Victorian Era London

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Victorian Era London



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Literature in the Victorian Era - A Historical Overview

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She was crowned in and died in which put a definite end to her political career. A great deal of change took place during this period--brought about because of the Industrial Revolution ; so it's not surprising that the literature of the period is often concerned with social reform. As Thomas Carlyle — wrote, "The time for levity, insincerity, and idle babble and play-acting, in all kinds, is gone by; it is a serious, grave time. Of course, in the literature from this period, we see a duality, or double standard, between the concerns of the individual the exploitation and corruption both at home and abroad and national success — in what is often referred to as the Victorian Compromise.

In reference to Tennyson, Browning, and Arnold, E. Johnson argues: "Their writings Against the backdrop of technological, political, and socioeconomic change, the Victorian Period was bound to be a volatile time, even without the added complications of the religious and institutional challenges brought by Charles Darwin and other thinkers, writers, and doers. Consider this quote from Victorian author Oscar Wilde in his preface to " The Picture of Dorian Gray " as an example of one of the central conflicts of the literature of his era. The Period is often divided into two parts: the early Victorian Period ending around and the late Victorian Period.

Housman — , and Robert Louis Stevenson — While Tennyson and Browning represented pillars in Victorian poetry, Dickens and Eliot contributed to the development of the English novel. Perhaps the most quintessentially Victorian poetic works of the period are: Tennyson's "In Memorium" , which mourns the loss of his friend. Henry James describes Eliot's "Middlemarch" as "organized, molded, balanced composition, gratifying the reader with the sense of design and construction. A considerable supply was available to Great Britain when the American Civil War erupted and she was able to turn to India and Egypt as alternatives when that ran out. But once it was clear that the United States had the upper hand on the battlefield, the possibility of an Anglo-American war vanished.

Her diary entries suggest the Queen had contemplated the possibility of a union of her North American colonies as early as February She wrote, " A fortnight later she hosted delegates coming to discuss the question of confederation "under the name of Canada," including the future Prime Minister John A. On 29 March , the Queen granted royal ascent to the Act, which was to become effective on 1 July , allowing the delegates time to return home for celebrations. In fact, the Queen maintained strong ties with Canada. Her birthday, Victoria Day , is an official public holiday in Canada. In addition, her daughter Princess Louise was chatelaine of Rideau Hall from to and her son the Duke of Connaught served as Governor-General of Canada between and In , the second Reform Act was passed, expanding the franchise.

In , just a year after the French Third Republic was founded, republican sentiments grew in Britain. After Prince Edward recovered from typhoid, the Queen decided to give a public thanksgiving service and appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. This was the start of her return to public life. In , Britain was a plenipotentiary at the Treaty of Berlin , which gave de jure recognition to the independent states of Romania , Serbia , and Montenegro. Labour movements were recognised and integrated in order to combat extremism. Both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert favoured moderate improvements to conditions of workers. She approved of his policies which helped elevated Britain's status to global superpower. In her later years, her popularity soared as she became a symbol of the British Empire.

David Livingstone led famous expeditions in central Africa, positioning Britain for favorable expansion of its colonial system in the Scramble for Africa during the s. There were numerous revolts and violent conflicts in the British Empire, but there were no wars with other major nations. The British finally prevailed, but lost prestige at home and abroad. After weeks of illness, Queen Victoria died on 22 January Like her, he modernised the British monarchy and ensured its survival when so many European royal families collapsed as a result of the First World War. The rise of the middle class during the era had a formative effect on its character; the historian Walter E.

Houghton reflects that "once the middle class attained political as well as financial eminence, their social influence became decisive. The Victorian frame of mind is largely composed of their characteristic modes of thought and feeling". Industrialisation brought with it a rapidly growing middle class whose increase in numbers had a significant effect on the social strata itself: cultural norms, lifestyle, values and morality. Identifiable characteristics came to define the middle-class home and lifestyle. Previously, in town and city, residential space was adjacent to or incorporated into the work site, virtually occupying the same geographical space.

The difference between private life and commerce was a fluid one distinguished by an informal demarcation of function. In the Victorian era, English family life increasingly became compartmentalised, the home a self-contained structure housing a nuclear family extended according to need and circumstance to include blood relations. The concept of "privacy" became a hallmark of the middle-class life. The English home closed up and darkened over the decade s , the cult of domesticity matched by a cult of privacy. Bourgeois existence was a world of interior space, heavily curtained off and wary of intrusion, and opened only by invitation for viewing on occasions such as parties or teas.

The central feature of Victorian-era politics is the search for reform and improvement, including both the individual personality and society. First was the rapid rise of the middle class, in large part displacing the complete control long exercised by the aristocracy. Respectability was their code—a businessman had to be trusted and must avoid reckless gambling and heavy drinking. Second, the spiritual reform closely linked to evangelical Christianity, including both the Nonconformist sects, such as the Methodists, and especially the evangelical or Low Church element in the established Church of England, typified by Lord Shaftesbury — Starting with the anti-slavery movement of the s, the evangelical moralizers developed highly effective techniques of enhancing the moral sensibilities of all family members and reaching the public at large through intense, very well organized agitation and propaganda.

They focused on exciting a personal revulsion against social evils and personal misbehavior. The third effect came from the liberalism of philosophical utilitarians , led by intellectuals Jeremy Bentham — , James Mill — and his son John Stuart Mill — Their movement, often called "Philosophic Radicalism," fashioned a formula for promoting the goal of "progress" using scientific rationality, and businesslike efficiency, to identify, measure, and discover solutions to social problems. The formula was an inquiry, legislation, execution, inspection, and report. Evangelicals and utilitarians shared a basic middle-class ethic of responsibility and formed a political alliance.

