The Victorian Era - General
The Victorian Era covers arguably the most important and dynamic phase of British and Modern World history, for the impact it had on society, industry and world politics. Queen Victoria’s rule spanned 64 years, between 1837 and 1901. Her reign was the longest in British History.
This period is closely associated with great advances in the fields of science, engineering and architecture. It is also during this era that there is a boom in industry, population and urbanisation. Undoubtedly, it was during this period that Britain consolidated its power across the world, and governed great parts of it through the Empire.
Also during this time we there great developments in politics, with liberalism and socialism and feminism beginning to take their places within a notably rigid political structure, sowing the seeds of the political scene of the up-coming 20th century. Famous Victorian Prime Ministers included George Canning, Earl Grey, Lord John Russel, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Palmerston, Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone.
Victorian Britain and the Empire also led to the great explorations of the unknown world, particularly in Africa and Asia, allowing Britain to be the greatest trading nation, with access to markets across the world. It was said that at its heyday, the British Empire was an empire on which the sun never set.
This era was also closely associated with great advances in the field of medicine, with the development of anaesthetics and antiseptics allowing for safer procedures to be carried out, and it is in this period that the foundations of greater welfare are laid. This was reflected in the large increase in hospitals that cared for all of the population.
Britain was at the height of its Industrial Revolution, giving the opportunity for more people to work and increasing the level of education nationwide. The Industrial Revolution also brought about the rapid growth of the railways, overseen by the renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, with a network that criss-crossed the mainland - making almost any destination accessible to all. Indeed, domestic travel for leisure also became an integral part of life in Victorian Britain, with visits to the seaside becoming commonplace.