• The Victorian Era

    The Victorian Era, named for Great Britain’s Queen Victoria, was a time of tremendous change in both America and Europe. Inventions like electric light, the vacuum cleaner, and even the first electric iron, made life easier for many Americans. They had more time for recreation, art, and literature. For the first time, America artists and writers gained prominence. John Adams, second president of the United States, wrote to his wife, Abigail, “I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.” During the Victorian Era, his prediction seemed to come true.

    The Victorian Era

    Fun Facts

    • Life in rural communities remained much as it had been for over a century, but life in the city changed rapidly. Trolleys provided transportation through wide, clean streets. Electric lights lit stores, homes, and businesses. Urban families lived in larger, comfortable homes. Many of them employed maids and nannies. Some homes even had indoor plumbing and underground sewers carried away waste.
    • The Arts flourished during the late 1800s. Mark Twain and Edith Wharton became well-known and beloved American writers. Louisa May Alcott became hugely successful for her children’s stories, “Little Women,” “Little Men,” and “Eight Cousins.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who wrote the epic poem, “Hiawatha” lived during this time. James Whistler, who painted “Whistler’s Mother,” developed a style of American art that was simpler than that of most European art at the time.
    • For the first time, people had the time and money to think about entertainment. They went to the theater, watched sports, such as baseball, football, and horse racing. Circuses and traveling shows entertained large audiences. People subscribed to and read daily newspapers and magazines, fueling the beginning of the modern publishing world.
    • The Victorians were strongly religious, believing in strong families and obedience to God. The Victorian Era was a time of high moral principles and optimism about the future.

    Vocabulary

    1. Prominence: a place of importance
    2. Sewer: a pipe or tunnel that carries away human waste
    3. Epic: a dramatic story that usually contains some elements of truth

    Questions and Answers

    Question: Did everyone in America enjoy this prosperity?

    Answer: No. People in rural farming communities continued to live simple, hard-working lives, although they might not have considered themselves disadvantaged. They tended to view city folks as being frivolous or silly.

    Learn More

    Visit BBC to read stories about children in Britain during the Victorian Age.

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Declan, Tobin. " Facts for Kids About The The Victoria Era ." American History for Kids, Jul 2019. Web. 16 Jul 2019. < https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/the-victorian-era/ >.

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Tobin, Declan. (2019). Facts for Kids About The The Victoria Era. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/the-victorian-era/

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