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The Victorian Age

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Submitted By nastyafusic
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THE VICTORIAN AGE The Victorian Compromise
The Victorian Age takes its name from Queen Victoria who ruled from 1837 to 1901; it was a complex era characterised by stability, progress and social reforms, and, in the mean time, by great problems such as poverty, injustice and social unrest; that’s why the Victorians felt obliged to promote and invent a rigid code of values that reflected the world as they wanted it to be, based on: * duty and hard work; * respectability: a mixture of both morality and hypocrisy, severity and conformity to social standards (possessions of good manners, ownership of a comfortable house, regular attendance at church and charitable activity); it distiguished the middle from the lower classes; * charity and philanthropy: an activity that involved many people, expecially women.
The family was strictly patriarchal: the husband represented the authority and respectability, cosequently a single woman with a child was emarginated because of a wide-spread sense of female chastity. Sexuality was generaly repressed and that led to extreme manifestations of prudery.
Colonialism was an important phenomenon and it led to a patriotism deeply influenced by ideas of racial superiority: British people thought that they were obeying to God by the imposition of their superior way of life. The concept of “the white man’s burden” was exalted in the works of colonial writers (such as Rudyard Kipling).
This code of values, known as “Victorian Compromise” founds its basis in some religious and philosophical movements: * evangelicalism: influenced the emphasis upon moral conduct; it had been created in 18th century by John Wesley who believed in the dedication to humanitarian causes and social reforms; * utilitarianism: whose theorist was Jeremy Bentham, neglected human and cultural values and trusted reason as...

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