Victoria married Albert and they had 8 children, in fact, family and marriage were the most important value also for the population. She ruled Britain and the British Empire from 1837 to 1901. It was a period of material progress, imperial expansion and of political and constitutional developments.
There were two political tendencies:
• liberalism: wanted complete freedom of trade and the abolition of tariffs on imports and exports;
• chartism: asked for reforms in voting. The founder was O’Connor, who tried to obtain 6 points. For example: universal adult male suffrage (reached at the end of the century), equal electoral districts, secret ballots and annual elections.
[The first reform built was in 1832, the second in 1867 and the third in 1884, which enlarged the suffrage, in fact Britain reached the universal male suffrage.
The prime minister Disrael said that the reign was divided into two different nations: the rich and the poor. Victorian compromise means accepting the hypocrisy of the age: there was a duality, this age was a coin with 2 faces. Authors were influenced by this aspect (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dorian Gray).
[These years were called hungry forties because man didn’t have money to buy food and because there were taxes for example on bread.]
In 1834 the poor law amendment act said that poor people couldn’t live in the street. So the reign started to built work houses: in order to have food and a bed it was necessary to work.