1837 – 1901
The Victorian Era was one of the most fruitful time periods in the United Kingdom`s history. The name was taken from Queen Victoria and the period lasted from 20 June 1837 to 20 January 1901, when she died. The era was preceded by the Georgian period and followed by the Edwardian one. The last part of the Victorian Era roughly coincided with the Gilded Age of the United Stated and the first part of the Belle Époque era of the continental Europe. To summarize, the Victorian Era was a long period of peace, economic growth and special attention to the fine arts and culture in general, despite the fact that there were still some social issues that had to be fixed.
During the Victorian Era, the population of England and generally, the population of the United Kingdom increased really fast. For example, the population of England and Wales combined almost doubled in 50 years, during 1851 and 1901, from almost 17 million to 31 million. At the same time, around 15 million emigrants left United Kingdom to settle in United States, Canada or Australia. The growth was attributed to the continuously increase of the living standards. The high living standards implied high birth rates, high fertility rates and low mortality rates. People were more concerned of their nutrition. environment living and working conditions. The population was growing geometrically, which means that it would have been very exposed to epidemics and famine without an additional help. Britain was lucky to have the help of the Industrial Revolution, which provided enough goods to sustain this demographic boom. Without this economic help, Thomas Malthus thought that a very fast demographic growth is impossible and it will most likely cause a crisis, famine or a new plague.
As far as it regards culture, entertainment and sports, the Victorian Era was a period of bloom. Victorian Britons were really interested in literature (Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle), in theater, opera, drama, music and arts in general. Gentlemen were attracted by the gambling phenomena and they were gathering in establishments called `casinos`, just like today, despite the evangelical and other religious movements that were making efforts to stop these `devilish habits`.
Never did the sports developed so fast like in the Victorian Era. Cricket, croquet, bicycling, roller skating, water sports and horseback riding are just some of the sports that appeared and flourished in the Victorian Era. Also the modern game of tennis originated in England, Birmingham, between 1859 and 1865. The oldest tennis tournament in the world, the Wimbledon Championship, was first played in London in 1877. Football is another sport that increased its popularity in the Victorian Era. The first football league in the world was established in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor. Useless to say that Aston Villa was the most important and famous football club in the Victorian Era.
Despite some social issues, Victorian Era remains one of the best periods in the British history, a period of demographic growth, technological development and improvement in human living conditions.