Victorians Homework

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) – Prime Minister in 1868 and again from 1874-1880William Gladstone (1809-1898) – Prime Minister four different times between 18, which is more than any other prime minister; he supported laws that allowed more people to vote W. Fox-Talbot – an inventor who found ways to take photographs using negatives Robert Peel (1788-1850) – Prime Minister from 1834-18-1846, who set up the Metropolitan Police Force in 1829.Living in the Victorian era was exciting because of all the new inventions and pace of change and progress, but it was a hard time to live in if you didn’t have much money.

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The Great Exhibition in 1851 celebrated not just great accomplishments from around the world, but also within Britain and the British Empire.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1859) – a famous engineer who build steam ships, bridges, tunnels and even helped with the Crystal Palace used to house the Great Exhibition James Watt (1736-1819) – a Scottish engineer who invented an improved steam engine used in factories and mines Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) – most famous for inventing the telephone Thomas Edison (1847-1931) – an American inventor who made the phonograph and helped Joseph Wilson Swan (1828-1914) in Britain create the first electric light bulbs.

Scientists had learned how to use steam to create power, and from that came a whole list of other inventions that used steam power to make machines operate.

One of these machines was the steam train, in the early 1800s.

The idea was that the poor were helped to support themselves. They earned their keep by doing jobs in the workhouse. Women, children and men had different living and working areas in the workhouse, so families were split up.

Also in the workhouses were orphaned (children without parents) and abandoned children, the physically and mentally sick, the disabled, the elderly and unmarried mothers. The government, terrified of encouraging 'idlers' (lazy people), made sure that people feared the workhouse and would do anything to keep out of it. To make things even worse they could be punished if they even tried to speak to one another!The food was tasteless and was the same day after day.The young and old as well as men and women were made to work hard, often doing unpleasant jobs.The British Empire was the term used to describe all of the places that were under British rule, and during the Victorian era, this got so big that one poet said ‘the sun never sets on the British Empire’ (meaning that wherever the sun was shining at the time, it would be shining on something that belonged to Britain).Many countries that were part of the British Empire are now part of the Commonwealth.Even very young children had to work if their family needed them to.However, life had improved a lot for people by the end of the Victorian era.It meant that travelling was a lot faster than using a horse and carriage, and that goods could be transported much more quickly than using the canal system.This was good because more and more goods were being made!The education the children received did not include the two most important skills of all, reading and writing, which were needed to get a good job. This meant that everyone looked the same and everyone outside knew they were poor and lived in the workhouse.Upon entering the workhouse, the poor were stripped and bathed (under supervision).


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