Such was the dietary divide between the rich and poor in the Victorian era.  They also had no sewage system.  The lowest among the social hierarchy were the working class. Many working class children did not attend as it was out of their family's budget and parents would rather them start earning money for the family.   While the elite built extravagant homes, workers lived in crowded tenements, and the economic downturns forced workers to accept lower wages just to feed their families. The Victorian upper class consisted of the king and queen, aristocrats, nobles, dukes, and other wealthy families of the Victorian court.  The layout of the social classes was also influenced by the industrial era since those working the hard manual labor jobs were part of the Lower Class. In the early part of the period, Victorian families were large and nuclear, typically composed of two generations, parents and children.  MATCHSTICK MAKERS. Social classes had been around for a long time, but the Victorian Era redefined them. The lower class included seamstresses, washerwomen, farm, factory, and mine workers, and domestic servants.  About 3% of all white women during the Victorian era and 25% of all black women were part of the working force and worked for wages. This drove the prices down on the wages and most poor class families struggled to even put food on the table. In 1837, the start of the Victorian era, Britain began experiencing massive changes in the culture of the nation and in the industrial sector. Some credited the change in silhouette to the Victorian dress reform, which consisted of a few movements including the Aesthetic Costume Movement and the Rational Dress Movement in the mid-to-late Victorian Era advocating natural silhouette, lightweight underwear, and rejecting tightlacing. , The Industrial Revolution brought a lot of changes to the lower class family working structure during Victorian England. During the Victorian era, for the most part, women never traveled alone. Although it was a peaceful and prosperous time, there were still issues within the social structure. There are lots of memoirs written by people who grew up in the Victorian era saying how closely they associated with their servants when they were children and how remote they felt from their own parents. The Catholic population in England was increasing at the time, and these immigrants were predominantly lower class.  Some jobs for the middle class citizens during Victorian England were teachers and doctors. In the Victorian English countryside women even began to band together to improve their lives, both practically and spiritually. The poor or lower class of the Victorian era had a very rough life.  Along with other cities in Victorian times, they enjoyed being part of the "workshop of the world". Some of the increasingly powerful upper middle class categories secured their places in this upper class.   The people under this class did not work manually. Not only were they living in a repressive society, but they were marginalized by class issues as well as gender issues. Breakfast: To begin their glorious day, the upper class consumed animal proteins such as eggs and bacon (a classic), but also fish, grilled tomatoes, or even deviled kidneys and smoked herring (considered rich British delicacies). Rights Reserved. The era can be viewed as one long stream of contradictions—a time of prosperity interrupted by the Long Depression of 1873–1879 and the Panic of 1893. Introduction The Victorian Era is a remarkable time in history with the blooming industries, growing population, and a major turnaround in the fashion world. PURE FINDER. You either had the money or you didn’t, which in reality probably drove the middle class to extinction for a time throughout the Victorian era.  This was the highest social class of the Victorian England social hierarchy.  History of Working Class Mothers in Victorian England, The Victorian Honor Code | The Art of Manliness, Reframing the Victorians: The Dietary Divide Between the Rich and Poor in the Victorian Era, Victorian Class System In The Picture Of Dorian Gray - English Resource, How the Mid-Victorians Worked, Ate and Died, The Life of Domestic Servants in Victorian England, Bram Stokers Dracula: a Struggle to Maintain Victorian Upper and Middle Class - 1836 words | Study Guides and Book Summaries, Victorian Transportation Reason, Romanticism, and Revolution, Victorian Child and Working Class Family - 1876 Victorian England, 10 of the Worst Jobs in the Victorian Era | Mental Floss, Victorian Era in British Literature: The Division Between the Lower and Upper Class, Victorian Age Class Distinctions - Speech and Clothing, Churches and the Working Classes in Victorian England by K. S. Inglis, 1963 | Online Research Library: Questia, Social class and values in the Victorian Era. by Geoffrey Crossick (Croom Helm, 1977) The Public Culture of the Victorian Middle Class. The British lower class was divided into two sections: "the working class" (labourers), and "the poor" (those who were not working, or not working regularly, and were receiving public charity). The middle class was a very large class and it had a very broad area of people ("Women of Victorian England"). The lower class included people who did physical labor and were either paid hourly or daily. The problem with the Victorian era is that there were very few families that had relatively nice homes, enough to eat on, and a decently successful career.  The society under the reign of Queen Victoria had three classes divided into the Upper Class, Middle Class, and the Lower Class.  