Victorian Era

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·Introduction:

The Victorian era was a period full of changes; the most important was the reign of Queen Victoria, who ascended the throne in 1837 and ruled the British Empire, restoring stability to the crown. Her reign is considered one of the most prosperous in her time, which eventually became the symbol of a period that took its name, "the Victorian Era".
Queen Victoria (1819-1901) was the first English monarch to see her name given to the period of her reign whilst still living (1). The Victorian Age was characterised by rapid change and developments in nearly every sphere - from advances in medical, scientific and technological knowledge to changes in population growth and location. Over time, this rapid transformation deeply affected the country's mood: an age that began with a confidence and optimism leading to economic boom and prosperity eventually gave way to uncertainty and doubt regarding Britain's place in the world. Today we associate the nineteenth century with the Protestant work ethic, family values, religious observation and institutional faith.

For the most part, nineteenth century families were large and patriarchal. They encouraged hard work, respectability, social deference and religious conformity. While this view of nineteenth century life was valid, it was frequently challenged by contemporaries. Women were often portrayed as either Madonnas or whores, yet increasing educational and employment opportunities gave many a role outside the family.

Politics were important to the Victorians; they believed in the perfection of their evolved representative government, and in exporting it throughout the British Empire. This age saw the birth and spread of political movements, most notably socialism, liberalism and organised feminism. British Victorians were excited by geographical exploration, by the opening up of Africa and Asia to the West, yet were troubled by the intractable Irish situation and humiliated by the failures of the

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