-The Edwardian Age-
When Queen Victoria died in 1901, her son became king as Edward VII; his reign was short, but he gave his name to an age and culture: the Edwardian Age.
He modernized the monarchy and brought new life and a sense of fun to the royal court.
He redecorated Buckingham Palace, where there were held also some balls.
About foreign policy, Edward signed an agreement with France in 1904, the entente cordiale.
It established that Britain could pursue its interest in Egypt, and France in Morocco.
Britain was also allied with France and Russia, which have to give support to the British in case of a war against Germany, Austria or Italy.
Socially, there were many similarities between Edwardian and Victorian England.
Class distinctions were well defined and preserved; there were inequalities of wealth.
Also there were serious poverty and inability to provide food and clothing to all people.
Politically, the Liberals were divided into two groups: those who supported the traditional liberal values of laissez-faire and self-help, and those who supported New Liberalism.
They made some laws: with the Children’s Charter, they helped children; the introduced the old age pension; they fixed the minimum wages and gave some benefits to workers, such as free medical treatment and sickness benefits.
Women wanted the right to vote, so was born a movement, the WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union), also called the ‘suffragettes’; they held large marches in London, chained themselves to railings, broke windows, hit and spit at policemen.