This page has been archived and is no longer updated. In 1884, along with the Redistribution Act of 1885, Parliament’s electorate took the huge step to include almost all male agricultural workers in the franchise. However, being from the upper class, he was unable to completely understand the living condition of the poor. So, too, has the role of the Anti-Corn Law League, founded in Manchester in 1838, a largely middle-class organisation, extremely well organised under the leadership of Richard Cobden (1804-1865) who won a seat in Parliament in 1841. An English legend popular during the Victorian era said that St. Nicholas recruited the Devil to help with his deliveries. The Victorian Era: 1832-1901 I. As of then, there already was a group of 435,000 voters in Parliament. Gradually English society began to awake to its obligations to the helpless. The Victorian era was a period of dramatic change that brought England to its highest point of development as a world power. Prime Minister Earl Grey passed the Poor Laws in 1833 to look at the conditions of the working and the poor classes. Three powerful forces were at work. It proved to be the first of four successful 19th-century reform bills, the second in 1867, the third introducing the ballot in 1872 and the fourth in 1885. The Victorian era had a wide gap between the poor, middle, and upper class. The novel Dracula, by Bram Stoker, represents the mindset that those who felt threatened by these changes had. A few years later, Act of 1918 gave women over age thirty the right to vote. Professor John Mullan explores how George Eliot uses the novel to examine different kinds of reform and progress: political, scientific and social. So, a majority of widows, who were left with only 1/3 of their husband’s property, preferred to remarry to have protection under the law for their children. So, they asked for rules to be harsher for their houses. Moreover, since reformers outside Parliament were often dissatisfied with the extent of the reform, they returned sooner or later to what seemed to them a continuing struggle. A woman wanting to divorce her husband was looked down upon; also they would not be given any of their property owned before marriage. As the fear of revolution in Britain receded after 1815, many 'reformers' claimed that only if particular reforms were carried in time could revolution be avoided. Most prominent laws of the Victorian era 1. Structures and processes changed. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Strictly speaking, the Victorian era began in 1837 and ended with Queen Victoria's death in 1901, but the period can be stretched to include the years bot… Emma Ramseyer. 3.) Classified things as rights and wrongs. Due to industrialisation, England’s population was rapidly increasing and there was a great need for more representation in Parliament. In 1828, Duke of Wellington’s government revised the Corn Laws and they made a sliding scale for the weight-to-price of the corn. The success of England during the Victorian times depended largely on the laws that were passed. Understanding the Victorians paints a vivid portrait of this era of dramatic change, combining broad survey with close analysis and introducing students to the critical debates taking place among historians today. Those who were fortunate enough to be in the Upper class did not usually perform manual labor. She wanted affordable working-class houses to become real 'homes'. 1901 is the year of Victoria's death. Whether the comprehensive title the 'Age of Reform' should refer to the whole period in British history between 1837 and 1901 - a period of sharp contrasts in place and time - raises other basic questions, pivoting on the relationships between 'improvement', 'reform' and 'revolution'. In northern England the “newly mechanized” textile industry expanded Almeida 5 … Read more. Early in Victoria's reign organised political parties were beginning to take shape, and there was no totally independent civil service. Prime Minister Earl Grey, wanting to control the gap with growing middle and lower classes, enacted this law. The former fought a long (and still controversial) battle to repeal the Contagious Diseases Acts of 1864, 1866 and 1869, which regulated women working in brothels. This was enforced by the Common Law Doctrine of Coverture. The Acts were totally repealed after a long agitation, which had international ramifications, in 1886. 1.) The government would appoint a three-man Central Poor Law Commission who would be responsible for supervising the Amendment Act throughout the country.”. Population growth continued so English parliament decided to expand the right to vote further to many workmen and others. Each parish ratepayer or union to elect a Board of Guardians for supervision of the workhouse, for collection of the Poor Rate, for reporting  to the Central Poor Law Commission, and, 5.) Before the Poor Law Amendment, reports about the conditions of the workhouses across England were asked. Unfortunately, Victorian Era women were not given the right to vote. Picture by : Priyanka Duggal The Victorian era set in the times of 1800's signifies elegance, royalty, etiquette, chauvinism. The opponents of the Great Reform Bill claimed that it was 'revolutionary', but within two years of its passing in 1832 most of them accepted it as a fait accompli and adjusted their politics accordingly. Group politics are relevant in early and mid-Victorian Britain because members of the medical profession were in a position, as many clergymen were, to cross environmental and social divides and collect evidence, including statistical evidence, when they sought to identify 'problems' requiring action.

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