The Legacy of Queen Victoria: The British Empire, Colonization, Workhouses and Poverty
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The Legacy of Queen Victoria: The British Empire, Colonization, Workhouses and Poverty

The reign of Queen Victoria was during England's most glorious days. Britain had an empire. It was the days of colonization and although sometimes detrimental to the colonies, it was profitable for Britain in terms of expansion, political clout and economics.

Queen Victoria was the longest reigning British Monarch; she reigned for 64 years.

The reign of Queen Victoria was during England's most glorious days. Britain had an empire. It was the days of colonization and although sometimes detrimental to the colonies, it was profitable for Britain in terms of expansion, political clout and economics.

Despite the fact that Queen Victoria deeply loved Ireland she was also known as the famine Queen due to her reign during the Irish potato famine. It was rumoured that she gave a small some of money from her personal funds to aid the Irish, but it was also defended that it was England in the first place who caused the famine.

Even the social problems at home in England were troublesome. The Queen ignored the social problems of her day and basked in the glory of the prim and proper Victorian middle class mores. Meanwhile, the needs of the men, women, and children who struggled in life, working slave hours in factories, or selling apples on the street in the bitter cold winter prevailed.

The classic author of the period, Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist, and exposed the exploitation of the poor and disadvantaged. His many works was a social commentary.

The workhouses and debtors prisons were overcrowded, orphanages were abusive, and the age of industrialization brought many rural people into the big dirty crowded English cities to look for work. The sweat shop conditions were the fate of the lucky, debtor prisons and workhouses were the faith of those who were not so lucky.

The spirit of the British people lived on in spite of the hardships as clearly portrayed again by Charles Dickens in his classic, A Christmas Carol.

Queen Victoria was big on Christmas celebrations and our Christian tradition today is handed down by Queen Victoria's generation. She gave us the Christmas tree, and the distribution of Christmas cards to celebrate the holiday season.

The Victorian era brought in strong family values for the middle class, but tended to create a larger gap between the middle class and the poor, who could not live up to the middle class ideals of the day.

Queen Victoria's reign ushered in the modern monarchy. It is during this reign and onward that the monarchy becomes more of a nostalgic symbolic presence than a royal ruling class.

Due to the inbreeding that was so prevalent among the ruling classes in Europe, Queen Victoria actually became the first known royal hemophiliac. Queen Victoria passed the gene onto two of her daughters and her son Prince Leopold. In turn they passed it on to some of their children.

The first British stamp portrays the head of Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria was recently ranked the 18th most famous person in Britain. She is the most commemorated British Monarch worldwide.

Many statues and cities worldwide are named in her honor. Victoria Day is celebrated in Canada, Ireland and Dundee and Edinburgh, Scotland.


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Comments (17)

Definitely not a romantic period of time like the novels would have you believe.

yep Susan you have that right

An excellent account of the social hardships endured in the Victorian era. Industrialisation caused many social ills, but it's important to recognise that many people sought to alleviate these problems. The period was actually incredibly progressive, introducing reforms we still benefit from today. Middle class philanthropists invested much of their wealth in the building of hospitals, art galleries, museums, parks and other amenities for the working classes. In doing so they undeniably consolidated their own power, but these measures did have positive social consequences. One of the greatest Victorian innovations was the School Board programme in which thousands of new schools were built in accordance with Forster's Elementary Education Act of 1870. This established the first universal system of education in Britain and lifted many people out of poverty.

thanks Michael,

Good write. Such a pride that I feel, when you discuss powerful women in the past.

Oh! I tweeted this one :)

I can see the spirit of the British people lived on during those trying times.

thank you Phoenix and Patrick, yes the Queen's of England will be apart of my women's issues series on examiner.

Another excellent series focusing on woman who held power in English history. I responded in your last article about publishing a book but it did not take it kept kicking me out to yahoo. I agree, it really is difficult to find a publsiher who will accept work already publsihed online, however there is always the option of an e-book but I must admit when writing online it certainly is difficult to find the time. I did find a new Canadian publisher who does e-books and sells promotes for you. Looks like a good site. I am thinking about doing a gardening book as I have well over enouygh to create a few e-books on the subject publsihed online. Anyways here is the addy if your interested and no it is not a referral. I hate the damn

tanya even ebooks are hard to publish because one you have published on the net you have published, I have written two books already and are published. Hey did you sign up for my column? Let me know how it goes for you and publishing your book, beware of scammers though, they are out there.

Queen Victoria was one far out lady.

yep I guess she was John

Great article. Sending you some page love!

Really enjoyed this one! Can you tell us more about the African princess Queen Victoria adopted and raised as a member of the royal family? You didn't mention her. And, I think in these days and times, this is a noteworthy matter.

You got me there Deborah I was not aware of that, thank you for pointing it out, I will certainly look it up and see if I can find any information on it.

Hi Carol, I know that this is an older article. But, I liked it so well that I came back to tweet it.

thanks so much hon