The Victorian age was so called because the prominent figure of this period was the queen Victoria who had a very long reign. The queen was such an important person that the period took her name. She was important because her manners, her lifestyle influenced the society of the time. She didn’t want to spend her time to theatre, entertainment and for this reason the society developed a new Puritanism. This period was marked by many, many events, also from the religious point of view: the Catholics could profess their religion without problems. Victorian age was the period when middle class reached his maximum: for the first time had a place in Parliament and in government (this was thank to the progress in technology). Another landmark is the colonial expansion of the United Kingdom (India, Africa, America, all setting new materials to a convenient price). Transport and the road system were improved. But if on the one hand all these situations improved a lot the life in the country, these same conditions contributed to problems. The so called Victorian compromises consisted in a sort of dichotomy that existed in the society: nice towns, respectable people versus exploited working class and shabby residences. These slums also existed in the first industrial revolution, but grew in number and stood, invisible to the middle class’s sight. Their sacrifice was essential to the others lifestyle. At some point the government had to do something, also because the criminality rate increased and woman became prostitutes, so a law was made: the new poor law that established the institution of structures that could have faced this problem called workhouses. They should have been hold by the government to provide the poor with everything they needed to find a job. They were separated between man, women and children. Children’s workhouses were run by parishes. The actual work was done by a corrupted official, who kept the money for himself and starved the poor. Children were taken by criminals, especially pickpockets to steal.
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The Victorian Age