The changes in the Victorian Age, approximately 69 years long, contributed more to the advancement of the world than the other two thousand years of it s existence. It was a time of expansion, reform, and technological advancement. Thus mark twain was essentially correct in saying that British history is two thousand years old, and yet in a good many ways the world has moved farther ahead since the queen was born than it moved in the rest of the two thousand years put together. A moderate Whig, Lord Palmerston, had between 1830 and 1840, helped to expand the British empire. He served as their foreign minister and with the annexation of new Zealand and the beginning of a war with China, it seemed as though Palmerston s clever diplomacy showed promise for the British. This idea was affirmed with eventual acquisition of Hong Kong in 1842.
British kept expanding. During much of the 1830 s many new reforms were passed under Lord Melbourne of the Whig party. Slavery was abolished in the British Empire and the first child labor restrictions were passed. In 1832, the Reform bill was passed, expanding voter rights to men with property.
When Sir Peel of the Tories came into power, He abolished the corn laws allowing some ease to famine victims. The Mid-Victorian period proved to be a time of prosperity in the field of technology. The McCormick reaper prevented agricultural decline while the Bessemer process helped simplify the steel making process, benefiting the industry and increasing textile imports. Transportation of people and goods was made easier by steamships and railways, also decreasing their costs. Antiseptic surgery was introduced by Joseph Lister and Florence Nightingale introduced the first modern nursing school. Many of the changes that took place in Britain during those nearly seven decades greatly affected the rest of the world.
... the purpose of establishing British colonies in the New World was to set up a mercantilist system that would feed ... independently seem harmless and innocent. But, the collective effect of years of economic restriction, supposedly for the benefit of Britain, were ... forced certain products to pass through Britain, be taxed, and then distributed to the rest of the world. Although, the mother country ...
New things were introduced into the world, revolutionizing it, moving it one step closer to the modern world today. And in 1897, Mark Twain saw that.