Few eras in history can evoke such ideas of contrast between the lives of different people as that of the Victorian era of 1837-1901 in Britain. [4] Women of every class came together to stand against the injustice and inequality of the voting system and to lobby for their right to vote. Privacy Policy  | These were the first political parties in England who dominated the political field throughout the Victorian reign. Although it was a peaceful and prosperous time, there were still issues within the social structure. Some jobs for the middle class citizens during Victorian England were teachers and doctors. [3] It was the lowest of the three main classes during the Victorian Era and was by far the worst. Education Although education was for the privileged, around two thirds of the children in the working class population attended Sunday school. [17] [15] [4] If you hate your job now, just thank your lucky stars that you did not work during Victorian times! [5], The industrial revolution completely changed the lifestyle of Victorian Britain. In the Victorian Era, the Middle Class flourished because of the development of industrialization. [5], Despite the vast differences between the women in this era, their similarities encouraged a change that shaped the history of Britain. In her latest article, Georgie Broad reflects on the life of women in Victorian Britain. Some credited the change in silhouette to the Victorian dress reform, which consisted of a few movements including the Aesthetic Costume Movement and the Rational Dress Movement in the mid-to-late Victorian Era advocating natural silhouette, lightweight underwear, and rejecting tightlacing. PURE FINDER. The Victorian Era and The French Lieutenant's Woman The French Lieutenant's Woman is a 1981 film of historical fiction, contrasting present day relationships, morality and industry with that of the Victorian era in the 1850s. People in the Lower Class worked long hard hours and got paid very little. Many coats in the Victorian Era were long and stretched all the way down to your knees. In the Victorian era women were to get married to a man of the same or a better social status, be good wives, and be a mother to her husband's children. [3], The perfect role model for the domesticity expected of upper, and especially middle class women, was that of Victoria herself, who doted upon her husband and children, and after Albert’s death remained loyal, modest and demure - engrossing herself in her regal affairs. Marriage Source 1 " barely conscious of class beyond a recognition that the 'masters' constitute a different order of society into which they will never penetrate." It is hard to adequately put into words how bad the conditions were for poor Victorian children. This post will discuss transportation in the Victorian Era and how it divided the classes. [12] There are lots of memoirs written by people who grew up in the Victorian era saying how closely they associated with their servants when they were children and how remote they felt from their own parents. [4] This drove the prices down on the wages and most poor class families struggled to even put food on the table. [4] As an age of reformation, the mass populous of the Victorian era can be classified as ordinary people in extraordinary times, yet it is this extraordinary element which defines them. - They couldn't marry anyone outside of their own class - They worked in factories for long hours with little or no break. [16] In 1847, Charles Dickens, together with a millionaire heiress and philanthropist named Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts, decided to pay for the establishment of Urania Cottage. As the Victorian era was based on the principles of gender, race and class. Photograph showing a man dressed in work clothes. [1] Some of the workers during Victorian England, that would be equal in skill to another person in their class, would both be doing the same job, but one might prosper, while the other might not do well at all. [19] It was the general opinion of many of the wealthy Victorian families that the slums were brought on because of laziness, sin and lack of principle and self-discipline among the people who lived there. For instance, one woman would work with the family business, while another woman might have the life of some upper class women, and not have to work much at all. Although all of these middle class women had cleaning servants for their homes, they would lecture the lower class women on how to keep their houses clean. [19] [19] [26] [4], When thinking of Victorian England, most people picture corseted women and Gothic architecture; however, the real defining characteristic of the era was found in the extreme religious leanings of the people, which resulted in sexual repression and a profound distancing between the wealthy and the working classes. With the Victorian Era, it was the rise of the social classes and highlighting their way of life, especially with the Middle Class. [15] In reference to Source 2, the working class house was confined into small spaces. The third class that women played a role in was the "upper" working class, or the "upper" lower class. [27], Prior to the