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Why are the Victorians so important?

During Victorian times, Britain built a huge empire across the world, had enormous influence, and was very powerful. It was said that "the Sun never set on the British Empire" because Queen Victoria ruled over so many countries. It was also a time of great inventions and changes. There were great advances in science, medicine, engineering, and social reforms, especially for children. The lives of the British people were completely changed. You will research a topic related to Victorian England, which will become the basis for your research paper. 

 

You must use at least one book and 3-5 different scholarly sources for your paper. You may use Internet sources (not Wikipedia, Ask.com, eHow, etc.) This guide has been specifically designed to help you find and use scholarly sources- use it well!

Your research topic should be narrow, researchable, and manageable. The following are starting points to get you thinking about a more specific topic. Remember, you will need to narrow in on three potential subtopics, and ultimately choose one of those three subtopics as the focus of your paper.

  • Industrial Revolution in factories, 1700s-1800s
  • Disease and health issues in the 1800s
  • Working conditions, workforce, labor, and hours
  • Reform Acts (1800s)
  • Daily life for Victorians- wealthy vs. poor
  • Crime, prisons, and the police
  • Social status
  • Victorian morals and etiquette
  • Social class, traditions, and money
  • Orphans and orphanages
  • London in the 1800s
  • Schools and education
  • Marriage customs
  • Raising children
  • Expansion of the British Empire
  • Sanitation
  • The Crystal Palace
  • The role of women
  • Government reaction to the Potato Famine
  • Queen Victoria "Grandmother of Europe"
  • Chimney sweeps
  • The Great Exhibit of 1851
  • The Crimean War
  • Underground Railroad in London
  • Albert Hall
  • Architecture
  • Opium War
  • Penny Post
  • Prince Albert
  • The Boer War
  • Charles Dickens
  • Florence Nightingale
  • The Salvation Army
  • Women's Suffrage
  • Department stores
  • Work houses/poor houses
  • Charles Darwin
  • Jane Austen
  • The Brontë sisters
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Sir Robert Peel
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