What is the Victorian Era?
The Victorian Era refers to the 64-year period when Britain obtained immense amounts of power and wealth by extending its kingdom across the globe. During this time, Britain revolutionized technology, transportation, and communication. It increased its trade across the globe and sent many British explorers on expeditions across the African and Asian continents.
The Victorian Era was a time of significant change—good and bad—but it represented what the future looked like for the rest of the world.
When was the Victorian Era or Time Period?
The Victorian Era specifically refers to the time between 1837 and 1901. This time period covers the moment when Queen Victoria ascended to the throne and became the monarch of Great Britain and Ireland in 1837, as well as Empress of India in 1877. It then ends with Queen Victoria’s death in 1901.
Following Queen Victoria’s death, King Edward VII took the throne. The period in which King Edward VII reigned is referred to as the Edwardian Era. The ascent of Edward VII clearly ended the Victorian Era.
Why Was It called the Victorian Era?
These 64 years in the United Kingdom were called The Victorian Era after Queen Victoria. Since she was Queen during this great revolutionary time in Great Britain, her name has been applied to describe the era. Simply, Queen Victoria’s name is applied to the historical era in which she reigned.
Who were the Victorians?
Victorians are the subjects who lived under Queen Victoria’s rule. Victorians are usually considered those who were born in and lived in Great Britain during Victoria’s reign.
The British empire did spread into, and control places like India, but those under the rule of the British Empire are generally not referred to as Victorians. Instead, Victorians usually refers to the citizens born on the British Isles and those were not colonized by the British Empire.
Where Were They From?
The Victorians were from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland or the British Isles.
What was the Victorian Era Like?
England was changing drastically during the Victorian Era. Britain became an industrial superpower and produced significant amounts of the world’s iron, steel, cotton, textiles, and coal. Due to the growth of the industry, British citizens began to move from the country to the cities to find work.
The population began to spike, but Great Britain saw a drastic rise in poverty. Working conditions in industrial cities were dangerous, and the environment was polluted by these industries. Railways grew, and so did commerce.
However, there was a rise in deep concern for social issues and reform. The British government passed acts that limited the amount of work for certain workers, and younger employees were provided with clothing and some education. Factory Acts banned children under nine from working in factories and limited the number of hours children can work.
There were great strides made in science, literature, and technology during this era. Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution in 1859. Literacy rates began to rise, and literature was more readily mass-produced. With the publication of Frankenstein in 1818 by Mary Shelley, the genre of horror was born.
In terms of technology, electric lights were installed on different London streets in 1877-78. Developments in photography slowly occurred during the end of the century, as well as new designs in steamships and trains.
This was also an era of great social mobility. While there was still poverty and a large gap between the wealthy the poor, industrialization opened opportunities for individuals to move towards a middle-class lifestyle.
Other Interesting Facts & Information about The Victorian Era
- When Queen Victoria died, the British Empire encompassed nearly 1/5 of the Earth’s surface
- Almost a quarter of the world’s population was under Queen Victoria’s rule
- Death rates were high during the Victorian era and remained between 17-20 percent.
- The life expectancy grew from 38 years to 48 years by the end of the Victorian Era.
- Many different charitable organizations were formed to help those in need during this time period.
- The British government became slightly more representative during this time, and citizens appreciated political debates between politicians.
- The first operational telegraph was built between Euston station and Camden town during the Victorian Era.
- Horticulture and the study of gardening were of great importance to Victorians.
- Many gardens were constructed out of this important pastime.
- The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew opened in 1840.
- Parks in urban areas were created to bring life and beauty.
- Victorians enjoyed entertainment and diversions.
- New sports like croquet were created as a pastime.