Middle and Late Victorian period

Elaborato in lingua inglese su seconda meta' dell'ottocento ed Età Vittoriana (4 pagine formato doc)

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Middle and late Victorian periods (1851-1901)

The early Victorian period usually finishes with the Great Exhibition in 1851.

The following period saw the massive expansion of Britain's Empire all over the world.
The British Empire towards the end of the century covered a quarter of the earth's surface, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, strategic outposts in Asia and in the Mediterranean, islands in the Caribbean and large parts of Africa.

In 1876 Queen Victoria was declared Empress of India, while in South Africa the British were at war with Dutch settlers known as Boers.

Two Boer Wars were fought between the British Empire and the two independent Boer republics, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic.

The war most commonly referred to as the "Boer War" is the Second Boer War (1899-1902), which involved large numbers of troops from many British possessions and which ended with the conversion of the Boer republics into British colonies. These colonies later formed part of the Union of South Africa.

Social reforms

Slowly the situation of the workers improved.

The late Victorian period was strongly influenced by two important political figures, William Gladstone (originally a Tory leader, eventually a Liberal one) and Benjamin Disraeli

Both of them advocated a policy of gradual incorporation of the working classes through reforms:
  • In 1870 the Education Act provided a system of primary schools
  • In 1871 the Trade Union Act made unions legal
In 1884 the Fabian Society, which represented British Socialism, was founded.

The society laid many of the foundations of the Labour Party, founded at the start of the 20th century.


Victorian Age was a period of earnestness. Samuel Butler's novel The Way of All Flesh attacks

Victorian-era hypocrisy.