The result was an irresistible force for reform. Social reforms focused on ending slavery, removing the slavery-like burdens on women and children, and reforming the police to prevent crime, rather than emphasizing the very harsh punishment of criminals. Even more important were political reforms, especially the lifting of disabilities on nonconformists and Roman Catholics, and above all, the reform of Parliament and elections to introduce democracy and replace the old system whereby senior aristocrats controlled dozens of seats in parliament.

The long-term effect of the reform movements was to tightly link the nonconformist element with the Liberal party. The dissenters gave significant support to moralistic issues, such as temperance and sabbath enforcement. The nonconformist conscience , as it was called, was repeatedly called upon by Gladstone for support for his moralistic foreign policy. Religion was a battleground during this era, with the Nonconformists fighting bitterly against the established status of the Church of England, especially regarding education and access to universities and public office.

Penalties on Roman Catholics were mostly removed. The Vatican restored the English Catholic bishoprics in and numbers grew through conversions and immigration from Ireland. Secularism and doubts about the accuracy of the Old Testament grew as the scientific outlooked rapidly gained ground among the better educated. Walter E. Houghton argues, "Perhaps the most important development in 19th-century intellectual history was the extension of scientific assumptions and methods from the physical world to the whole life of man. During the mid-nineteenth century, there were two distinct religious mentalities among British academics.

The North British school was religiously conservative and commercially engaged thanks to the influence of Presbyterianism and Calvinism. Northern English and Scottish researchers played a key role in the development of thermodynamics, which was motivated by the desire to design ever more efficient engines. By contrast, in the South, mentalities of Anglicanism, agnosticism, and even atheism were more common. Academics such as the biologist Thomas Huxley promoted "scientific naturalism. Nonconformist conscience describes the moral sensibility of the Nonconformist churches—those which dissent from the established Church of England —that influenced British politics in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The "Nonconformist conscience" of the Old group emphasized religious freedom and equality, the pursuit of justice, and opposition to discrimination, compulsion, and coercion. The New Dissenters and also the Anglican evangelicals stressed personal morality issues, including sexuality, temperance, family values, and Sabbath -keeping. Both factions were politically active, but until the midth century, the Old group supported mostly Whigs and Liberals in politics, while the New—like most Anglicans—generally supported Conservatives.

In the late 19th century, the New Dissenters mostly switched to the Liberal Party. The result was a merging of the two groups, strengthening their great weight as a political pressure group. They joined on new issues especially regarding schools and temperance, with the latter of special interest to Methodists. Parliament had long imposed a series of political disabilities on Nonconformists outside Scotland. They could not hold most public offices, they had to pay local taxes to the Anglican church, be married by Anglican ministers, and be denied attendance at Oxford or degrees at Cambridge.

Dissenters demanded the removal of political and civil disabilities that applied to them especially those in the Test and Corporation Acts. The Anglican establishment strongly resisted until It was a major achievement for an outside group, but the Dissenters were not finished and the early Victorian period saw them even more active and successful in eliminating their grievances. Only buildings of the established church received the tax money. Civil disobedience was attempted but was met with the seizure of personal property and even imprisonment. The compulsory factor was finally abolished in by William Ewart Gladstone , and payment was made voluntary. Nonconformist ministers in their chapels were allowed to marry couples if a registrar was present.

Also in , civil registration of births, deaths, and marriages was taken from the hands of local parish officials and given to local government registrars. Burial of the dead was a more troubling problem, for urban chapels had no graveyards, and Nonconformists sought to use the traditional graveyards controlled by the established church. The Burial Laws Amendment Act finally allowed that. Oxford University required students seeking admission to subscribe to the 39 Articles of the Church of England. Cambridge required that for a diploma. The two ancient universities opposed giving a charter to the new University of London in the s because it had no such restriction. The university, nevertheless, was established in , and by the s Oxford dropped its restrictions.

In Gladstone sponsored the Universities Tests Act that provided full access to degrees and fellowships. Nonconformists especially Unitarians and Presbyterians played major roles in founding new universities in the late 19th century at Manchester , as well as Birmingham , Liverpool and Leeds. The abstract theological or philosophical doctrine of agnosticism, whereby it is theoretically impossible to prove whether or not God exists, suddenly became a popular issue around , when T.

Huxley coined the term. It was much discussed for several decades, and had its journal edited by William Stewart Ross — the Agnostic Journal and Eclectic Review. Interest petered out by the s, and when Ross died the Journal soon closed. Ross championed agnosticism in opposition not so much to Christianity, but to atheism, as expounded by Charles Bradlaugh [65] The term "atheism" never became popular. Blasphemy laws meant that promoting atheism could be a crime and was vigorously prosecuted. Disbelievers call themselves "freethinkers" or "secularists". The literary figures were caught in something of a trap — their business was writing and their theology said there was nothing for certain to write.

They instead concentrated on the argument that it was not necessary to believe in God to behave in moral fashion. The proof of God's existence that said he had to exist to have a marvelously complex world was no longer satisfactory when biology demonstrated that complexity could arise through evolution. The centrality of the family was a dominant feature for all classes. Worriers repeatedly detected threats that had to be dealt with: working wives, overpaid youths, harsh factory conditions, bad housing, poor sanitation, excessive drinking, and religious decline.

The licentiousness so characteristic of the upper class of the late 18th and early 19th centuries dissipated. The home became a refuge from the harsh world; middle-class wives sheltered their husbands from the tedium of domestic affairs. The number of children shrank, allowing much more attention to be paid to each child. Extended families were less common, as the nuclear family became both the ideal and the reality. The emerging middle-class norm for women was separate spheres , whereby women avoid the public sphere — the domain of politics, paid work, commerce, and public speaking.

