historical context of Victorian age
Alternation of two political parties:
1 The conservatives:
Evolution of: "Anglican Tory Party"
Area: England, especially the South England
Leader: Sir Robert Pill, Benjamin Disraeli
Purpose: -maintenance of existing institutions;
-interest of rich people and landend gentry;
-correction of evident abuses
2 The libearls
Evolution of: Whig Party
Area: Scotland, Ireland, Wales
Leader: Lord Palmestron, W.E Gladstone
Purpose: - trade freedom;
-interest of manifatyring class
-preventing abuses of power
Queen Victoria (reign 1837-1901) found a critical situation, because of riots between factory workers and farm workers, who both wanted improvement of standart life and to be rapresented in Parliament.
Life was very hard for poor people and the Acts of Parliament dindn't help them.
With poor law amendament act workhouses (places where poor people could live and at the same time work) were built, but the condition of life were bad.
The First Reform Bill of 1832 favoured just middle class, so people needed some working-class rapresentatives in Parliament. So they issued the PEOPLE'S CHART, that asked universal male suffrage and secret ballot. Those requests were never accepted, but they inspired the Trade Unions.
Second reform bill (1867): all male house-holders in town had the righy to vote.
Third reform bill (1884): all male house-holders and lodgers in country and in town had the right to vote.
Fourth reform bill (1918): all men over 21 and all women over 30 had the right to vote (women just in 2928 could vote at the age of 21 )
In this age the policy of "laissez-faire"(: non-interference with industry or the national economy, allowing free trade and competition by the gouvernament) brought to the "VICTORIAN COMPROMISE". This expression indicates the way of making reforms without changing radically the situation, to evitate strong revolution like in the rest of the Europe. Example of these reforms are "ten-hours Act" and "mines Act". This kind of reforms:
-reduced the hours of work;
-reduced the exploitation of children and women;
-increased the minimal age to work;
-made elementary education free
-BUT dindn't help the poor areas of the country like Ireland, where a fungus destroyed potatoes and created a really hard condition of life. So people emigrated to America and began the "Independence Movement".
During the Victorian age there was the consolidation of Empire, that was from Canada to New Zeland (a fifht of the Earth). Language and customs were imported into colonies. Railways and ports were built and land were formed. Goods were imported to Britain into the factories and exported with a huge profit.
The most important colony was India, for the production of tea, silk, spices, exported all over the world with big profits for England.
Great Britain colonized also Africa, where cocoa, coffee were produced and from wich imported also diamonds, gold and precious wood. But Britidìsh had to fight against Dutch settlers: the Boers.
But the Britidh Empire was destinated to end. First British change the colonies into dominions. wich had a self-gouvernament, to avoid the loss of their power. Than the Boer war was really hard for Britain, that saw the end with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901.