QUEEN VICTORIA’S EMPIRE
“Engines of Change”: Beginning with the birth of Queen Victoria, this episode explores the changes brought to Britain by the industrial revolution. By the 1840s, urban migration has created overcrowding and extremes in pollution and poverty. However, British subjects remain loyal to their queen. Prince Albert, Victoria’s husband, becomes a guiding force in the monarchy. Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone, political stars with starkly contrasting visions of empire, turn the nation’s attention abroad.
“Passage to India”: In the 1850s, one half of the world’s industrial goods are made in Britain, and steamships take British exports and families to far corners of the globe. In India, the clash of Victorian values and Indian culture explodes in the Great Mutiny and Cawnpore massacre of 1857. Appalled by the bloodshed, Victoria and Albert draft a proclamation to assume direct rule over India. The episode also reveals the devastating effects of the Crimean War, the first major war of Victoria’s reign, and the death of Prince Albert.
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