Rousseau's Influence On The Victorian Era

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Throughout history, mankind has evolved. Whether in weapons, education, or religion, change has been common. Some transformations react against a previous era; others fulfill inchoate ideas. From 1830-1900, England experienced rapid growth, weighing older ideas and grappling with new ones. The Victorian era epitomizes change, separating a comparatively idyllic past from a modern future. The Victorians counteracted early nineteenth century beliefs. Jean-Jacques Rousseau guided the Enlightenment and Regency eras; Jeremy Bentham influenced the Victorians. Rousseau 's theories of individualism, emotion, and freedom clashed with Bentham 's collectivism, stoicism and self-control. Disciples of Bentham rejected Rousseau 's teachings as impractical.…show more content…
The advent of steam power altered England 's economics and society. By harnessing this new energy, England increased its production, becoming a world leader. Steam power benefited the country, but the cost was the forfeiture of the traditional, agrarian lifestyle. Industrialization concentrated large numbers of people in small areas, magnifying problems. The agrarian to urban population shift caused the growth of cities which in turn created challenges for city planning, sanitation, and crime prevention. Patterson suggests that the Victorian period 's "social problems had no parallel in history" (2008, Chp. 2). Industry 's increased troubles inspired social reform groups such as William Booth 's Salvation Army to reach out to impoverished masses. Booth showed that technology and social conscience can work in tandem when the Salvation Army opened its match factory. He proved that good working conditions could also turn a profit. This experiment combined utilitarian efficiency with evangelical moral responsibility. England 's mechanization stirred the consciousness of workers and increased demands for social
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