In the upper and middle classes, the family also included servants while the lower class family may have included lodgers. Prostitution in Victorian Britain was a prevalent and often well earning business, with streets and streets dedicated to its work. Codeine and iodine made their appearance in Victorian life.  Most women found work in textile or clothing factories under harsh conditions, while others found trades in such things as metals, pottery or laundry.  This class remained aloof to the political progress of the country and was hostile to the other two classes.  The Industrial Revolution took the lower class before and left them without jobs, which put them in an even worse part of poverty and an even lower class that sometimes people called the "under" class and these people would be called paupers ("Victorian Era Social Classes").  The Victorian Era in Britain was dominated by the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). , The best way to not only explain and investigate class differences, but to highlight just how vast the problems of inequality and division were at the time, is to consider rich and poor in turn.    The law of Victorian England had shifted into a class pattern. The middle class consisted of the bourgeoisie - the middle working class. Even though children were good assistants, there was a downside. Note: Footnotes & Links provided to all original resources. Factories opened up creating new jobs for the Lower Class and provided supplies for many. To a normal person, a person might think that a woman in this class would do very little, but they actually did a lot. , The wealthy Victorian Children and their families lived a much more elegant and privileged life than the poor families lived. Charles Dickens Tried To Save Fallen Women. Both upper class men and women of the Victorian Era dressed lavishly in the daytime and even more extravagantly at night, while lower class men and women wore … During this era, women were generally classified into very specific social groups: the upper class, the middle class, the lower middle class, the lower class, and the underclass.   Rational recreation was the middle class' idea of the recreation of the working class.  TOSHER.  , The regular Victorian Era boy in the middle class would not have a great education unless he went to a public school. It was the lowest of the three main classes during the Victorian Era and was by far the worst.  2. Royal Class - This include people from royal family and the spiritual lords of that time. They were ranked below the lower class because they lived in total poverty.  Most people were born into a class and never left it; if they did, they only moved one degree: Upper to upper middle, or upper working to lower middle, for instance. They were ranked below the lower class because they lived in total poverty.    Dancing was one of the favorite things for the upper class women and men ("Women of Victorian England").  The Upper Class was in a powerful position giving them authority, better living conditions, and other facilities.   The Victorian Era: Social Classes 1837- 1901 2. Women during this time enjoyed activities out of their own household, which other class women could not enjoy. Skilled Class - They had unskilled labors working under their supervision.  The life of a middle class woman was similar to the life of an upper class woman, but it was not as luxurious as an upper class woman's life. Death and illness played a big role in life as well in the Victorian Era. Capitalists, for example, employed industrial workers, who were one component of the working classes (each class included a wide range of occupations of varying status and income; there was a large gap, for example, between skilled and unskilled labor), but beneath the industrial workers was a submerged "under class" sometimes referred to as the "sunken people," which lived in poverty.  Image courtesy of www.eriding.net (Click on image to … From levitation demonstrations, vanishing acts and card-playing automatons, to performing elephants, clog dancers and even ‘sapient pigs’ able to perform remarkable tricks – when looking for live entertainment, the Victorians were spoilt for choice. This essay will show why interest in the occult manifested in the Victorian Era and the ways in which it did. The squalid and unsanitary conditions that were brought on by immense overcrowding made life very dismal for poor Victorian children and their families. Now we view tails as formal attire but during the late Victorian era, morning coats were informal dress. Woman pregnancy was very dangerous during the Victorian era. The new manufacturing processes that spun out of the Industrial Revolution presented new employment opportunities for lower-class Victorian women. Oftentimes, a working class mother would not be able to keep her family afloat, which would subsequently result in the issuing of several new laws prohibiting violence towards children. The social classes of this era included the Upper class, Middle class, and lower class. , Another option for lower working class women during this time period for a job was domestic service ("Women of Victorian England"). , Many people considered the rich to be middle class if they did not have anything to do with royalty. , In Victorian England, the lower classes, the skilled workmen and the impoverished under class, were excluded from the political process and not given equal educational opportunities as those of the middle and elite.   