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Children and Theatre in Victorian Britain. All Work, No Play. / Varty, Anne. London: Palgrave Macmillan, Research output: Book/Report › Book. Published.
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- 10 of the Worst Jobs in the Victorian Era | Mental Floss
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In the writings of Henry Mayhew , Charles Booth , Charles Dickens and others, prostitution began to be seen as a social problem.
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When Parliament passed the first of the Contagious Diseases Acts in which allowed the local constabulary in certain defined areas to force any woman suspected of venereal disease to submit to its inspection , Josephine Butler 's crusade to repeal the CD Acts yoked the anti-prostitution cause with the emergent feminist movement.
Butler attacked the long-established double standard of sexual morality. The emphasis on the purity of women found in such works as Coventry Patmore 's The Angel in the House led to the portrayal of the prostitute and fallen woman as soiled, corrupted, and in need of cleansing. This emphasis on female purity was allied to the stress on the homemaking role of women, who helped to create a space free from the pollution and corruption of the city. In this respect, the prostitute came to have symbolic significance as the embodiment of the violation of that divide.
The double standard remained in force.
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The Matrimonial Causes Act allowed for a man to divorce his wife for adultery, but a woman could only divorce for adultery combined with other offences such as incest, cruelty, bigamy , desertion, etc. The anonymity of the city led to a large increase in prostitution and unsanctioned sexual relationships. Dickens and other writers associated prostitution with the mechanisation and industrialisation of modern life, portraying prostitutes as human commodities consumed and thrown away like refuse when they were used up. Moral reform movements attempted to close down brothels, something that has sometimes been argued to have been a factor in the concentration of street-prostitution.
The extent of prostitution in London in the s gained national and global prominence through the highly publicised murders attributed to Whitechapel based serial killer Jack the Ripper , whose victims were exclusively prostitutes living destitute in the East End. After , there was widespread fear of growing crimes, burglaries, mob action, and threats of large-scale disorder. Crime had been handled on an ad-hoc basis by poorly organized local parish constables and private watchmen, supported by very stiff penalties, including hundreds of causes for execution or deportation to Australia.
London, with 1. The Metropolitan Police Act , championed by Home Secretary Robert Peel , was not so much a startling innovation, as a systemization with expanded funding of established informal practices. The policemen were called "bobbies" after Peel's first name. They were well-organized, centrally directed, and wore standard blue uniforms. Legally they had the historic status of constable, with authority to make arrests of suspicious persons and book offenders before a magistrate court.
They were assigned in teams to specified beats, especially at night. Gas lighting was installed on major streets, making their task of surveillance much easier. Crime rates went down.
An law required all incorporated boroughs in England and Wales to establish police forces. Scotland, with its separate legal system, was soon added. By every jurisdiction in Great Britain had an organized police force, for which the Treasury paid a subsidy. The police had steady pay, were selected by merit rather than by political influence, and were rarely used for partisan purposes.
The pay scale was not high one guinea a week in , but the prestige was especially high for Irish Catholics, who were disproportionately represented in every city where they had a large presence. Intellectual historians searching for causes of the new morality often point to the ideas by Hannah More , William Wilberforce , and the Clapham Sect.
10 of the Worst Jobs in the Victorian Era | Mental Floss
Perkin argues this exaggerates the influence of a small group of individuals, who were "as much an effect of the revolution as a cause. The intellectual approach tends to minimize the importance of Nonconformists and Evangelicals—the Methodists, for example, played a powerful role among the upper tier of the working class. Finally, it misses a key ingredient: instead of trying to improve an old society, the reformers were trying to lead Britain into a new society of the future. Victorian Era movements for justice, freedom, and other strong moral values made greed, and exploitation into public evils.
The writings of Charles Dickens , in particular, observed and recorded these conditions. They brought significant cultural capital, such as wealth, education and social standing. Besides the actual reforms for the city they achieved for themselves a form of symbolic capital, a legitimate form of social domination and civic leadership. The utility of charity as a means of boosting one's social leadership was socially determined and would take a person only so far.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Historian Harold Perkin writes: Between and the English ceased to be one of the most aggressive, brutal, rowdy, outspoken, riotous, cruel and bloodthirsty nations in the world and became one of the most inhibited, polite, orderly, tender-minded, prudish and hypocritical.
The transformation diminished cruelty to animals, criminals, lunatics, and children in that order ; suppressed many cruel sports and games, such as bull-baiting and cock-fighting, as well as innocent amusements, including many fairs and wakes; rid the penal code of about two hundred capital offences, abolished transportation [of criminals to Australia], and cleaned up the prisons; turned Sunday into a day of prayer for some and mortification for all.
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Main article: Abolitionism in the United Kingdom. Main article: Animal welfare in the United Kingdom. Main article: Child labour. See also: Labouchere Amendment and Oscar Wilde. Retrieved 29 May Archived from the original on 24 April Retrieved 23 January Archived from the original on Retrieved Business Law. Litzenberger; Eileen Groth Lyon The Human Tradition in Modern Britain.
Contributions in Women's Studies. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. Walkowitz, Prostitution and Victorian society: Women, class, and the state Selected cases, statutes and orders. London: Stevens and Sons Limited. Walkowitz, "Male vice and feminist virtue: feminism and the politics of prostitution in nineteenth-century Britain. Secretary Peel: the life of Sir Robert Peel to pp.
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