Economics of the Late Victorian Era
With the power of wealth and concentration of industry, the tremendous development in machinery, and power to drive machinery; with the improvement of the tools of labor, so that they are wonderfully tremendous machines, and with these all on the one hand; with labor, the workers, performing a given part of the whole product, probably an infinitesimal part, doing the thing a thousand or thousands of times over and over again in a day-labor divided and subdivided and specialized, so that a working man is but a mere cog in the great industrial modern plant; his individuality lost, alienated from the tools of labor; with concentration of wealth, concentration of industry, I wonder whether any of us can imagine what would be the actual condition of the working people of our country to-day without their organizations to protect them.
What would be the condition of the workingmen in our country in our day by acting as individuals with as great a concentrated wealth and industry on every hand? It is horrifying even to permit the imagination full swing to think what would be possible. Slavery! Slavery! Slavery! Demoralized, degraded slavery. Nothing better (Gompers 102).
In the 1830s the impudent luxury of the Regency Period was put side by side with the immorality and misery created by the new industrialism. This time was suggested in the "silver fork" novels of the late twenties and thirties; they reflected the high society and glamour of the time. These novels were later replaced in the forties with novels of social protest. Even though there were not many novels of protest, a few made a big impact on society. These novels spoke about how rough the poor lived and worked (Boardman 21).
During the Victorian period, the middle class issues were the result of rulings made by the government. The upper class administered the government. The cabinet members in the government were mostly noblemen. The middle class had very little influence on politics and government (Boardman 38).
In the early nineteenth century people where using labels like "working classes" and "middle classes." This designation was to separate people who had achieved success in commerce, industry, and other professions. They were considered the upper class. The upper class had a great control over the political system. This was not good for the working class and middle class because it left them no say in the government. However, some of the more powerful middle class men pushed for the Reform Act of 1832 and the deletion of the Corn Laws of 1846 (Wohl 1).
The high Victorian era ended toward the end of the 1860s-1870s. The year that started the late Victorian era was 1867 when the Second Reform Bill was doubled. In this year the town workers were starting to have some say in town government. Now what had been unraveling for decades was taking affect. The middle class had already achieved power in government and now it was the worker's turn....