Victorian Age(1837-1901) is a period of expansion and prosperity, of industrial development and scientific and technological progress.
Victoria became queen when she was only eighteen.She became soon very popular because of her strong sense of duty and her simplicity. The values of victorian age were respectability, good manners, hard work, family. "Respectability" was the key word of Victorianism: manners and language became very sober, and sex was considered a taboo. It was forbidden have a relationship outside marriage. Queen Victoria proved a very prolific mother (nine children) and encouraged big families. In the family the father was more authoritarian than the mother.
in fact women hadn't importance and they had to look after children and educate them. women were considered the angels of the house. There was a difficult political and economic situation. The largest organised workers movement was that of the Chartists: it was a consequence of the poor conditions. radicals and workers presented to Parliament a document called "People's Charterit asked for: universal suffrage; secret ballot; abolition of poor law. The Chartists Movement failed because of political immaturity. During Victorias reign two of Britains modern parties were born: the Conservatives (old Tories), and the Liberals (old Whigs). A policy of free trade was supported by industrial middle class because in this period there was a very materialistic society based on the value of money. England passed from an agricultural country to an industrial one. This caused a migration of rural people to the industrial areas in search of jobs.People in cities lived in intolerable situation, in bad sanitary condition. Victorian society was diveded into 3 main classes: aristocracy (landowners); middle class; working class. During the Victorian Age several important reforms were carried out: -Ten hours Act, limiting working hours to ten a day both for men and women; -Mines Act, forbidding the employment for women and children in mines; -Emancipation of religious sects, which allowed Catholics to hold government jobs and to enter the universities of Oxford and Cambridge; -Public Health Act, improving health conditions; -Trade Union Act, which legalised the activities of the unions of workers. The Irish Question broke out: Ireland was very poor and the population was mostly Catholic. It was an agricultural country and diet was based on potatoes. the potato blight caused mass starvation and emigration especially to the USA. British colonised East and West Africa. There is triumph of industry represented by steam engine (inventions of trains and steam boats). The scientific research was applied to the invention and construction of machinery. Rowland Hill invented the stamp: penny black. The novel is the most apprecieted genre in that period by middle-class. Books diffusion was favourited by :circulating libraries;better ways of communication, which made it easier to bring reading material;the i