Horrible Histories - Victorian Work Song, online video, 6 June 2011, accessed 25 August 2013, < BBC n.d. , Victorian London food shopping was handled in the same fashion, although the baker or butcher would brings his food to the servants entrance of the home. Women in the upper class, unlike women in the middle class, had no motivation to spend time with the lower classes, so they just stayed within their own respective classes (Johnson). , Like the middle class, the lower class was a very large class and was very populated. , Some of the men in the working class thought that if the women were given a holiday from the factory, they were not to use it do go out and have fun, but they were supposed to stay home and do work around the house and do the chores that they were unable to do during the week.  Domestic servants in Victorian Hastings "On the Side of the Maids" — an 1874 account of a maid's hard life "Maid in England" — the life of the Victorian domestic servant (Public Record Office exhibition) Women of the 'lower' working class in Hastings; Underclasses.   Their routine work was fulfilled by the lower class people.   The class that was below the lower class was often called the under class or the “paupers”.  Middle class women can almost be considered guides to the lower class women.  Wealthy families lived in large Victorian houses three and sometimes four stories high with several rooms. The customs and etiquette expected of men, and especially women, were rigid during much of the Victorian era. Their income normally came from the investments made by them or from the inherited lands.  Similar in the way we are urged to ‘shop local’ now. As easy as it is to romanticize this period, especially given the push toward arts, a more gentile and sentimentalized way of life, and the stirrings of a more liberal type of politics, we must also remember the vast divides in lifestyle, and gender and class equality. The goal of these middle class women was to marry into a wealthy relationship. The poor or lower class of the Victorian era had a very rough life. - At an early age the children would be out looking for work or roaming the streets looking for odd jobs. The lower class citizens barely received any education at all, if they received any. Steam-powered cotton factories enabled Victorian Britain to produce more than half the world's supply of cotton. Women of every class came together to stand against the injustice and inequality of the voting system and to lobby for their right to vote. Social Classes.  Even though members of this class held jobs, they were considered part of the Lower Class. , The middle class also had a very successful time in Victorian England. The unskilled workers were placed way below the skilled workers in the social scale and were vulnerable to exploitation ("Victorian Era Social Classes"). Their food was tasteless and consisted of anything that they could afford, their clothes were vastly different from the luxurious outfits of the upper class women - consisting of rag and cheap cloth, and their homes would be cold, dank and dark.  , They had a comfortable life, not being exactly poor, with steady jobs and no manual labor involved; however it was a far cry from their previous lives of leisure, and an even further cry from the lives of the lowest class of Victorian women; those of the "lower" working class.  This was the only option within the Victorian era and families would go to the local butcher for meat and Grocers’ for tea and coffee.  People in the Lower Class worked long hard hours and got paid very little. , Sometimes women would be put into this class from the upper class, after the death of a father or brother and they had to starting working for their money again ("Women of Victorian England"). Few eras in history can evoke such ideas of contrast between the lives of different people as that of the Victorian era of 1837-1901 in Britain.  , Despite the vast differences between the women in this era, their similarities encouraged a change that shaped the history of Britain. During Victorian England, the middle class was the most populated class of all the classes.  During the Industrial Era society was highly stratified. Reformatories. The risk of death was more concerning to the lower class women.  Although prostitution was legal, many ladies of the night were arrested for crimes …  Men: -Top hats or caps -Frock coat -Victorian shirts -Walking stick or cane -Derbies and bowlers -Pocket watch Women: -Bonnets -Shawls -Clothing from the second handshops -Sewed their own chlothes -Stockings The lower class mostly ate what they grew like the fruits, and vegetables. Unlike their lower class counterparts, upper class Victorian women more often than not had staff to help with the running of their home and the raising of their children, leaving them with plenty of time to enjoy the finer things in life.   Other people were migrating to England and creating less job opportunities for all the people living in the lower class.    One of the worst parts for the lower class families was that they were so poor that they needed their own children to go work for them so they could have more money to support their family. The shape was essentially an inverted triangle, with a wide-brimmed hat on top, a full upper body with puffed sleeves, no bustle, and a skirt that narrowed at the ankles (the hobble skirt was a fad shortly after the end of the Victorian era). .  Image courtesy of www.eriding.net (Click on image to enlarge.) The lower class had become completely shut from the political process. This working class was further categorised as the skilled workers and the unskilled workers. In reality, things were not so tidily demarcated.  