January 06, 2006

Poetry and Society: From the Romantics to the Victorians

Important Dates

Here are some significant dates in the nineteenth century, which may help you to grasp the historical influences which were working on litearture at the time. This is by no means comprehensive, but it may help you to start thinking about historical contexts.

1807: Abolition of the slave trade throughout the British Empire.
1811: Rise of the Luddites.
1819: Peterloo Massacre of Corn Law protestors.Factory Act (9s and over: 12 Ĺ hour shifts).
1829:Catholic Emancipation Act.
1832: The Reform Bill (middle classes able to vote).
1833: Slavery abolished throughout the British Empire. Factory Act (No Under 9s).
1834: New Poor Law.
1837: Queen Victoria takes to the throne.
1838–1849: The Chartist Movement.
1843: Wordsworth Poet Laureate.
1845: Corn Laws (which had kept up the price of grain) repealed.
1845–1850: Famine in Ireland.
1848: Public Health Act.
1850: Telegraph Cable Laid Under the English Channel.
1850 Tennyson Poet Laureate. Factory Act (women and children 10 1/2 hour shifts).
1851: The Great Exhibition of London takes place at Crystal Palace.
1853: Crimean War begins.
1856: Big Ben is cast. The Treaty of Paris ends the Crimean War
1857: Indian Mutiny.
1858: Victoria proclaims permanent British rule of India. First Atlantic cable laid.
1859: Darwinís The Origin of Species published.
1864: Contagious Diseases Act.
1867: The Second Reform Bill (many workingmen also able to vote). South African diamond fields discovered.
1869: The Suez Canal was opened.
1870: Education Act of 1870 (mass education).
1871: Darwinís Descent of Man is published.
1875: Public Health Act of 1875
1876: Bell's telephone. Edison's phonograph.
1876: Victoria proclaimed Empress of India
1878: Electric street lighting began in London.
1879: Somerville and Lady Margaret Colleges (for women) founded at Oxford.
1886: Britain makes Burma a province of India after winning the Anglo-Burma War.
1879: Swan and Edison independently produced the light bulb.
1884–5: The Third Reform Bill (Agricultural Laborers given the vote).
1886: Irish Home Rule Bill Defeated.
1887: Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.
1888: Jack the Ripper.
1897: Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
1898: Britain obtains a 99 year lease for Hong Kong from China
1899–1902: Boer War

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