Instead, they should dominate in the realm of domestic life, focused on the care of the family, the husband, the children, the household, religion, and moral behavior. They taught in Sunday schools, visited the poor and sick, distributed tracts, engaged in fundraising, supported missionaries, led Methodist class meetings, prayed with other women, and a few were allowed to preach to mixed audiences. The long poem The Angel in the House by Coventry Patmore — exemplified the idealized Victorian woman who is angelically pure and devoted to her family and home. The poem was not a pure invention but reflected the emerging legal economic social, cultural, religious and moral values of the Victorian middle-class.

Legally women had limited rights to their bodies, the family property, or their children. The recognized identities were those of daughter, wife, mother, and widow. Rapid growth and prosperity meant that fewer women had to find paid employment, and even when the husband owned a shop or small business, the wife's participation was less necessary. Meanwhile, the home sphere grew dramatically in size; women spent the money and decided on the furniture, clothing, food, schooling, and outward appearance the family would make. Patmore's model was widely copied — by Charles Dickens, for example. This made their work highly attractive to the middle-class women who bought the novels and the serialized versions that appeared in many magazines.

However, a few early feminists called for aspirations beyond the home. By the end of the century, the "New Woman" was riding a bicycle, wearing bloomers, signing petitions, supporting worldwide mission activities, and talking about the vote. In Great Britain, elsewhere in Europe, and in the United States, the notion that marriage should be based on romantic love and companionship rather than convenience, money, or other strategic considerations grew in popularity during the Victorian period. Cheaper paper and printing technology made it easier for humans to attract mates this way, hence the birth of the Valentine card.

The Industrial Revolution incentivised people to think more scientifically and to become more educated and informed in order to solve novel problems. As a result, cognitive abilities were pushed to their genetic limits, making people more intelligent and innovative than their predecessors. According to intelligence researcher James R. Flynn , these changes echoed down to the twentieth century before leveling off in the early twenty-first. The era saw a reform and renaissance of public schools, inspired by Thomas Arnold at Rugby.

The public school became a model for gentlemen and public service. In fact, throughout the course of the nineteenth century, there was a clear movement towards universal literacy, culminating in the Elementary Education Act of By , attending elementary schools was made compulsory. As a consequence of various education reforms, literacy rates steadily rose. One way to determine the literacy rate is to count those who could sign their names on their marriage registers. Statistics of literacy from this era are likely underestimates because they were based on the number of people who could write, but throughout most of the nineteenth century, people were typically taught to read before they were taught to write. Literacy rates were higher in urban than rural areas. Rising literacy and urbanization provided an expanding market for printed materials, from cheap books to magazines.

A key component of the curriculum at Cambridge since the mid-eighteenth century had been the " Mathematical Tripos ," providing not just intensive training for mathematicians and scientists but also general education for future civil servants, colonial administrators, lawyers, and clergymen. Starting from the s, under the influence of Master of Trinity College William Whewell , the "mixed" portion included only branches of applied mathematics deemed stable, such as mechanics and optics, rather those amenable to mathematical analysis but remained unfinished at the time, such as electricity and magnetism.

Following recommendations from the Royal Commission of —51, science education at Oxford and Cambridge underwent significant reforms. In , a new Tripos was introduced, providing a broader and less mathematical program in "natural philosophy," or what science was still commonly called back then. Topics ranged widely, from number theory to mathematical physics. Candidates needed to have a firm grasp of the works of Sir Isaac Newton and Euclid of Alexandria, trigonometric identities, conic sections, compounded interest, eclipses and more.

They usually sat for five and a half hours each day for eight days for a total of a dozen papers featuring increasingly difficult questions. In general, while the first colleges for women opened in the s, it was not until the s that they started to be permitted to study side by side with men and to sit for the same exams as men. However, women were only allowed to take exams; it was not until that they were able to receive degrees. At that time, it was commonly thought that women were emotional creatures lacking the mental faculty to master mathematics. Thus it was big news when Philippa Fawcett was ranked "above the Senior Wranger" in , scoring thirteen percent higher than the top male that year, Geoffrey Thomas Bennett.

She was the first, and last, woman to score the highest on the Tripos. While women were not welcomed in the world of medicine, this was not the case in nursing. In fact, nursing became even more respected after the brilliant exploits of Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War. Her nursing school at St Thomas' Hospital became a model for others. Consequently, for many middle-class young women, the prospects of being a nurse, one of the few career options open to them at the time, became much more appealing. During the nineteenth century, the publishing industry found itself catching up with the momentous changes to society brought about by the Industrial Revolution.

It benefited from the introduction of electrical power, rail transport, and telegraphy. Initially, while book prices were too high for the average reader, they were sufficient to cover the costs of the publisher and to pay reasonable amounts to the authors. But as free-to-use libraries sprang up all around the country, people started flocking to them. Authors and publishers looked for ways to cut prices and increase sales. Serialisation in periodicals, especially literary magazines though not newspapers, became popular. Quality illustrations were commissioned from the reputable artists of the time as an incentive to purchase.

Income from writing increased for some writers, and many became professional novelists. In the early s, the market for children's literature was dominated by religious groups. Stories from this period often included strong a moral message. They also took advantage of innovations such as those that enable the printing of coloured illustrations. As the middle class boomed, people had more money to spend on entertaining their children. Moral messaging was de-emphasised in favor of fun. Classics like the tales of the Brothers Grimm and the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen made their way to the printing press. By the s, juvenile fiction packed with action and adventure became commonplace. Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes was a noteworthy example of realistic writing and school stories while Black Beauty by Anna Sewell was the start of the blooming of animal tales.

As a matter of fact, the market grew so large that most of the top writers of the era wrote at least one book for children. Children's magazines and poetry for children especially the nonsensical variety blossomed during the Victorian age. In prose , the novel rose from a position of relative neglect during the s to become the leading literary genre by the end of the era.

