A Christmas Carol Background

Elliot Wiley

Victorian Era

  • The Victorian Era is named so because of Queen Victoria, who was ruler of Britain at the time.
  • This era lasted from 1837 to 1901.
  • Victorians were very impressed by science and progress, and believed they could improve society by improving technology.
  • Some large issues during this era were poverty and child labor.
  • America's Civil War happened during the Victorian Era.

ChildLabor & Poverty during Victorian Age

  • In the 19th Century, a dramatic increase in population was seen. Because of this, housing became more expensive and scarce.
  • During the Victorian Age many family's were split apart because the parents couldn't afford to bay certain taxes and were jailed for it. Therefore, the children usually tried to pay-off the debt by working or simply went to jail with their parents to be with them.
  • Child labor inevitably increased because of these hardships, and was very common. Children all over were working in mines, factories, or as chimney-sweeps.
  • Children as young as four years old were often put to work doing strenuous jobs and were often underpaid if at all.
  • Later, factory acts were passed to add limits to age and hours of work.


  • The term "industrialization" refers to the large scale introduction of manufacturing and the use of machines to benefit humans and make tasks simpler.
  • As you might think, the industrial revolution refers to a time when many new machines were invented to make life easier for the common man.
  • Victorians were always trying to make new technology. It's engineering firms were often occupied with the design and construction of railways.
  • One of the inventions that was made during this new era was Thomas Edison's light bulb. Before this was made, people commonly used things such as lanterns and gaslights to light their homes.
  • Another great invention came around 1889. The handheld camera.

Charles Dickens

  • Before Charles Dickens was a writer, he worked in a factory.
  • Dickens' first love was Maria Beadnell.
  • Many believe that Dickens created the modern idea of Christmas; As something that could be celebrated by non-religious people as well as the religious.
  • Dickens also helped popularize the term "red tape"; This describing systems in positions of power that hurt the weak and poor.
  • Much of modern comedy is conditioned in a very similar way to how Dickens wrote his characters and dialogue.