John Watson

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Victorian Age Overview The Victorian Age began around 1833. Queen Victoria ruled from 1837 to 1901. During this period factory towns grew into large cities. The booming economy was causing low living costs. Army and Naval power of Britain derived new colonies all the way into Africa. Victorian leaders took steps to expand democracy. Two key issues took place: the trade policy and electoral reform. The trade policy ran high tariffs on goods. This left Britain farmers raising prices on goods. This angered the poor class of Britain. The electoral reform led to the Second Reform Bill of 1867. This doubled the electorate by giving more men the right to vote. Britain kept out of war time most of The Victorian Age. The only war was The Crimean War. This was when Britain, France and Turkey teamed up to end Russian expansion. Along these lines Britain gained some new territories: Hong Kong, India and some other ones in Africa.

Victorian thinkers and writers admired material benefits industrialization had brought. On the other hand realists despised the conditions brought by industrialization. Many thought that government needed some control over business. Charles Darwin introduced natural selection. Realism was also born. Realism focused on day to day reality. Naturalism sought to put the spirit of scientific observation to literary use.

One group rejected ugliness of industrial life: Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The Aesthetes turned away from reality and created only works of beauty.

Victorian Age produced large and diverse body of poetry. Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning were well known poets. Lord Tennyson displayed keen sense of the music of language. Robert Browning was known for dramatic monologues. Poet Matthew Arnold focused on the confusion of The Industrial Age. The Victorian Age put little into the theater due to restrictions put on by the government. Victorian writers like Bronte and Dickens wrote with realistic details that dramatized the problems of industrial England.

All in all, The Victorian Age produced a large body of literature; entertaining, scholarly, humorous, and profound. The Victorian Age pointed toward the realistic problems of society, which we still see and face today. The Victorian Age shows a great influence even today on writers and thinkers trying to improve society.