Following the bicentenary of William Shakespeare in , the popularity of his works steadily grew, reaching a peak in the nineteenth century. Charles and Mary Lamb appeared to have anticipated this with their Tales from Shakespeare Intended as an introduction for apprentice readers to the works of the great playwright, the book became one of the best-selling titles in literature of the century, [85] being republished multiple times.

As early as , astronomer John Herschel had already recognised the need for the genre of popular science. In a letter to philosopher William Whewell, he wrote that the general public needed "digests of what is actually known in each particular branch of science Mary Somerville became an early and highly successful science writer of the nineteenth century. Her On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences , intended for the mass audience, sold quite well. It had ten editions and was translated to multiple languages. As its name suggests, it offered readers a broad overview of the physical sciences at a time when these studies were becoming increasingly distinct and specialised.

The abolition of the newspaper stamp duty in and the advertising tax in paved the way for not only cheaper magazines but also those catering to a variety of interests. During the final three decades of the Victorian era, women's newspapers and magazines flourished and increasingly covered topics other than domestic issues, reflecting the trend among women at the time. The professional police force dedicated to not just the prevention but also the investigation of crime took shape during the mid-nineteenth century. This development inspired Charles Dickens to write the crime novel Bleak House —3 , creating the first fictional detective, Mr.

Bucket, based on a real-life character by the name of Charles Field. By the s, there was strong demand for adventure, detective, sensational, and science-fiction novels. Herbert George Wells ' The Time Machine was a commercial success; in it, he introduced the notion of time travel. In some instances, science fiction inspired new technology and scientific research. The researchers found that the more difficult of words were in declining usage and a negative correlation between the use of such words and completed fertility.

On the other hand, simpler words entered increasingly common use, an effect of rising literacy. They found that the use of difficult vocabulary increased substantially between the mids and mids before declining steadily till the present day. Popular forms of entertainment varied by social class. Victorian Britain, like the periods before it, was interested in literature, theatre and the arts see Aesthetic movement and Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood , and music, drama, and opera were widely attended.

Michael Balfe was the most popular British grand opera composer of the period, while the most popular musical theatre was a series of fourteen comic operas by Gilbert and Sullivan , although there was also musical burlesque and the beginning of Edwardian musical comedy in the s. Drama ranged from low comedy to Shakespeare see Henry Irving. Melodrama —literally 'musical drama'—was introduced in Revolutionary France and reached Great Britain from there during the Victorian era. It was a particularly widespread and influential theatrical genre thanks to its appeal to the working-class and artisans.

However, its popularity decline in the late nineteenth century. Even so, it continued to influence the novels of the era. Gentlemen went to dining clubs, like the Beefsteak Club or the Savage Club. Gambling at cards in establishments popularly called casinos was wildly popular during the period: so much so that evangelical and reform movements specifically targeted such establishments in their efforts to stop gambling, drinking, and prostitution.

Brass bands and 'The Bandstand ' became popular in the Victorian era. The bandstand was a simple construction that not only created an ornamental focal point but also served acoustic requirements whilst providing shelter from the changeable British weather. It was common to hear the sound of a brass band whilst strolling through parklands. At this time musical recording was still very much a novelty. The Victorian era marked the golden age of the British circus. The permanent structure sustained three fires but as an institution lasted a full century, with Andrew Ducrow and William Batty managing the theatre in the middle part of the century.

William Batty would also build his 14,person arena, known commonly as Batty's Hippodrome, in Kensington Gardens, and draw crowds from the Crystal Palace Exhibition. Traveling circuses, like Pablo Fanque 's, dominated the British provinces, Scotland, and Ireland Fanque would enjoy fame again in the 20th century when John Lennon would buy an poster advertising his circus and adapt the lyrics for The Beatles song, Being for the Benefit of Mr.

Fanque also stands out as a black man who achieved great success and enjoyed great admiration among the British public only a few decades after Britain had abolished slavery. Another form of entertainment involved "spectacles" where paranormal events, such as mesmerism , communication with the dead by way of mediumship or channeling , ghost conjuring and the like, were carried out to the delight of crowds and participants. Such activities were more popular at this time than in other periods of recent Western history. Natural history became increasingly an "amateur" activity. Amateur collectors and natural history entrepreneurs played an important role in building the large natural history collections of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Middle-class Victorians used the train services to visit the seaside, helped by the Bank Holiday Act of , which created many fixed holidays. Large numbers traveling to quiet fishing villages such as Worthing , Morecambe and Scarborough began turning them into major tourist centers, and people like Thomas Cook saw tourism and even overseas travel as viable businesses. The Victorian era saw the introduction and development of many modern sports.

The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, between and The world's oldest tennis tournament, the Wimbledon championships , was first played in London in Britain was an active competitor in all the Olympic Games starting in Gothic Revival architecture became increasingly significant during the period, leading to the Battle of the Styles between Gothic and Classical ideals. Charles Barry 's architecture for the new Palace of Westminster , which had been badly damaged in an fire , was built in the medieval style of Westminster Hall , the surviving part of the building. Gothic was also supported by critic John Ruskin , who argued that it epitomised communal and inclusive social values, as opposed to Classicism, which he considered to epitomise mechanical standardisation.

The middle of the 19th century saw The Great Exhibition of , the first World's Fair , which showcased the greatest innovations of the century. At its centre was the Crystal Palace , a modular glass and iron structure — the first of its kind. It was condemned by Ruskin as the very model of mechanical dehumanisation in design but later came to be presented as the prototype of Modern architecture. The emergence of photography , showcased at the Great Exhibition, resulted in significant changes in Victorian art with Queen Victoria being the first British monarch to be photographed. In general, various styles of painting were popular during the Victorian period, Classicism, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Impressionism, and Post-impressionism.