Victorian England social hierarchy demonstrates the social class system and the social divisions of England people on certain terms and conditions in a pre-defined specific ladder of pattern. Dancing and grand social parties were commonplace in the lives of wealthy Victorian women, and offered them a chance to mingle with other women of similar backgrounds and to show off their fineries. In the Victorian era women were to get married to a man of the same or a better social status, be good wives, and be a mother to her husband's children. , The perfect role model for the domesticity expected of upper, and especially middle class women, was that of Victoria herself, who doted upon her husband and children, and after Albert’s death remained loyal, modest and demure - engrossing herself in her regal affairs. The Victorian era saw the advancements of the industrial revolution, such as new agricultural methods (which improved the quantity and quality of food) and the development of the railway system. Working class women wearing decent clothing.  Catering for the demanding upper class ladies all day and cleaning up after their families seven days a week, for at least twelve hours a day, was in itself a monumental task, especially when if anything were to go wrong in the family it would be the servants who were to get the blame.  There were many job opportunities for domestic service, because even the lowest families of the middle class had at least one or two domestic servants, so there was a lot of opportunity for a job there. In 1847, Charles Dickens, together with a millionaire heiress and philanthropist named Angela Georgina Burdett-Coutts, decided to pay for the establishment of Urania Cottage.  These changes mainly affected the lower and middle classes, but they did affect the upper class a little. , While 'upper' working class women rented shops, the 'lower' hawked on the streets and beaches. , During the Victorian Era, those in the middle class pushed back against the idea that the right to vote and to hold government office were reserved for the owners of major acreage. The Prostitutes - These women were at the bottom of the society and an enormous debate took place over them during the Victorian era. (More...) At the start of the Victorian era (1830s-1900), English society was highly stratified and hierarchical, and the population fell into three main classes.  Education Although education was for the privileged, around two thirds of the children in the working class population attended Sunday school. There was almost a negligible change in the lower class though and this class still remained shut from the royal England’s political processes. All of these examples prove that a person's social class highly affected the life that person lived during Victorian England. The Victorian Era provided a very successful time period for the middle class. Different Levels of Society Upper Class Upper Middle Class Middle Working Class Working 3. a s s Cl ighH 4. Poor Victorians (Lower Class): Being poor during the Victorian era was very difficult, with barely enough money to buy food, how did the Victorians even manage to buy decent clothes? The social classes of this era included the, Victorian England Social Hierarchy. They normally wore fifth hand clothing; they (sometimes servants) ate the left over food of the higher class people. 33 The Poor had no chance at getting themselves out of the hole that they were in since no one would offer them a job, but the Working Class wasn't much better, The only perks that they got were work, food, and everyday shelter.  , The fourth and final class that women had a role in was the "lower" working class. This was called the Victorian Era because Queen Victoria was in control.  The middle class citizens built their leisure activities from the activities that the upper class citizens had previously done. About 3% of all white women during the Victorian era and 25% of all black women were part of the working force and worked for wages. Men of wealthy Victorian society could look through sporting guides, which were very similar to shopping catalogues. In the Victorian era women were to get married to a man of the same or a better social status, be good wives, and be a mother to her husband's children.  In reference to Source 2, the working class house was confined into small spaces.  Another trade which lower class women could turn their hand to was that of domestic service. Working class life in the Industrial Era Living and working conditions for the Victorian working classes.  The Lower Class was divided into two subclasses: The Working Class and The Poor. In the Victorian era, this work was mainly performed by teenage girls who worked in terrible conditions, often for between 12 and 16 hours a day with few breaks.  The Victorians liked to have their social classes clearly defined. The region was soon overpopulated with the disease and pollution riddled lower class (Eliot).      , Prior to the industrial revolution, Britain had a very rigid social structure consisting of three distinct classes: The Church and aristocracy, the middle class, and the working poorer class. Women also began to enjoy accompanying their husbands on their hunting trips, once they realized that it was only for the upper class, and while hunting, there was no mingling between the upper class and the lower and working classes.  Photograph showing a Victorian family at work making trousers. Throughout much of the Victorian era most men wore fairly short hair.    Their individual days varied according to their role in society, such as upper, middle, and lower class. -Their foods were limited and low in quantity as well as quality. Since the Victorian era was one of increased social mobility, there were ever more nouveaux riches making a rich show.    During the Victorian era, women were viewed as the very opposite of what a man ought to be.  With limited currency for food, certain luxuries were substituted by more affordable versions.  