industrial revolution, Britain had a very rigid social structure consisting of three distinct classes: The Church and aristocracy, the middle class, and the working poorer class. A girl in the lower class, from ages 12 to 18, was paid 20 pounds; a girl in the middle class, of the same ages, was paid 100 pounds; and a girl of the upper class, 12 years old, was paid 400 pounds per job. About 3% of all white women during the Victorian era and 25% of all black women were part of the working force and worked for wages. - They were allowed to choose who they married. Middle class women can almost be considered guides to the lower class women. Their routine work was fulfilled by the lower class people. [4] [4] [15] Infomation on different aspects of the working class in the victorian era including: housing, fashion, education, working conditions, job opportunities, recreational activities, marriage, diet and living conditions. [26] [26], A comprehensive Victorian Children history guide with facts and information on how the Victorian times impacted children in work, play, education and home life. During this time, the middle class was pushing for an increase for recognized holidays by their employers. [1] How was Victorian poor and middle class Life? Cecil Court and St. Martin's Court were two streets constructed during the Victorian Era that highlight this change. - At an early age the children would be out looking for work or roaming the streets looking for odd jobs. A surprising aspect of society in the late 1800's is that the wealthy upper class had their own curiosities about how the poor lower class lived. The social classes of this era included the, Victorian England Social Hierarchy. Royal Class – This include people from royal family and the spiritual lords of that time. As a result of industrialisation, there was a huge boost of the middle and working class. Their food was tasteless and consisted of anything that they could afford, their clothes were vastly different from the luxurious outfits of the upper class women - consisting of rag and cheap cloth, and their homes would be cold, dank and dark. About 3% of all white women during the Victorian era and 25% of all black women were part of the working force and worked for wages. Victorian 1840s-1850s Blouses 1850s, the woman on the right is wearing a white blouse with voluminous sleeves. [1] 33 The Poor had no chance at getting themselves out of the hole that they were in since no one would offer them a job, but the Working Class wasn't much better, The only perks that they got were work, food, and everyday shelter. The unskilled workers were placed way below the skilled workers in the social scale and were vulnerable to exploitation ("Victorian Era Social Classes"). Some of the increasingly powerful upper middle class categories secured their places in this upper class. Such was the dietary divide between the rich and poor in the Victorian era. This class remained aloof to the political progress of the country and was hostile to the other two classes. These were mainly activities that were meant to bring the middle and working class together. The middle class was a very large class and it had a very broad area of people ("Women of Victorian England"). It was very common for women to pass away during childbearing. The lower class included people who did physical labor and were either paid hourly or daily. The middle class consisted of the bourgeoisie - the middle working class. [15] In the Victorian era, this work was mainly performed by teenage girls who worked in terrible conditions, often for between 12 and 16 hours a day with few breaks. [19] Some wealthy upper middle class usually carried a cane and wore long dark hats. [12] [4] Even though she had a physical disability, she still was able to overcome this and become a respectable Victorian women traveler. [4] This was called the Victorian Era because Queen Victoria was in control. An unmarried woman of this class often spent a lot of time with other unmarried women of their same social class. Working Class Housing (typical inside setting) Fashion WOMEN: - They did not bother to wear tight corsets, as it would only be impractical and slow them down. Charles Dickens Tried To Save Fallen Women. Royal Class - This include people from royal family and the spiritual lords of that time. The lower class citizens barely received any education at all, if they received any. From levitation demonstrations, vanishing acts and card-playing automatons, to performing elephants, clog dancers and even ‘sapient pigs’ able to perform remarkable tricks – when looking for live entertainment, the Victorians were spoilt for choice. [15] [9] The lowest among the social hierarchy were the working class. [19] [11] [11] [4] [7] The working class were the worst effected by the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian Era. The era can be viewed as one long stream of contradictions—a time of prosperity interrupted by the Long Depression of 1873–1879 and the Panic of 1893. [5] (More...) The wealthy in the Victorian Era would use these carriages for transportation to and fro. The British lower class was divided into two sections: "the working