In , Dante Rossetti and William Holman Hunt created the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood whose stated aim was to produce paintings of photographic quality, taking inspiration from a variety of sources, from the works of William Shakespeare to Mother Nature herself. Norfolk Hamlet by Henry John Boddington. Monarch of the Glen by Edwin Landseer. Miranda by John William Waterhouse. Biondina by Frederick Leighton. A Hopeless Dawn by Frank Bramley. God Speed! In , Thomas Barnes became general editor of The Times ; he was a political radical, a sharp critic of parliamentary hypocrisy and a champion of freedom of the press.

It spoke of reform. Russell wrote immensely influential dispatches on the Crimean War of —; for the first time, the public could read about the reality of warfare. Russell wrote one dispatch that highlighted the surgeons' "inhumane barbarity" and the lack of ambulance care for wounded troops. Shocked and outraged, the public reacted in a backlash that led to major reforms especially in the provision of nursing, led by Florence Nightingale.

The Manchester Guardian was founded in Manchester in by a group of non-conformist businessmen. Its most famous editor, Charles Prestwich Scott , made the Guardian into a world-famous newspaper in the s. The Daily Telegraph in became the first penny newspaper in London. It was funded by advertising revenue based on a large audience. At mid-century, the idea of a large amphitheatre for musical performances and conferences for the learned captured the imagination of not just Henry Cole, Secretary of the Science and Art Department, but also Prince Albert.

By , Cole planned to build one with "due regard to the principles of sound. The Royal Albert Hall opened on 29 March Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Scott, R. As desired by the Prince, it did not rely on public funds but was purely privately funded. Opportunities for leisure activities increased dramatically as real wages continued to grow and hours of work continued to decline. In urban areas the nine-hour workday became increasingly the norm; the Factory Act limited the working week to Furthermore, a system of routine annual holidays came into play, starting with white-collar workers and moving into the working-class. By the late Victorian era the leisure industry had emerged in all cities.

It provided scheduled entertainment of suitable length at convenient locales at inexpensive prices. These included sporting events, music halls, and popular theatre. By football was no longer the preserve of the social elite, as it attracted large working-class audiences. Average attendance was in , rising to 23, in Sports by generated some three percent of the total gross national product. Professional sports were the norm, although some new activities reached an upscale amateur audience, such as lawn tennis and golf. Women were now allowed in some sports, such as archery, tennis, badminton and gymnastics. Britain had the lead in rapid economic and population growth.

At the time, Thomas Malthus believed this lack of growth outside Britain was due the carrying capacity of their local environments. That is, the tendency of a population to expand geometrically while resources grew more slowly, reaching a crisis such as famine, war, or epidemic which would reduce the population to a more sustainable size. The Victorian era was a time of unprecedented population growth in Britain. The population rose from Two major contributory factors were fertility rates and mortality rates.

Britain was the first country to undergo the demographic transition and the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. Economist Gary Becker argued that at first, falling fertility is due to urbanisation and lower infant mortality rates, which diminished the benefits and increased the costs of raising children. In other words, it became more economically sensible to invest more in fewer children. This is known as the first demographic transition. This trend continued till around The second demographic transition occurred due to the significant cultural shifts of the s, leading to the decline in the desire for children.

The demographic transition is when a population shifts from being one of high child mortality rates and high fertility rates to one that is low in both. Western nations completed this transition by the early s. It occurred in two stages. Initially, child mortality rates dropped significantly due to improved healthcare and sanitation and better nutrition, yet fertility rates remained high, leading to a population boom. Gradually, fertility rates fell as people became more affluent and had better access to contraception. In the Victorian era, fertility rates increased in every decade until , when the rates started evening out.

One is biological: with improving living standards, a higher proportion of women were biologically able to have children. Another possible explanation is social. In the 19th century, the marriage rate increased, and people were getting married at a very young age until the end of the century, when the average age of marriage started to increase again slowly. The reasons why people got married younger and more frequently are uncertain. One theory is that greater prosperity allowed people to finance marriage and new households earlier than previously possible. With more births within marriage, it seems inevitable that marriage rates and birth rates would rise together. Birth rates were originally measured by the ' crude birth rate ' — births per year divided by total population.

This is indeed a crude measure, as key groups and their fertility rates are not clear. It is likely to be affected mainly by changes in the age distribution of the population. The Net Reproduction Rate was then introduced as an alternative measure: it measures the average fertility rate of women of child-bearing ages. High rates of birth also occurred because of a lack of birth control.

Mainly because women lacked knowledge of birth control methods and the practice was seen as unrespectable. In the olden days, people typically had had as many children as they could afford in order to ensure at least a few of them would survive to adulthood and have children of their own due to high child mortality rates. Moreover, it was the poor who had had an incentive to curb their fertility whereas the rich had lacked such a need due to greater wealth and lower child mortality rates. This changed due to the Industrial Revolution. Standards of living improved and mortality rates fell. People no longer needed to have as many children as before to ensure the propagation of their genes. The link between poverty and child mortality weakened.

In addition, societal attitude towards contraception warmed, leading to the negative correlation between intelligence and fertility. Environmental and health standards rose throughout the Victorian era. Improvements in nutrition may also have played a role, though its importance is still debated. The most obvious and the most distinctive feature of the History of Civilisation, during the last fifty years [—87], is the wonderful increase of industrial production by the application of machinery, the improvement of old technical processes and the invention of new ones, accompanied by an even more remarkable development of old and new means of locomotion and intercommunication.

