How Many Minutes Should I Breastfeed My 3 Month Old The Victorian Era and the British Empire

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The Victorian Era and the British Empire

What Happened During the Victorian Era?

The Victorian era was the period of the reign of Queen Victoria, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901.

The era followed the Georgian period (1714 to 1837, named after the Hanoverian kings George I, George II, George III and George IV) and was characterized by a class-based society that included the upper, middle and lower class.

It was a period of old-fashioned ideals, famous for its corsets, bonnets, top hats, bustiers and petticoats and the entrepreneurial spirit of the self-made man.

Charles Dickens became famous as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era and Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), a British nurse, known as “The Lady with the Lamp”, whose experiences during the Crimean War laid the foundation of modern nursing.

Coronation of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria’s father died when she was only 8 months old, and her three uncles also died, putting her in line as heir to the throne when she was 18 years old.

Her coronation took place on Thursday, 28 June 1838, a little more than a year after she succeeded to the throne with Lord Melbourne, her first prime minister, who trained her in the art of politics.

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, her cousin, became Queen Victoria’s consort from their marriage on 10 February 1840 until his death in 1861.

Their children married into royal and noble families, earning Victoria the nickname, “the grandmother of Europe” and spreading hemophilia in European royalty.

Prince Albert died of typhus on 14 December 1861 at Windsor Castle with Queen Victoria and five of his children at his bedside.

The Belle Era (1871-1914)

The Belle Epoque (La Belle Epoque, “Beautiful Age”) between the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914 saw French artistic arts flourish, with many masterpieces of literature, music, theater, and visual art flourished.

In Britain and the rest of Europe, it was characterized by optimism, regional peace, economic prosperity, colonial expansion, and technological, scientific, and cultural innovations.

Industrial revolution

The dramatic forces of change unleashed by the Industrial Revolution made the British Empire the first global industrial power, producing much of the world’s coal, iron, steel and textiles during the Victorian era.

The first Industrial Revolution (1760 – 1840) in Britain saw the demise of rural life as cities rapidly expanded and the factory system became established, centered on textile production.

Three of the most influential inventions of this period were the coke fueled oven, steam engine, and spinning jenny which increased production capabilities.

The Second Industrial Revolution (1850 – 1914) focused on the production of cost-effective steel, railway expansion, advances in electricity, improved communication, oil and the automobile.

Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) Scottish-born inventor, scientist, and engineer invented and patented the telephone in 1876 while Samuel Finley Breese Morse (April 27, 1791 – April 2, 1872), an american inventor and painter, invented the electric telegraph (1832-35) and later developed the Morse code (1838).

Child Labor During the Victorian Era.

Child labor during the Industrial Revolution became notorious for the conditions under which children were employed, depriving them of their childhood, their ability to attend school, and was mentally, physically, socially and morally damaging.

Children made up more than 25 percent of the British workforce in mines, factories, and workshops.

Many have been working for four or five years, working long hours in dangerous working conditions.

In coal mines, children would crawl through tunnels too narrow and low for adults and there were young boys working as chimney sweeps in rich houses to remove soot.

The famous author, Charles Dickens, worked at the age of 12 in an ink factory, with his family in debtor’s prison.

Lord Shaftesbury

Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury (28 April 1801 – 1 October 1885) was a British politician, philanthropist and social reformer who became known as the “Poor Man’s Earl” for his advocacy for the better treatment of the working classes.

He was also president of the Rag School Union, which promoted education for the poorest children of society.

Lord Shaftesbury believed that education was a way to free children from poverty.

Industrial Actions he supported ensured improved conditions for children and women which included:

*the maximum working day should be 12 hours.

*children under the age of 9 to be prohibited from work.

*children aged 9 to 13 to be limited to a 48-hour work week, with participation in school part-time.

British Empire

At just 4ft-11in tall, Victoria was a towering symbol of the British Empire.

Her reign paved the way for a modern and prosperous Britain.

By the mid-18th century, the Royal Navy was the most powerful in the world and played a key role in establishing the British Empire.

Victories over Napoleonic France increased Britain’s influence abroad when Lord Nelson’s fleet defeated the French and Spanish at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo in Belgium in 1815.

Queen Victoria became the Empress of India on the advice of her seventh Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.

She approved his imperialist policies that led to the Struggle for Africa in the 1880s and 1890s with the other Great European Powers.

Britain became the most powerful nation in the world with one quarter of the global population owing allegiance to the queen.

William Ewart Gladstone (29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a Liberal politician who served for 12 years as Prime Minister of Great Britain spread over four terms beginning in 1868 and ending in 1894.

His political doctrine known as Gladstonian liberalism was to reduce privilege and open established institutions to all such as the universities and the army.

Political Parties During the Victorian Era

The two main parties during the Victorian era were the Whigs/Liberals and the Tories.

The Whigs were an important British political group from the late 17th through early 19th centuries who wanted limited royal authority and increased parliamentary power.

The Labor Party was founded in 1900, grew out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the 19th century that overtook the Liberal Party, to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s.

Prominent statesmen during the Victorian era were Lord Melbourne, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Derby, Lord Palmerston, Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone, and Lord Salisbury.

Lord Melbourne (Wig) who was the British Prime Minister from July 16 to November 14, 1834, and from April 18, 1835, to August 30, 1841 was the close friend and main political adviser to Queen Victoria during the early years of her reign (from 20 June 1837).

Crimean War

The Crimean War (1853-6) was a major European military conflict of the 19th century that saw an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Great Britain and Sardinia against Imperial Russia.

The immediate cause involved disputes over Orthodox holy sites in Jerusalem and the rights of Orthodox, Christian minorities in the Holy Land, which were under occupation by the Ottoman Empire.

The French emperor Napoleon III (Catholic) refused.

Having obtained promises of support from France and Great Britain, the Turkish Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia in October 1853.

Charge of the Light Brigade

The Charge of the Light Brigade that took place during the Battle of Balaklava (Battle of Balaklava), October 25, 1854 from the Crimean War was the British light cavalry unit with fast horses and soldiers armed with spears and sabers.

Through misinterpreted orders, the Light Brigade of 670 horsemen began an ambush attack against the heavily defended Russian soldiers.

The legend was made famous by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in his 1855 poem to honor their bravery and sacrifice: “Honor the charge they made! Honor the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred!”

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale, (1820 – 1910) was a British nurse and founder of modern nursing.

She became famous for her nursing work during the Crimean War (1854-56) and an icon of the Victorian era as “The Lady with the Lamp” who made her nightly rounds of wounded and dying soldiers.

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