Loose Baggy Monsters


The Age of Steam

Approx. 1825 - Approx. 1870

The first huge railways were opened in the 1830s and this mania continued through the century.

The Early Victorian Period

1830 - 1848

According to Kelly Body and Rohan McWilliam.
Thomas Carlyle’s Condition of England question, Chartism, the Anti-Corn Law League and of Engel’s portrait of the Manchester working class. Also, Hammond’s Bleak Age and a time of economic depression. Echoed in the industrial novels of Mrs Gaskell, Dickens and Disraeli.

The Mid-Victorian Period

1850 - 1875

According to Kelly Boyd and Rohan McWilliam.
economic improvement in the 1850s, rising standards of living. Defeat of Chartism in the year of European revolutions (1848), Great Exhibition of 1851 – increasing middle class confidence and progress in science and technology. Darwin’s Origin of Species, Mill’s On Liberty, Smiles’ Self-Help all in 1859.

The Late Victorian Period

1870 - 1901

According to Kelly Boyd and Rohan McWilliam
British Empire at its height, new world of economy, export of British culture through Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, Sir Arther Conan Doyle’s fiction and the plays of Oscar Wilde. Second Reform Act (1867) after which confidence began to decline; economy began to decline from competition abroad, the Boer War, possibility of Irish Home Rule. Socialism came to the main stream via poverty becoming a major political issue in 1880s. Eugenics, influx of immigrants, visibility of women in the public life, anxieties about manliness were some of the issues of the late era. Viewed as a moment of crisis and a time of relative economic decline (when measured against the rise of Germany and the US).


The Waterloo Campaign

15 June 1815 - 8 July 1815

Included the Battle of Waterloo which pitched France against two Seven Coalition armies after the refusal of Napoléon Bonaparte as the true French Emperor. Coalition win.
Considered a huge cultural milestone and memory in the Victorian era. The French Revolution had worried the British due to the upheaval it could pose.

The Newspaper and Stamp Duties Act


Increased taxes on publications, radical publications, weekly newspapers etc. It severely cramped the manufacturing of newspapers and publications.

Reform Act of 1832


Gave new voting rights to some working-class men, created 130 new seats in parliament meaning that parliament became more active and progressive than ever before. Enfranchisement and shifting of the working-class. Some argue this to be the start of the Victorian Era.

Abolition of Slavery


The End of the Taxes of Knowledge

1836 - 1861

1836: The 4d tax on newspapers was reduced to 1d and the tax on pamphlets was abolished.
1853: Advertisement duty was abolished.
1855: Newspaper stamp duty was abolished.
1861: Paper duty was abolished.


1838 - 1848

A working-class movement designed to give more suffrage power to them. Policies included a vote for every man 21+, secret ballot, anti corruption measures and equal constituencies. Driven by those who had felt betrayed by the middle-classes and Whig implemented industry laws (the Poor Law Amendment).
Died out after 1848 but their wishes were all eventually granted through other means. During their height, they were seen as a destabilising force against the elites.

The Revolutions of 1848


Began in France in February of that year after the monarchy had been reinstated in 1847.
According to Evans and von Strandmann (2000), some of the major contributing factors were widespread dissatisfaction with political leadership, demands for more participation in government and democracy, demands for freedom of press, other demands made by the working class, the upsurge of nationalism, and the regrouping of established governmental forces.

The Communist Manifesto


Posited a model of social organisation which got rid of hereditary rule - equal share of resources, criticising capitalism and the working conditions. Idea quickly circulated around Europe. Subsitutated equal rule and property rights for all.

Crimean War

1853 - 1856

The Matrimonial Causes Act


Moved the jurisdiction of divorce from the church to the civil courts. Brought cases into the public eye.

On the Origin of Species - Charles Darwin


That biological types do not have a fixed, static existence but flux.
Natural Selection and adapting to one's environment; that these variations are random and not caused by God.


1876 - 1895

1876: Cesare Lombroso, Criminal Man
1884: Gustav Cohen, Modern Self-Instructor in Phrenology, Physiology and Physiognomy.
1895: The Female Offender. Containing physical markers of female criminals.

Boer War

1880 - 1881

The Transvaal Boers won a huge defeat over the British from their growing concern and resentment over their annexations of various republics and their defeat over the Zulus led to a year's war.

Second Boer War

1899 - 1902

Reignited Imperial interests by the British inflamed the Transvaal Republic.