Life in the late s had been little different from life in the late Middle Ages. But the nineteenth century saw dramatic technological development. Someone alive in would know about the electric telegraph, the steam ship, the circular saw, the bicycle, and the steam-powered locomotive. If this person lived to , he or she would have heard of the invention of the electric light bulb, the typewriter, the calculator, the rubber tyre, the washing machine, the internal combustion engine, plastic, and dynamite. According to historians David Brandon and Alan Brooke, the new system of railways after brought into being our modern world:.

Historians have characterised the mid-Victorian era — as Britain's "Golden Years". In the long-term view, the mid-Victorian boom was one upswing in the Kondratiev cycle see figure. Much of the prosperity was due to the increasing industrialisation, especially in textiles and machinery, as well as to the worldwide network of exports that produced profits for British merchants. British entrepreneurs built railways in India and many independent nations. There was peace abroad apart from the short Crimean War, —56 , and social peace at home. Opposition to the new order melted away, says Porter. The Chartist movement peaked as a democratic movement among the working class in ; its leaders moved to other pursuits, such as trade unions and cooperative societies.

The working class ignored foreign agitators like Karl Marx in their midst, and joined in celebrating the new prosperity. Employers typically were paternalistic and generally recognised the trade unions. Middle-class reformers did their best to assist the working classes' aspirations to middle-class norms of "respectability". There was a spirit of libertarianism, says Porter, as people felt they were free.

Taxes were very low, and government restrictions were minimal. There were still problem areas, such as occasional riots, especially those motivated by anti-Catholicism. Society was still ruled by the aristocracy and the gentry, who controlled high government offices, both houses of Parliament, the church, and the military. Becoming a rich businessman was not as prestigious as inheriting a title and owning a landed estate.

Literature was doing well, but the fine arts languished as the Great Exhibition of showcased Britain's industrial prowess rather than its sculpture, painting or music. The educational system was mediocre; the main universities outside Scotland were likewise mediocre. In December , Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers founded what is considered the first cooperative in the world. The founding members were a group of 28, around half of which were weavers, who decided to band together to open a store owned and managed democratically by the members, selling food items they could not otherwise afford. Ten years later, the British co-operative movement had grown to nearly 1, co-operatives.

The movement also spread across the world, with the first cooperative financial institution founded in in Germany. It was a celebrated resort for tramps and costers of every description. Many European companies, such as steam-machine producer J. Kemna , modeled themselves on English industry. The very rapid growth in population in the 19th century in the cities included the new industrial and manufacturing cities, as well as service centres such as Edinburgh and London. The critical factor was financing, which was handled by building societies that dealt directly with large contracting firms. Kemp says this was usually of advantage to tenants. Clean water, sanitation, and public health facilities were inadequate; the death rate was high, especially infant mortality, and tuberculosis among young adults.

Cholera from polluted water and typhoid were endemic. Unlike rural areas, there were no famines such as the one which devastated Ireland in the s. Wage rates improved steadily; real wages after taking inflation into account were 65 percent higher in , compared to Much of the money was saved, as the number of depositors in savings banks rose from , in , to 5. These problems were magnified in London, where the population grew at record rates. Large houses were turned into flats and tenements, and as landlords failed to maintain these dwellings, slum housing developed. Kellow Chesney described the situation as follows: "Hideous slums, some of them acres wide, some no more than crannies of obscure misery, make up a substantial part of the metropolis In big, once handsome houses, thirty or more people of all ages may inhabit a single room.

These included a large expansion in workhouses or poorhouses in Scotland , although with changing populations during the era. The early Victorian era before the reforms of the s became notorious for the employment of young children in factories and mines and as chimney sweeps. Reformers wanted the children in school: in only about 20 percent of the children in London had any schooling. By about half of the children between 5 and 15 were in school including Sunday school.

The children of the poor were expected to help towards the family budget, often working long hours in dangerous jobs for low wages. Children also worked as errand boys, crossing sweepers , shoe blacks, or sold matches, flowers, and other cheap goods. Working hours were long: builders might work 64 hours a week in summer and 52 in winter, while domestic servants were theoretically on duty hours a week. Mother bides at home, she is troubled with bad breath, and is sair weak in her body from early labour. I am wrought with sister and brother, it is very sore work; cannot say how many rakes or journeys I make from pit's bottom to wall face and back, thinks about 30 or 25 on the average; the distance varies from to fathom.

I carry about 1 cwt. As early as and , Factory Acts were passed to limit the working hours of children in factories and cotton mills to 12 hours per day. These acts were largely ineffective and after radical agitation, by for example the "Short Time Committees" in , a Royal Commission recommended in that children aged 11—18 should work a maximum of 12 hours per day, children aged 9—11 a maximum of eight hours, and children under the age of nine should no longer be permitted to work. This act, however, only applied to the textile industry , and further agitation led to another act in limiting both adults and children to hour working days.

Founded in with the stated purpose of "diffusing the Knowledge, and facilitating the general Introduction, of Useful Mechanical Inventions and Improvements; and for teaching, by Courses of Philosophical Lectures and Experiments, the application of Science to the common Purposes of Life," the Royal Institution was a proper scientific institution with laboratories, a lecture hall, libraries, and offices. In its first years, the Institution was dedicated to the improvement of agriculture using chemistry, prompted by trade restrictions with Europe. Such practical concerns continued through the next two centuries. However, it soon became apparent that additional funding was required in order for the Institution to continue.

Some well-known experts were hired as lecturers and researchers. The most successful of them all was Sir Humphry Davy , whose lectures concerned a myriad of topics and were so popular that the original practical purpose of the Institution faded away. It became increasingly dominated by research in basic science. The professionalisation of science began in the aftermath of the French Revolution and soon spread to other parts of the Continent, including the German lands. It was slow to reach Britain, however. Master of Trinity College William Whewell coined the term scientist in to describe the new professional breed specialists and experts studying what was still commonly known as natural philosophy.

