Introducing the Victorian Age
Can you guess what these numbers refer to?
6 months
£ 16,000,000
6,000,000 visits
92,000 sq metres
14,000 exhibitors
5 continents
The Great Exhibition
London – Hyde Park,1851
the first world’s fair
More information and pictures of the Great Exhibition:
Dickinson’s Comprehensive Pictures of the Great Exhibition
The volume was published in 1852 and is available online
at: http://www.archive.org/stream/Dickinsonscompr1#page/n35/mode/2up
The Crystal Palace from the northeast,
from Dickinson, Comprehensive Pictures of the Great Exhibition of 1851, 1852
The glimpse of the transept through the iron
gates, the waving palm, flowers, statues,
myriads of people filling the galleries and
seats around, with the flourish of trumpets as
we entered, gave us a sensation which I can
never forget and I felt much moved... The
sight as we came to the middle where the
steps and a chair (which I did not sit on) were
placed, with the beautiful crystal fountain just
in front of it, was magical – so vast, so
glorious, so touching.
One felt – as so many did whom I have since
spoken to – filled with devotion, more so than
by any service I have ever heard. The
tremendous cheers, the joy expressed in every
face, the immensity of the building, the mixture
of palms, flowers, trees, statues, fountains [...],
and my beloved husband, the author of this
‘peace Festival’ which united the industry of all
nations of the earth – all this was moving
indeed, and it was and is a day to live forever.
(Queen Victoria on the opening of The Great
Exhibition, 1851, quote from A. N. Wilson, The
Victorians, 2002)
GREAT EXHIBITION
SCIENCE and TECHONOLOGY
INDUSTRY and TRADE
WORLD FAIR
PRINCE ALBERT
SCIENCE and TECHONOLOGY
INDUSTRY and TRADE
Power-Looms
If James Hargreaves, the poor weaver of Blackburn,
had never pioneered the spinning-jenny in 1764, and
if Richard Arkwright had never invented the waterframe spinning machine a little later, or Cartwright
invented the power-loom, the quiet home-weavers
of Lancashire, rustic characters who belonged in the
pages of Wordsworth, might still have been
pursuing their calm, untroubled lives [...]. But they
weren’t. The population explosion had occurred; the
Malthusian struggle was conjoined; the masses had
thronged into the mills and factories of Northern
England – Lancashire by now contained 12% of the
population.
(Wilson, The Victorians, 2002, pp.248-49)
WORLD FAIR
Queen Victoria, aged 24
Prince Albert, aged 29
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert with their nine children.
Picture from the Royal Collection.
Queen Victoria
and Prince Albert,
1854
-President of the Society for the
extinction of slavery
-Chancellor of the University of
Cambridge (proposed the introduction
of history and natural science)
-President of the Society for the
Improvement of the Condition of the
Working Classes
-President of the Society for the
Advancement of Science
-Opposed the Crimean War (1854)
Prince Albert
(1819 – 1861)
The Crystal Palace on fire (1936)
“The end of an era”
THE OTHER SIDE
WORKING CONDITIONS
SOCIAL UNREST
ALIENATION
SLAVERY
WARS
Wars and Colonies
1853-56 Crimean War against Russia
1857
Indian Mutiny
1861-65 American Civil War
1879s
Irish Home Rule
1880-81 First Boer War
1899-1902 Second Boer War
Workers in Lancashire:
- Queuing for food
- Child Labour
- Protest
Chartism
The Meeting in Kennington Commons, 1848
The People’s Charter and National Petition
(1838)
Main requests:
•Annual parliament
• Universal Man Suffrage
• Equal Electoral District
• Removal of property qualification for
membership of parliament
• Secret Ballot
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The Great Exhibition