The Victorian age is generally agreed to stretch through the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). It was an exciting period when many artistic styles, literary schools, as well as, social, political and religious movements thrived. It was a time of prosperity, wide-ranging imperial expansion, and great political reform. It was also a time, which today we associate with "prudishness" and "oppression". Without a doubt, it was an extraordinarily complex age, that has sometimes been called the Second English Renaissance. It is also the beginning of Modern Times. The Victorian age also marked the height of the British Industrial Revolution and the apex of the British Empire.
The social classes of England were newly reforming, and fomenting. There was a churning turmoil of the old hierarchical order, and the middle classes were steadily growing. The upper classes' composition was changing from simply hereditary aristocracy to a combination of nobility and an emerging wealthy commercial class. Conditions of the working class were still bad, nut during the century, three reform bills eventually gave the vote to most males over the age of twenty-one. Distinct to that was the horrible reality of child labor which persisted throughout the period.
The Victorian Era was also a time of tremendous scientific progress and ideas. Darwin took his Voyage of the Beagle, and came up with the Theory of Evolution. The Great Exhibition of 1851 took place in London, landing the technical and industrial advances of the age, and advances in medicine and the physical sciences continued throughout the century. The radical thought associated with modern psychiatry began with men like Sigmund Feud toward the end of the era, and radical economic theory, developed by Karl Marx and his associates, began a second age of revolution in mid-century. The ideas of Marxism, socialism, feminism agitated along with all else that happened.
Artistic movement and fashion... [continues]
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