The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

Archives for the ‘19th century’ Category

The Railway Age

Category: 19th century

The 18th century was a boom time for building roads. At the beginning of the century it took over three days to make the journey from London to Ex­eter or Manchester. By the end of the century the same journey took about 24 hours by coach. That became possible thanks to the network of new […]



Mid-Victorian Prosperity

Category: 19th century

The unparalleled expansion of British manufac­tures and commerce between 1848 and 1866 was no doubt due, to a great extent, to the removal of protec­tive duties on food and raw materials. But not entirely. Other important changes took place simultaneously and helped it on. The above years comprise the discovery and working of the Californian […]



The Great Exhibition

Category: 19th century

The Great Exhibition of 1851, the brain child of the Prince Consort, was held in London. It demon­strated the vast wealth of the British empire created due to its industrial development. May 1st, 1851, was an exciting day for many people in Britain. The streets of London were unusually busy the morning of that day. […]



Queen Victoria

Category: 19th century

The history of England in the reign of Queen Vic­toria is “political history”, with fewer major wars, in­ternational complications, or startling public events, and a greater concentration upon a sequence of legis­lative acts which profoundly influenced the life of the nation.



Child Labour in the 19th Century

Category: 19th century

The shameful practice of child labour played an important role in the Industrial Revolution from its outset. The displaced working classes, from the seventeenth century on, took it for granted that a family would not be able to support itself if the children were not employed. The children of the poor were forced by economic […]



Factory Legislation

Category: 19th century

In the earliest stages of the Industrial Revolution, when machinery was crude, soon obsolete and worked by the uncertain and irregular power of water, facto­ry owners were determined to get the fullest possible use out of this machinery in the shortest possible time. Hours of work rose to sixteen and even eighteen a day. In […]



The Police Force

Category: 19th century

The modern police force in England was founded between the years 1829 and 1839. This development was the direct result of the upsurge of a militant work­ing class movement in the first decades of the 19th century. The old system of corrupt and incapable par­ish constables was clearly inadequate to protect the property of rich […]



The Chartist Movement

Category: 19th century

The Chartist Movement was a powerful protest organization that urged the immediate adoption of the “People’s Charter”, which would have transformed Britain into a political democracy. It was also expected to improve living standards.



The Corn Laws

Category: 19th century

The object of the Corn Laws of 1815 was to keep the price of wheat at the famine level it had reached during the Napoleonic Wars, when supplies from Po­land and France were prevented from reaching En­gland. All wheat imports were forbidden when the price fell below 50 s. the quarter.



The Poor Law of 1834

Category: 19th century

By the 19th century, Britain had become an in­dustrial nation. The population of the country increased, as well as the number of poor people. For a generation the hand weavers and petty craftsmen had fought desperately to escape the factories. Year by year their incomes had fallen till a man could not hope to earn […]