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Nicholas Garza
Mr. Munoz
English IV, Period 4
23 January 2015
The Victorian Era
An era of rapid change, a famous quote used to describe the Victorian Era easily picks
up the main idea many associate with when thinking of this era. The Victorian Era, is the point in
time in which Queen Victoria ruled as Queen of England. This lengthy period of reign lasted
from 1832 until 1901. This era included a huge political and economic growth, as well as
progress in manufacturing and business. Along with this were writers and poets who displayed
different sides to the era in beautiful novels and poems.
Queen Victoria was born in Kensington Palace, London in the year 1819, and was the
only daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent. Queen Victoria was crowned Queen of England at the
young age of 18 in the year 1837. Queen Victoria reigned the longest in recorded English history.
Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840, and bore nine children within their marriage. After
a long and happy marriage, in the year 1861, Prince Albert died. This left Queen Victoria in such
a state of mourning and depression that she withdrew from her position in politics, and lived the
rest of her life rarely seen by the public, and when she was seen, she was wearing black,
mourning Prince Albert. However, Throughout Queen Victorias lengthy reign, much progress
was made, followed by controversy.
During Queen Victorias reign, England was at its ultimate peak, both politically and
economically. With the Industrial Revolution in full swing, England quickly became known as
the workshop of the world. By 1850, England had 18,000 cotton mills running, and was

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producing half of the worlds iron supply. This became possible by the discovery of steam power,
and its use in producing textiles as well as many other goods. Because of the level of production
in England at the time, many jobs opened up, which were immediately filled with men, women,
and children, all desiring to help provide for their family. England experienced a great change in
the material goods that were produced, as well as the change socially.
With all of this progress, came a new change for the middle class citizens. In the business
of production, the middle class found a new wealth in running many of the industries, and
purchasing new technologies which made it easier and quicker to raise production output and
also a raise in their income. The middle class began to have the extra finances to purchase new
clothes, and even hire servants. The wealth of the middle class quickly became a contest to see
who had the most, or most expensive items, and also a game of who was most respectable. The
middle class became so wealthy that they opened up an exhibit known as the Crystal Palace,
which showcases indoor toilets, electric lighting, telegraphs, as well as locomotives. However,
with this positive action in the middle class, the lower class, grew even poorer.
While the middle class began running industries, and taking on many prestigious jobs, the
lower class just could not seem to find a good place to fit. The poor grew more and more
intolerable. The lower class worked jobs similar to the middle class, however, there were many
significant differences. The poor worked for long hours, doing hard work in dangerous
conditions for low pay. Working amongst these conditions were the children and women.
However, the poor were happy to have a job, because they understood that there were many that
could not find work at all. Because of the scarcity of jobs for the lower class, the unemployment
numbers rose in 1840. Because of this, as well as many other major issues, reform took over
England.

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In the year 1833, parliament abolished slavery in British labor, and restricted child labor.
Along with this, there were reforms on public schools, and secret ballots. There were also
reforms against the Victorians, who were close and strong in their beliefs. Many scientific
discoveries and theories also began. Charles Lyell argued that the world was not just thousands
of years old, but millions of year old. Following this debate was Charles Darwin, who developed
On the Origin of Species which showed Darwins theory of evolution that the Victorians
rejected. Along with many scientific writings like Darwins there were also many writings by
poets and novelists.
In 1830, romanticism became a main theme in literature. Poets like Robert Browning and
Alfred Lord Tennyson came to rise. The literature side of the Victorian age stressed the
romanticism theme and ignored the negative issues like factory work and child labor. Many
authors wrote about ancient legends and fairy tales that provided the readers with a sense of
escapism that helped them work through this hard time. Because poets and authors could offer
this sense to many people, they were well respected and seen as a higher order and social class.
Although Queen Victorias reign over England was lengthy, many positive aspects came
about. England was at its peak economically, and the Industrial Revolution was in full swing.
Because of this, the middle class came to a new rise of wealth and fortune, while the lower class
suffered greatly in hard and unsafe working conditions. To help relieve this suffering, writers
focused on aspects that could help the lower class escape from their everyday lives, even just for
a quick second, and help them continue on living their lives.

Works Cited

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"Steam & Speed: Industry, Power & Social Change in 19th-Century Britain." Victoria
and Albert Museum, Online Museum, Web Team, Webmaster@vam.ac.uk. N.p., n.d. Web. 21
Jan. 2015.
"Victoria (r. 1837-1901)." The Official Website of the British Monarchy. N.p., n.d. Web.
20 Jan. 2015.
McDougal Littell Literature British Literature. McDougal Littell The Victorians 18321901 An Era of Rapid Change 894-905. Print.