class" (labourers), and "the poor" (those who were not working, or not working regularly, and were receiving public charity). [9] During the Victorian Era, the social class system of that time rigidly defined the role of women. This quickly made them into the lower class citizens as there were very few jobs that they were capable of finding at this time. The poor or lower class of the Victorian era had a very rough life. [24] [23], During the Victorian Era, those in the middle class pushed back against the idea that the right to vote and to hold government office were reserved for the owners of major acreage. [26] [7], Some of the men in the working class thought that if the women were given a holiday from the factory, they were not to use it do go out and have fun, but they were supposed to stay home and do work around the house and do the chores that they were unable to do during the week. During the Victorian era, women were viewed as the very opposite of what a man ought to be. [16], Chapter 16 is based in the East end of London which during the Victorian Era was occupied mainly by the lower and middle class. England under the Victorian Era was a fascinating place to live. [19] While modern class differences are based primarily on how much money a person makes, Victorian class differences were based on what you did for a living, if anything. Cousin marriages remained popular among the upper class, however. Working class life in the Industrial Era Living and working conditions for the Victorian working classes. [4] [7] [4] [4] Poor Victorians (Lower Class): Being poor during the Victorian era was very difficult, with barely enough money to buy food, how did the Victorians even manage to buy decent clothes? The Industrial revolution had taken what many would consider to be medium class and left them without jobs. As a result of that, we have several authors and their popular books that describe life in Victorian society accurately. [3] When it came to age, most brides and grooms would have been in their mid-20s. Other people were migrating to England and creating less job opportunities for all the people living in the lower class. Very large families were not peculiar in the centuries before birth control, with the Victorian Era being no exception. [3], The middle class, on the other hand, had a very successful time in the Victorian era. [12] You either had the money or you didn’t, which in reality probably drove the middle class to extinction for a time throughout the Victorian era. The reform of the Victorian era, a time in England of refinement and high decorum surrounding the years of Queen Victoria’s reign, did not produce revolution but the opposite: stagnation. Although prostitution was legal, many ladies of the night were arrested for crimes … [1], This class was incorporated in England’s social system during Victorian era. [21], The Lower Middle Class was just as hardworking as the Upper Middle Class, but didn't receive as much money, benefits, or praise as those in the Upper Middle Class did. The life of a middle class woman was similar to the life of an upper class woman, but it was not as luxurious as an upper class woman's life. The upper class did not usually have to work, and they did get paid from inherited land and their investments. This carriage was only owned by wealthy upper class gentlemen and being the equivalent to today’s sports car, dignified ladies of status did not ride in them (Crank). They earned low, insubstantial wages. Any worker was easily replaced with another of any age, or machine in some cases, to do the life-threatening industrial work for an incredibly low wage. [14] At the start of the Victorian era (1830s-1900), English society was highly stratified and hierarchical, and the population fell into three main classes. Other people in the middle class owned large businesses and they became very rich. During the Victorian Era women struggled to fulfill their desires and men encountered women to get only what was necessary for the household, trying to escape from responsibility they go onto the direction that their impulse takes them, however not for long, after a dream of having what they long for they still have to face reality of being a wife and mother. The lower class included seamstresses, washerwomen, farm, factory, and mine workers, and domestic servants. Neck-line Bertha is the low shoulder neck-line worn by women during the Victorian Era. [9], They were only to stay in the standards of this class and if they were to take the standards of another class, it was considered a very high offense ("Women of Victorian England"). [23] [3], Many people considered the rich to be middle class if they did not have anything to do with royalty. Dancing and grand social parties were commonplace in the lives of wealthy Victorian women, and offered them a chance to mingle with other women of similar backgrounds and to show off their fineries. Both upper class men and women of the Victorian Era dressed lavishly in the daytime and even more extravagantly at night, while lower class men and women wore … Therefore, the middle class not only would lose their jobs and have to find another, but they had to compete with