19th Century Humanities

History and Biography Spotlight of Queen Victoria

     England in the nineteenth century went through the reform of the government. Queen Victoria's sixty years of reign witnessed part of that evolution in English politics and how imperialism acted upon the British Empire, including political and social reforms in Europe.  She was born in Kensington, a Palace in London, on May 24th, 1819. Queen Victoria took the throne in 1837 right after the death of her uncle. Due to her isolated childhood, she had a personality of stubbornness and strong opinions/prejudices. Lord Melbourne, who was Queen Victoria's prime minister during her early years of reign, treated Queen Victoria with unbounded respect. Melbourne endeavoured to give Queen Victoria advices, tolerating her in a kind and fatherly way that Queen Victoria has always appreciated.
      In 1840, three years after taking the throne, Queen Victoria took her first vow and married Prince Albert with great love. Together, they bore nine children. Queen Victoria was fully devoted in Prince Albert, compliant with any of his orders, doing nothing without his permission. However, the public did not adore that lover of Queen Victoria's. He was excluded basically from most of the political positions. In 1841, the Tories came to power under Sir Robert Peel, who became the new advisor of Queen Victoria. Peel took advices from Melbourne, since he was the one who knows most about Queen Victoria and her headstrong personality.  Some time later, Peel resigned. Before he died, he described the period he worked for Queen Victoria as "one of the most painful moments of his life". Queen Victoria, deeply hurt, mourned for the loss of a "true friend".
      In 1855, Lord Palmerston was hired as one of Queen Victoria's ministers. He was considered as the minister who caused the least troubles. He stood right beside Queen Victoria when she suffered from her beloved husband's death in 1861. From then on, she retreated from the affairs. Because of this, 1870 was the lowlight during her reign. Throughout her reign, she has held to the belief that Prime Ministers were merely just the temporary head of the cabinet, whereas she, the queen, has the permanent power. Her distresses has been so overwhelming that she had decided to let the ministers sent over and handed over to one of her daughters. Overall, she tried to maintain a enthusiastic energy and optimism that has affected the majority of the English population. Britain has then named its country after her-- Victorian England. Queen Victoria is England's nation pride.


1)      A) Which main topic does the artifact relate to? In what ways?
         This artifact relates to class consciousness because it reflects the high status in a Victorian society compared with the previous artifacts. The low status and high status of a society were clearly distinguished.

      B) Which other main topics does it also relate to?
         This topic could also relate to gender roles because Queen Victoria also made an attempt to liberate the rights of women.

2) Why did you choose this artifact, and how much time did you spend creating and/ or processing it?
      I chose this artifact because compared with other previous artifacts, this artifact actually describes how it's like living in high society. I spent about three to four hours, both researching and typing up a summary of the life of Queen Victoria.

3) What insights and understanding have you gained from the creation and/or processing of this artifact?
      This artifact gave me an insight of how Queen Victoria is actually like-- her personality and her morals.

4) Does this artifact reflect your best work and/or ideas? Why, or why not?
      This artifact does not really reflect my best work because it is not creative enough.

5) Rate this artifact on a scale of -5 to 5 for the following 4 criterion:

   A) impact on the quality of your portfolio                         2

   B) Impact on your level of happiness/enjoyment             1

   C) impact on your learning                                                3

   D) Level of creativity and originality                                 -1

6) Any additional comments.