When did the depression occur?
When recession struck the stock markets the whole world was comparing it to the Great Depression of the 1930s. But what they forgot was the Long Depression which was the first of its kind that scared the world. So the First Great Depression was not the one which occurred in the thirties, it was the depression which occurred during the period 1873- 1896.
The great depression had a severe impact on the people of the Victorian era. It is said that the victorian upbringing during the depression which was carried on from generations to generations is a reason for the struggling attitude of their successors.
Some reasons for depression
The depression phase in the Victorian era began in the 1840s. The manufacturing and mining during the time had led to widespread unemployment along with various environmental hazards. To make matters worse a law was made which prevented women and children from working in mines. It was called the Mine Act. Changes in legislation which were made in 1844 with the passing of the Factory Act imposed a limit on workers under the age of 18 to work only for 12 hours a day.
The Agriculture and Food sectors were affected to a great extent by the depression. Beginning with the English crop failures the misery planted its roots in the Victorian era. The potato blight which began in Ireland during the year 1845 was indeed a cause for concern.
In the following year, the Corn Laws were repealed. The law introduced in 1846 removed the tariffs on food items which were imported as they were high. The cholera epidemic which broke out in the year 1848 shook the people and it was one of the major highlights in the time of troubles. Things changed drastically during the Victorian era depression and it became an era of the survival of the fittest.
Several factors, causes and reasons are laid before the world which was responsible for the Great Victorian depression. It is often referred to as the Panic of 1873. The Second industrial revolution which amalgamated industrial cartels into large corporations, the mergers and alliance of firms, increased use of electric power and other technological advancements is believed to have paved the way for the great depression.
Some of the works of the poets of the Victorian era were mainly focussed on the great depression. Depression had to be the subject of their poems as it was necessary to substantiate the life and times of the era.
Though there was no spectacular breakdown or a major economic retrogression the Victorian age depression was a part of the first international crisis and surviving the depression to enter into the cycle of recovery was a great challenge before the world.