Despite the clean-sounding name, this job actually involved collecting dog feces … Wells' Time Machine and Its Relativity with the Victorian Era Herbert George Wells was an English writer from the nineteenth century. Several Victorian painters and artists have their work carefully preserved in museums.   , This class was incorporated in England’s social system during Victorian era. Related materials. The novel can be viewed as a struggle to maintain upper-class Victorian traditions against the traditions of the lower class. Pride The Victorian Era is marked by Queen Victoria’s reign in England from 1837-1901 (Eras of Elegance).  This quickly made them into the lower class citizens as there were very few jobs that they were capable of finding at this time. , The women in the working class had almost no leisure time because the men and total control of their money to spend, and they often spent it, and the women were rarely allowed to participate in leisure activities outside of their household (Johnson). The Victorian era consisted of local producers. Victorian Era and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Known for its utilitarianist ideals, the education system of the Victorian Era limited the thoughts, speech, and actions of the individual; People were the product of the Victorian society in which they were raised. The lower class included seamstresses, washerwomen, farm, factory, and mine workers, and domestic servants. The farmers, who were in the lower class during Victorian England, thought that it was good to have the education of his daughter polished up a little bit.   - Both men and women would have worked in factories. The fact that they represented the royal class gave these people an advantage at everything.  The lower class could have worn vests, small coats, or a dark hat. By today's standards, the middle class of Victorian England would be equal to the upper class of the 21st century ("Victorian Era Social Classes").  Some women prepared and sold fish, or made and repaired nets, but most lower-working class women were engaged in servicing the wealthy residents and visitors in one way or another. This post will discuss transportation in the Victorian Era and how it divided the classes. During the Victorian Era women struggled to fulfill their desires and men encountered women to get only what was necessary for the household, trying to escape from responsibility they go onto the direction that their impulse takes them, however not for long, after a dream of having what they long for they still have to face reality of being a wife and mother. , The highest class for the women was the gentry and nobility class. Societal Views of Women in the Victorian Era in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, creates a peephole into the lives of a family in the Victorian Era.  Other jobs for the lower class women were barmaids, chambermaids, waitresses', and working in factories.  How was Victorian poor and middle class Life? As a result of that, we have several authors and their popular books that describe life in Victorian society accurately. The Victorian England social hierarchy is described below in a descending order pattern means starting with the uppermost power holder social class and going on further describing all the classes in brief.    Due to the lack of modern technology that we have today such as televisions and the internet, the Victorian era (the era in which Queen Victoria reigned, this was between 1837 and 1901 was renowned for famous for the short stories that the authors of the time wrote.   Lower Level Middle Class - These were the people who worked on the orders of the higher level middle class people.  Along with those, the streets were also a place for theft, sickness, and musk from the local factories. , Four main classes existed: the nobility and gentry at the top of the ladder, trailed by the middle class (often these two are combined to cover the "upper class" in general), and then the "upper" working class, swiftly followed by the poorest of the poor, the "lower" working class (again, these latter two are often combined to form the "lower class" as a whole). Not everyone shared in Coote's compassion for the impoverished and fallen women of the working class. One of the main reasons that working class women had such trouble getting by in Victorian England was the extreme disparity between theirs and the upper class, both in economic and social terms. The Victorian period was very prosperous for the middle class.    The conditions were so brutal for the working class that at times children were forced to work away from their parents. This can be seen in the 18th and 19th century in the story of crime in Britain. These books detailed prostitutes’ ages, physical descriptions, personality type, and their cost, usually £2–£3 or £5 for a virgin.   , The lack of education that the children received resulted in that the fate of their lives was decided before they even became an adult ("Victorian Era Social Class"). The risk of death was more concerning to the lower class women.  When it came to age, most brides and grooms would have been in their mid-20s. This affected the wages that the lower class people received and the people could barely support themselves.  While modern class differences are based primarily on how much money a person makes, Victorian class differences were based on what you did for a living, if anything. The lowest among the social hierarchy were the working class.   ("Victorian Era Social Classes"). Farming was still very much a part of life in Victorian Britain. 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