I should incline to call him a Scientist. As biologist Thomas Huxley indicated in , the prospect of earning a decent living as a scientist remained remote despite the prestige of the occupation. It was possible for a scientist to "earn praise but not pudding," he wrote. Since its birth, the Royal Society of London had been a club of gentlemanly amateurs, though some of whom were the very best in their fields, people like Charles Darwin and James Prescott Joule. But the Society reformed itself in the s and s. By , it only admitted the new breed of professionals. The Victorians were impressed by science and progress and felt that they could improve society in the same way as they were improving technology.

Britain was the leading world centre for advanced engineering and technology. Its engineering firms were in worldwide demand for designing and constructing railways. A necessary part of understanding scientific progress is the ease of scientific discovery. In many cases, from planetary science to mammalian biology, the ease of discovery since the s and s can be fitted to an exponentially decaying curve. But the rate of progress is also dependent on other factors, such as the number of researchers, the level of funding, and advances in technology. Thus the number of new species of mammals discovered between the late s and late s followed grew exponentially before leveling off in the s; the general shape is known as the logistic curve.

In other cases, a branch of study reached the point of saturation. This does not mean that basic science was coming an end. Despite the despondency of many Victorian-era scientists, who thought that all that remained was measuring quantities to the next decimal place and that new discoveries would not change the contemporary scientific paradigm, as the nineteenth century became the twentieth, science witnessed truly revolutionary discoveries, such as radioactivity, and basic science continued its advance, though a number of twentieth-century scientists shared the same pessimism as their late-Victorian counterparts. In the field of statistics, the nineteenth century saw significant innovations in data visualisation.

William Playfair , who created charts of all sorts, justified it thus, "a man who has carefully investigated a printed table, finds, when done, that he has only a very faint and partial idea of what he has read; and that like a figure imprinted on sand, is soon totally erased and defaced. In the same graph he used the slopes of lines to indicate the tax burden of a given population. While serving as nurse during the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale drew the first pie charts representing the monthly fatality rates of the conflict, distinguishing deaths due to battle wounds innermost section , those due to infectious disease outer section , and to other causes middle section.

See figure. Her charts clearly showed that most deaths resulted from disease, which led the general public to demand improved sanitation at field hospitals. Although bar charts representing frequencies were first used by the Frenchman A. Guerry in , it was the statistician Karl Pearson who gave them the name histograms. Pearson used them in an article mathematically analyzing biological evolution. One such histogram showed that buttercups with large numbers of petals were rarer. Belgian sociologist and statistician Adolphe Quetelet discovered that its extremely wide applicability in his analysis of vast amounts of statistics of human physical characteristics such as height and other traits such as criminality and alcoholism.

Queletet derived the concept of the "average man" from his studies. Sir Francis Galton employed Quetelet's ideas in his research on mathematical biology. In his experiments with sweet peas in the s, Galton discovered that the spread of the distributions of a particular trait did not change over the generations. He invented what he called the " quincunx " to demonstrate why mixtures of normal distributions were normal. Galton noticed that the means of a particular trait in the offspring generation differed from those of the parent generation, a phenomenon now known as regression to the mean.

He found that the slopes of the regression lines of two given variables were the same if the two data sets were scaled by units of probable error and introduced the notion of the correlation coefficient, but noted that correlation does not imply causation. During the late nineteenth century, British statisticians introduced a number of methods to relate and draw conclusions from statistical quantities.

Francis Edgeworth developed a test for statistical significance that estimated the "fluctuations"—twice the variance in modern language—from two given means. By modern standards, however, he was extremely conservative when it comes to drawing conclusions about the significance of an observation. For Edgeworth, an observation was significant if it was at the level of 0. Pearson's student, George Udney Yule , demonstrated that one could compute the regression equation of a given data set using the method of least squares. In , miller and autodidactic mathematician George Green published An Essay on the Application of Mathematical Analysis to the Theories of Electricity and Magnetism , making use of the mathematics of potential theory developed by Continental mathematicians.

But this paper fell on deaf ears until William Thomson read it, realised its significance, and had it re-printed in Green's work became a source of inspiration for the Cambridge school of mathematical physicists, which included Thomson himself, George Gabriel Stokes, and James Clerk Maxwell. Green's Essay contained what became known as Green's theorem , a basic result in vector calculus, Green's identities , and the notion of Green's functions , which appears in the study of differential equations. Stokes learned it from Thomson in a letter in Stokes' theorem generalises Green's theorem, which itself is a higher-dimensional version of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.

Arthur Cayley is credited with the creation of the theory of matrices —rectangular arrays of numbers—as distinct objects from determinants , studied since the mid-eighteenth century. The term matrix was coined by James Joseph Sylvester , a major contributor to the theory of determinants. It is difficult to overestimate the value of matrix theory to modern theoretical physics. Peter Tait wrote, prophetically, that Cayley was "forging the weapons for future generations of physicists. Under what conditions do solutions to the Navier—Stokes equations exist and are smooth? This is a Millennium Prize Problem in mathematics.

Early contributions study of elasticity—how objects behave under stresses, pressures, and loads— employed ad hoc hypotheses to solve specific problems. It was during the nineteenth century that scientists began to work out a thorough theory. In , using an analogy with elastic bodies, French professor of mechanics Claude-Louis Navier arrived at the basic equations of motion for viscous fluids. These are now referred to as the Navier—Stokes equations. In , Stokes showed that light polarisation can be described in terms of what are now known as the Stokes parameters.

