Peace and Prosperity
The Victorian age was essentially a period of peace and prosperity for England. The few colonial wars that broke out during this period exercised little adverse effects on the national life. The Crimean War, of course, caused a stir in England, but its effects were soon forgotten and the people regained the normal tenor of their lives without feeling the aftermaths of war in their round of daily activities. In the earlier years of the age, the effects of the French Revolution was a comparatively peaceful reign when Englishmen, secure in their island base, could complete the transformation of all aspects of their industrial, commercial and social life without any risks of violent interruptions that gave quite a different quality to the history of other continental nations. It was an era when the ‘war drum throbbed no longer’ and the people felt safe and secure in their island homes.
Peace brought material advancement and industrial progress in the country. The industrial Revolution of the age transformed the agrarian economy of England into an industrial economy. Mills and factories were established at important centers, and the whole of England hummed with the rattle of looms and the boom of weaving machines.
(To be continued .... )
Friday, November 10, 2006
Victorian Age (1)
A Brief Account of the Social, Political, Economic and Religious Tendencies of the Victorian Age
The Victorian Age is one of the most remarkable periods in the history of England. It was an era of material affluence, political consciousness, democratic reforms, industrial and mechanical progress, scientific advancement, social unrest, educational expansion, empire building and religious uncertainty. There were a number of thinkers who were well-satisfied with the progress made by the Victorians, while from a whole class of adverse critics could be heard a scathing criticism of the values held dear by the Victorians. While Macaulay trumpeted the progress that the Victorians had achieved, Ruskin and Carlyle, Arnold, Lytton Strachey, and Trollope raised frowns of disfavour against the soul-killing materialism of the age. Carlyle, himself a hostile critic of the age, admired L.H. Myer’s reference to ‘the deep-seated spiritual vulgarity that lies at the heart of our civilization’. Symonds detected in the Victorian Period, whatever may be its buoyancy and promise, elements of ‘world fatigue’, which were quite alien to the Elizabethan age, with which the Victorian era is often compared. Whatever may be the defects of the way of life, it cannot be denied that it was in may ways a glorious epoch in the history of English literature, and the advancement made in the field of poetry, prose and fiction was really commendable.