immigrants for work. Victorian Era and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Known for its utilitarianist ideals, the education system of the Victorian Era limited the thoughts, speech, and actions of the individual; People were the product of the Victorian society in which they were raised. [15] Reformatories. [2] [1], Like the middle class, the lower class was a very large class and was very populated. The shape was essentially an inverted triangle, with a wide-brimmed hat on top, a full upper body with puffed sleeves, no bustle, and a skirt that narrowed at the ankles (the hobble skirt was a fad shortly after the end of the Victorian era). [15] [2] Middle Upper Class - This class include great officers of the England, the baronets along with temporal lords. [15], The best way to not only explain and investigate class differences, but to highlight just how vast the problems of inequality and division were at the time, is to consider rich and poor in turn. Another trade which lower class women could turn their hand to was that of domestic service. In the working class home, mothers gave birth to their children at home with a mid-wife rather than a doctor. [4], Another option for lower working class women during this time period for a job was domestic service ("Women of Victorian England"). Social Class During Victorian England History Essay, Comparing Norman and Victorian Architecture and Lifestyle - Londonhua WIKI, How the Other Half Lived: Rich and Poor Women in Victorian Britain -- History is Now Magazine, Podcasts, Blog and Books Modern International and American history, Victorian society social structure. Women of the upper class, middle class, working class, and lower class were more prevalent in America. [2] Related materials. [15] [5], With tenements consisting of many floors, Victorian Londoners lived cheek-by-jowl with their neighbors. Well, most Victorian housewives made their children's clothes for they had learnt how to at a very young age, but even still, poor Victorian families had very few outfit. Unlike their lower class counterparts, upper class Victorian women more often than not had staff to help with the running of their home and the raising of their children, leaving them with plenty of time to enjoy the finer things in life. Although prostitution was legal, many ladies of the night were arrested for crimes like public drunkenness or gathering in the streets. We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. The men of the Victorian Era believed that a women's place was at home. [4] Image courtesy of www.eriding.net (Click on image to … [19] [4] Instead, they were landowners and hired lower class workers to work for t… [4] [16] The poor or lower class of the Victorian era had a very rough life. Some of the most frequent customers at brothels were young men in the military. The Lower Class In The Victorian Era 720 Words | 3 Pages. [14] These rich people, if they had no relevance to royalty, had been too equated to the middle class, even if they were very rich. People in the middle class, who got sick less, also received better treatment. Although women in the upper and lower classes had many differences, they also had some similarities. Working class women wearing decent clothing. [14] Woman pregnancy was very dangerous during the Victorian era. Accounts show that children born into working class families felt that their mother was the best mother of all. The Victorian period was very prosperous for the middle class. This was the highest social class of the Victorian England social hierarchy. [11], The highest class for the women was the gentry and nobility class. [19] Dancing was one of the favorite things for the upper class women and men ("Women of Victorian England"). [7] [17] [5] [1] [1] [4] In the upper and middle classes, the family also included servants while the lower class family may have included lodgers. Not everyone shared in Coote's compassion for the impoverished and fallen women of the working class. Prostitution in Victorian Britain was a prevalent and often well earning business, with streets and streets dedicated to its work. Farming was still very much a part of life in Victorian Britain. [11] Meanwhile, the Victorian era saw a rise in awareness of birth defects associated with reproduction among relatives. The Victorian Era provided a very successful time period for the middle class. Due to the lack of modern technology that we have today such as televisions and the internet, the Victorian era (the era in which Queen Victoria reigned, this was between 1837 and 1901 was renowned for famous for the short stories that the authors of the time wrote. These radical middle class ideals eventually spread to the not-quite-so-poor as well. This happens when lower class try to compete for equal rights in the society. [4] [20] Few eras in history can evoke such ideas of contrast between the lives of different people as that of the Victorian era of 1837-1901 in Britain. While the elite built extravagant homes, workers lived in crowded tenements, and the economic downturns forced workers to accept lower wages just to feed their families. 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