Victorian Research

Stiles Westbrook, Tommy Wynn


  • More enlightened laws

  • The Benefits of wealth created through industrial development

  • Greater political stability than in the rest of Europe.

  • Difference to class and authority

  • Respect for law

  • The conviction that work is a duty which is good for the soul.

    • Concern for schooling

    • The caring of orphans

    • Child care

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  • British manufacturing became dominant in the world and trade and the financial sector also grew significantly

  • The rail network, begun in the 1830s, was largely completed by the 1870s and had a great effect not only on the accessibility of travel and speed of movement but also on the appearance of the countryside

  • British power and influence overseas expanded and seemed to be permanent

  • The population grew enormously, from around 12 million in 1812 to 25 million by 1870

  • This period also saw a significant shift of population from the countryside to the towns and the consequent growth of large cities.
  • The Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 removed most of the legal disadvantages suffered by Roman Catholics

  • The 1832 Reform Act enabled more men to vote but electors still had to possess a minimum amount of property before they could exercise this right

  • There were several Factory Acts that - among other things - limited the hours children were allowed to work

  • In 1834, the new Poor Law set up the notorious workhouses, where the poor were sent to work for their board and lodging

  • In 1846, the Corn Laws, which kept the price of wheat artificially high, were repealed, and the price of bread fell.
  • Invention of railway and telegraph
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Discoveries, Inventions, and Developments

Further inventions in the twentieth century increased the speed of long-distance communication, especially

  • aeroplanes
  • radio and television
  • the worldwide web

Aeroplanes have made international travel much quicker than the ferries and liners which could take weeks or even months to reach their destination. Travel and communicating has become significantly more affordable, shrinking the world into what is sometimes called ‘the global village'. The worldwide web of the internet has made communication possible wherever anyone is. Any news can be relayed worldwide within minutes of its being reported.

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  • Charles Dickens
  • Anthony Trollope
  • Wilkie Collins
  • William Makepeace Thackerary
  • George Eliot
  • Thomas Hardy
  • Anne Bronte
  • Emily Bronte
  • Charlotte Bronte
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Lewis Carroll
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Elizabeth Gaskell
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Famous Work

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte
Bleak House, Charles Dickens
Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens
Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell
Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
The Way We Live Now, Anthony Trollope
Middlemarch, George Eliot
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