The Romantic Age 1760-1837 History Timeline 1760-1820

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The Romantic Age 1760-1837

History Timeline

1760-1820 George III ruled Britain: during his long and most unhappy reign, Britain lost the American colonies, joined a coalition against the French Revolution and sent armies to fight those of Napoleon.

1820-1830 George IV was an incompetent ruler. As he admitted himself, he ‘was rather fond of women and wine’. Nevertheless he legalized the Trade Unions (workers were greatly exploited. They began to organize themselves in assemblies and in 1799 the Government promulgated the Combination Acts which made Unions illegal by law. Trade Unions were legalized only in 1825) and recognized the literary genius of Jane Austen.

1830-1837 William IV (son of George III and younger brother and successor to George IV) made several reforms:

The Poor Law was updated (the poverty relief system was updated in1834: it was now based on the workhouses. In England and Wales a workhouse was a place where those unable to support themselves were offered accommodation and employment. The New Poor Law Act of 1834 discouraged the provision of relief to anyone who refused to enter a workhouse).

Child Labour was restricted: the Factory Act of 1833 forbade the employment of children under the age of 9. It also limited the number of hours older children could work: between ages 9 and 13 the limit was nine hours per day; between ages 13 and 18 the limit was 12 hours.

Slavery was abolished in nearly all the British Empire (1833 – Slavery Abolition Act) and

The Reform Act (1832) improved the British electoral system (vote extended to middle-class men)
When he died, his niece Victoria succeeded him.

Main characteristics

Social/political context



Romanticism was a period of great industrial expansion.

The most important invention which transformed England from an agricultural into an industrial country was steam power.

William IV made several reforms.

During the Romantic period women too, began to make a more valuable contribution to the social life of England.

Poetry was the main literary genre of the Romantic period. It was the most suitable to express internal feelings, sensations, emotions.



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