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Six Victorian inheritances we should cherish -
May. 22, 2011 | The Globe and Mail | Editorial.

Science: The adoption and regularization of the scientific method and the emergence of Darwinism - especially as promoted to the general public by Thomas Huxley.

Humanitarianism: Emergence of internationalism, growing partly from the anti-slavery movement and later energized by the statesman William Ewart Gladstone's articulation of the need to recognize the rights of many small nations. As Gladstone said of the downtrodden: "The sanctity of life in the hill villages of Afghanistan among the winter snows, is as inviolable in the eyes of Almighty God as can be your own." Closer to home, Charles Dickens was a powerful advocate for the poor and for factory workers.

Feminism: The roots of the modern women's movement are to be found, in part, in the establishment of women's colleges at Oxford and Cambridge in the last third of the 19th century - and in J.S. Mill's book The Subjection of Women.

Free trade: International trade networks were given impetus by the liberals of "the Manchester school," imperial collaboration and colonial development; the result of all these was a form of what is now called globalization.

Progress: The Victorians, arguably more than any other series of generations, demonstrated their commitment to the idea of progress; the Great Exhibition of 1851, held in the Crystal Palace in London, probably stands as the most conspicuous expression of industrial progress. Prince Albert was an enthusiastic backer, as was his wife Queen Victoria.

Democracy: The electoral franchise was expanded successively in 1832, 1867 and 1885.
19th_century  Charles_Darwin  Charles_Dickens  democracy  feminism  free-trade  history  imperialism  inheritances  John_Stuart_Mill  liberal  op-ed  philosophy  political_theory  scientific_method  utilitarianism  values  Victorian  William_Gladstone  women's_movement 
may 2011 by jerryking
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