Presentation on theme: "The Victorian Period, 1832 – 1901 Social Reform Comes to a Head."— Presentation transcript:
The Victorian Period, 1832 – 1901 Social Reform Comes to a Head
Reading Review Who was the reigning British monarch during this period? What was the main commodity (raw material) of British Industrialization during this period? Who wrote on The Subjection of Women? What was the other name for the Irish Famine? Who is considered “ the most important figure in Victorian literature ” ? Bonus: More than one million from this country moved to England to find work and escape famine.
Industrialization The creation of mechanization and the assembly line provides jobs for thousands. Horrid working conditions. Again, increased city populations. Failing infrastructure becomes unavoidable. Solutions sought. Political reform demanded by the poor.
Colonial Power Victoria controlled one-quarter of the Earth ’ s land mass at her height. Growing middle class. Imports from all continents brought colonial pride: zoos, museums, palaces. Anglo-centered world view.
Women ’ s Rights Only property-owning men could vote. John Stuart Mill ’ s The Subjection of Women highlighted the plight of women, Middle-class women were archetyped as wives, mothers and homemakers. Ideals of refinement and civilization forced women into subservient roles. Double standard: Female sexual impropriety forbidden; male sexual impropriety considered a minor (and normal) matter.
Women ’ s Rights "... [T]he legal subordination of one sex to another — is wrong in itself, and now one of the chief hindrances to human improvement; and that it ought to be replaced by a system of perfect equality, admitting no power and privilege on the one side, nor disability on the other. “ On the Subjection of Women, Chapter I (John Stuart Mill, 1869).
Problems Worsen “ Hungry Forties ” Irish potato famine English depression Population swells in slums Hygiene: 2 toilets per 250 people in city slums (EOL 787). Child labor forces children to forego childhood in pursuit of money.
Humanistic Worldview Technological advancements added to the view of human power to change the world for the better of “ all. ” Industrialization led to materialism in the middle and upper classes. The plight of the poor and oppressed led to doubt in the existence of a “ good God ” or even God at all. Physical needs overpowered spiritual tradition and belief in many.
Literary Contributions Philosophy: highlighted Utilitarianism, Utopianism, Humanism and science. Graphic depictions of human conditions. Literature as a tool of reformation. Competing ideas and philosophies. Female authors taken more seriously. Development of characters enhanced.
Questions to Consider What were some of the barriers to women ’ s rights? What were the events that opened doors for women? How did the poorer classes make their voices heard? In what ways were they effective? Ineffective? What does the Victorian Period teach us about the power of the written word?