The Stokes parameters for a given wave may be viewed as a vector. Founded in the eighteenth century, the calculus of variations grew into a much favored mathematical tool among physicists. Scientific problems thus became the impetus for the development of the subject. William Rowan Hamilton advanced it in his course to construct a deductive framework for optics ; he then applied the same ideas to mechanics. Soon, scientists worked out the variational principles for the theory of elasticity, electromagnetism, and fluid mechanics and, in the future, relativity and quantum theory.

Whilst variational principles did not necessarily provide a simpler way to solve problems, they were of interest for philosophical or aesthetic reasons, though scientists at this time were not as motivated by religion in their work as their predecessors. In , John James Waterson submitted to the Royal Society a paper on the kinetic theory of gases that included a statement of the equipartition theorem and a calculation of the ratio of the specific heats of gases.

Although the paper was read before the Society and its abstract published, Waterson's paper faced antipathy. At this time, the kinetic theory of gases was considered highly speculative as it was based on the then not-accepted atomic hypothesis. In the s, James Clerk Maxwell published a series of papers on the subject. Unlike those of his predecessors, who were only using averages, Maxwell's papers were explicitly statistical in nature. He proposed that the speeds of molecules in a gas followed a distribution. Although the speeds would cluster around the average, some molecules were moving faster or slower than this average. He showed that this distribution is a function of temperature and mathematically described various properties of gases, such as diffusion and viscosity.

He predicted, surprisingly, that the viscosity of a gas is independent of its density. This was verified at once by a series of experiments Maxwell conducted with his wife, Katherine. Experimental verification of the Maxwell distribution was not obtained till 60 years later, however. In his Dynamics of Rigid Bodies , Edward John Routh noted the importance of what he called "absent coordinates," also known as cyclic coordinates or ignorable coordinates following the terminology of E. Such coordinates are associated with conserved momenta and as such are useful in problem solving. Although Routh's procedure does not add any new insights, it allows for more systematic and convenient analysis, especially in problems with many degrees of freedom and at least some cyclic coordinates.

At that time, classical mechanics in general and the three-body problem in particular captured the imagination of many talented mathematicians, whose contributions Whittaker covered in his Report. Whittaker later incorporated the Report into his textbook titled Analytical Dynamics of Particles and Rigid Bodies first edition It helped provide the scientific basis for the aerospace industry in the twentieth century. Despite its age, it remains in print in the early twenty-first century.

During the s and s, traditional caloric theory of heat began losing favour to "dynamical" alternatives, which posit that heat is a kind of motion. Brewer and amateur scientist James Prescott Joule was one of the proponents of the latter. Joule's intricate experiments—the most successful of which involved heating water with paddle wheels—making full use of his skill in temperature control as a brewer, demonstrated decisively the reality of the "mechanical equivalent of heat. Another notable contributor to this development was the German researcher Hermann von Helmholtz , who gave an essentially Newtonian, that is, mechanical, account.

William Thomson later Lord Kelvin received the works of Joule and Helmholtz positively, embracing them as providing support for the emerging "science of energy. Indeed, the commercial value of new science had already become apparent by this time; some businessmen were quite willing to offer generous financial support for researchers. Rankine spoke confidently of the new science of thermodynamics , a term Kelvin coined in , whose fundamental principles came to be known as the First and Second Laws and whose core concepts were "energy" and "entropy. Here, Kelvin and Tait introduced the phrase kinetic energy instead of 'actual' , now in standard usage.

The phrase potential energy was promoted by Rankine. On the practical side, the food-preserving effect of low temperatures had long been recognised. Natural ice was vigorously traded in the early nineteenth century, but it was inevitably in short supply, especially in Australia. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, there was considerable commercial incentive to develop ever more effective refrigerators thanks to the expansion of agriculture in the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand and rapid urbanization in Western Europe.

From the s onward, refrigerators relied on the expansion of compressed air or the evaporation of a volatile liquid; evaporation became the basis of all modern refrigerator designs. Long-distance shipping of perishable foods, such as meat, boomed in the late s. On the theoretical side, new refrigeration techniques were also of great value. Scientists began trying to reach ever lower temperatures and to liquefy every gas they encountered. This paved the way for the development of low-temperature physics and the Third Law of Thermodynamics.

This study of natural history was most powerfully advanced by Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution first published in his book On the Origin of Species in Research in geology and evolutionary biology naturally led to the question of how old the Earth was. Indeed, between the mids to the mids, this was the topic of increasingly sophisticated intellectual discussions. With the advent of thermodynamics, it became clear that the Earth and the Sun must have an old but finite age. Whatever the energy source of the Sun, it must be finite, and since it is constantly dissipating, there must be a day when the Sun runs out of energy. Lord Kelvin wrote in , " He reached comparable figures for the Earth.

The missing ingredient here was radioactivity, which was not known to science till the end of the nineteenth century. Michael Faraday set himself to the task of clarifying the nature of electricity and magnetism by experiments. In doing so, he devised what could be described as the first electric motor though it does not resemble a modern one , a transformer now used to step up the voltage and step down the current or vice versa , and a dynamo which contains the basics of all electric turbine generators. A dynamo converts mechanical energy into an electrical current whilst a motor does the reverse. The world's first power plants entered service in , and by the following year, people realized the possibility of using electricity to power a variety of household appliances.

Inventors and engineers soon raced to develop such items, starting with affordable and durable incandescent light bulbs, perhaps the most important of the early applications of electricity. As the foremost expert on electricity and magnetism at the time, Lord Kelvin oversaw the laying of the trans-Atlantic telegraphic cable, which became successful in In other words, light is but one kind of electromagnetic wave. Maxwell's theory predicted there ought to be other types, with different frequencies. After some ingenious experiments, Maxwell's prediction was confirmed by German physicist Heinrich Hertz.

In the process, Hertz generated and detected what are now called radio waves and built crude radio antennas and the predecessors of satellite dishes.

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