland built a very large navy and merchant fleet (for trade and colonization)

6 Social and Political Reform  1832-First Reform Act-extended the vote to most middle-class men  1833-Britain abolished slavery/Factory Act- regulated child labor in factories  1834-Poor Law-Amendment applied a system of workhouses for poor people  1871-Trade Union Act-made it legal for laborers to organize to protect their rights

7 The Reform Bill of 1832  Transformed English class structure  Extended the right to vote to all males owning property  Second Reform Bill passed in 1867  Extended right to vote to working class

8 LATE VICTORIAN BRITAIN, : DISRAELI AND GLADSTONE ddem. had been entrenched by this time, and the extension of the franchise was an accepted part of the process iin 1867, the 2nd Reform Bill was passed by the gov’t of the Conservative (Tory) Benjamin Disraeli ww/ this working class male householders were given suffrage iin 1884, a 3rd Reform Bill went through under the Liberal William Gladstone, extending the franchise to male rural householders

9 llate 19th c. G.B. still saw the same ongoing conflict though: reform v. tradition DDisraeli tried to profit from this by creating a new conservatism that appealed to est. landowners and the working class eemphasized tradition, patriotism, and reform, working w/ Queen Victoria, who emerged as key symbol of his vision DDisraeli also emerged as a leading imperialist: he made Victoria the Empress of India and bought shares in the Suez Canal, and fought colonial wars in Asia and Africa AAt home, his social reforms recognized unions, public housing, consumer protection, workplace safety…

10  Gladstone and the Liberals followed “Peace, Retrenchment, and Reform”, favouring free trade and fewer colonial wars/adventures  They also favoured a laissez faire approach and the eradication of outdated laws  In this respect, they reformed the army, civil service, and educational institutions, doing away w/ patronage  after ongoing Balkan conflict saw the slaughter of 1000s of Christians by the Ottomans (and Disraeli backed the Ottomans b/c of his concerns over Russia), Gladstone was back in office

11  Gladstone was not successful in his own foreign policy initiatives – conflict w/ the Boers and the Irish showed that peace was elusive; w/ his intro of the Irish Home Rule Bill he split his own party  w/ these devels. and those in other Euro. nations, a new type of rivalry had emerged, based on ind., imperialism and eco. competition  nat’lism in the Balkans was esp. complex b/c of the number of ethno-cultural groups in close proximity; they were stuck in the collapsing Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires, and the Balkan Wars of only inflamed emotions

12  the “spark” would thus occur in this region, creating the total war that would transform the 20th c.  Germany and G.B. emerged as the key powers in this period often called “ The Road to War ” – both identified their dominance as a natural outcome of earlier history: the difference was that in Ger. the old aristocracy retained its influence w/o much trouble, while in G.B. the dispute b/n the landed interests and the people led to constitutional crises and reforms

13 The Crystal Palace  Erected to display the exhibits of modern industry and science at the 1851 Great Exhibition  One of the first buildings constructed according to modern architectural principles  The building symbolized the triumphs of Victorian industry 

14 Utilitarianism  Derived from the ideas of Jeremy Bentham and his disciple James Mill, the father of John Stuart Mill  Rationalist test of value  The greatest good for the greatest number  Utilitarianism failed to recognize people’s spiritual needs

15 Religious Movement in Victorian England  Evangelical Movement: emphasized a Protestant faith in personal salvation through Christ. This movement swept through England. Led to the creation of the Salvation Army and YMCA.  Oxford Movement (Tractarians): sought to bring the official English Anglican Church closer in rituals and beliefs to Roman Catholicism

16 Challenges to Religious Belief  Science  Huxley  Darwin- the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man  Higher Criticism  Examination of the Bible as a mere text of history  Source studies  Geology  Astronomy

17 Other Thoughts…  John Stuart Mill ( )-philosopher who created two ideas  Utilitarianism: the object of moral action was to bring about the greatest good for the greatest amount of people  Liberalism: governments had the right to restrict the actions of individuals only when those actions harmed others, and that society should use its collective resources to provide for the basic welfare of others. Also encouraged equal rights for women

18 Other Thoughts..  Charles Lyell ( ):  Showed that geological features on Earth had developed continuously and slowly over immense periods of time  Charles Darwin ( ): Introduced the survival of the fittest theory Lyell Darwin

19 Other Thoughts…  Herbert Spencer ( ): Applied Darwinism to human society: as in nature, survival properly belongs to the fittest, those most able to survive. Social Darwinism was used by many Victorians to justify social inequalities based on race, social or economic class, or gender  Adam Smith- 18 th century economist, held that the best government economic policy was to leave the market alone—to follow a laissez faire or “let it be” policy of little or no gov’t intervention

20 Victorian Literature FFour types of writing were popular during the Victorian Era: RRealist NNaturalist TThe Novel PPoetry

21 Realism  The attempt to produce in art and literature an accurate portrayal of reality  Realistic, detailed descriptions of everyday life, and of its darker aspects, appealed to many readers disillusioned by the “progress” going on around them.  Themes in Realist writing included families, religion, and social reform

22 Naturalism  Based on the philosophical theory that actions and events are the results not of human intentions, but of largely uncontrollable external forces  Authors chose subjects and themes common to the lower and middle classes  Attentive to details, striving for accuracy and authenticity in their descriptions

23 The Novel  Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights  Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre  Charles Dickens: Many of his novels were published in serial form. His comic and sentimental descriptions of the lives of people in diverse occupations and social classes made Dickens the most popular Victorian novelist. A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, David Copperfield Emily Bronte Charlotte Bronte Charles Dickens

24 The Late Victorian Period  Decay of Victorian values  British imperialism  Boer War  Irish question  Bismarck's Germany became a rival power  United States became a rival power  Economic depression led to mass immigration  Socialism

25 The Role of Women  The Woman Question  Changing conditions of women’s work created by the Industrial Revolution  The Factory Acts ( ) – regulations of the conditions of labor in mines and factories  The Custody Act (1839) – gave a mother the right to petition the court for access to her minor children and custody of children under seven and later sixteen.  The Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act – established a civil divorce court  Married Women’s Property Acts

26 Working Conditions for Women  Bad working conditions and underemployment drove thousands of women into prostitution.  The only occupation at which an unmarried middle-class woman could earn a living and maintain some claim to gentility was that of a governess.


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