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Canada and the Victorian Era. Immigrants, First Nations and the Victorians. Queen Victoria. Immigrants, Rich and Poor. The Reign of Queen Victoria Immigrants, Rich and Poor.

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Canada and the Victorian Era

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canada and the victorian era

Canada and the Victorian Era

Immigrants, First Nations and the Victorians

the reign of queen victoria immigrants rich and poor
The Reign of Queen VictoriaImmigrants, Rich and Poor
  • Much like our society today Canada in the 1850’s could be luxurious or burdensome. The upper class which possessed money, education, and social standing lived a splendid life.
  • While thousands others worked long hours with little reward.There was no employment insurance, no universal health care, and no government assistance, as we know it today.
  • Many new immigrants to Canada came from Ireland and Scotland. These desperately poor people worked as manual labourers, or soiled over the cheapest and hardest land they could get their hands on.
the native peoples
The Native Peoples
  • Native peoples were pushed to the outskirts of society.
  • They were forgotten and ignored unless the Europeans wanted to buy “Indian” lands to employ “Indian” labourers.
  • The Indian way of life was changed due to this displacement. For example Algonquians, had traditionally relied on hunting and fishing for food. However, they had to turn to small-scale fruit and vegetable gardening and even started to shop at the local food stores due to the growth of immigrant settlements throughout the Eastern woodlands.
the native peoples cont d
The Native Peoples(cont’d)
  • Land claims and territorial disputes were common.
  • The Ojibwa were embroiled in a land dispute as several mining companies got the go-ahead by the Canadian government to investigate mineral wealth in the Shield. Mining operations continued even though the government accepted the fact that the development was encroaching the Ojibwa territory.
the native peoples1
The Native Peoples
  • Many Native bands had to rent out their prime reserve land due to dire living conditions.
  • Despite many measures to assimilate Native peoples into White society, Native cultures stayed alive by oral histories and traditions passed down by the elders.
victorian attitudes and values
Victorian Attitudes and Values
  • Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837, while still in her teens. Her tastes, values, and behaviours set the standards for many British subjects, including Canadians and Americans.
  • The Victorians had what we call “attitude”, being sure of themselves and having few doubts about their values and beliefs. Victorian society was distinctly Christian and placed a great value on morality.
  • The British Empire grew military and expanded the British Empire around the world. New discoveries in medicine, science, and technology were almost reported daily.
  • Religion was very important to Victorians (someone who lived during the era of Queen Victoria, from 1837-1901). Most towns had at least one Anglican (mostly for British people), Presbyterian (mostly for Scottish people), Methodist, and Catholic (mostly for Irish people) church.
  • The leaders of the church made decisions about education, schools, and community matters, and church congregations served as agencies that aided the destitute.
victorian attitudes and values1
Victorian Attitudes and Values
  • Most English Victorians viewed themselves as superior and claimed that to be born British was “ to win the lottery of life”.
  • Victorian values included a strict moral code and an obsession with social status. Middle-class Victorians were prudish and extremely materialistic—they liked nice things, and spent freely on clothes, homes, and furnishings.
  • The church was the most important building because it was where most social activities took place.
fashion and d cor
Fashion and Décor

Clothing indicated social status and Victorian values, so even labourers tended to dress formally. Women wore long dresses and aprons; men wore hats and ties, even to sporting events.

Victorian houses were a sign of prestige, as they were decorated with the fanciest furnishings. Poorer sections of town were emblematic by the size of the homes which was most often small.

science and medicine1
Science and Medicine
  • Science and technology dominated and shaped the Western world after 1860, as discoveries came so fast that understanding them was often incomplete.
  • Ideas and discoveries were transplanted across the globe through newspapers and journals that linked the continents.
  • Exciting medical discoveries were regularly featured in the news, such as aspirin; antibiotics; x-rays; vitamins; and hormones were discovered in the latter half of the century. Vaccinations also became readily available to ordinary people during the Victorian era.
science and medicine2
Science and Medicine
  • People hoped that science would find cures for many serious diseases such as cholera, smallpox, typhoid fever, influenza, tuberculosis, and rheumatic and scarlet fevers which killed many children. Yet very little was known about disease and hygiene, until research on germs and antiseptics was furthered.
science and medicine con t
Science and Medicine (con’t)
  • Many surgeons ended up infecting their patients due to poor sanitary conditions. For example, few would wash their instruments or even their hands before an operation.
  • In 1857, a French scientist, Louis Pasteur discovered the tiny organisms—the bacilli—that cause many diseases. He also discovered the cause of anthrax (a deadly disease that kills animals and could infect humans, cholera, and rabies. He used carbolic acid as an antiseptic, and vaccinated people and animals against disease.
leisure and travel1
Leisure and Travel
  • Victorian Canadians liked to be entertained. The city festivities included parties, concerts, fairs, circuses, and shows.
  • In the country barn raisings, quilting bees, weddings ceilidhs (parties with Scottish or Irish music, dancing and stories), and barn dances were quite popular.
leisure and travel2
Leisure and Travel
  • Books and magazines were popular, often in serial format so that people could enjoy next week’s issue. Victorians also had a taste for many amusements that are still enjoyed by modern Canadians—but some amusements today would be considered brutal or bizarre.
leisure and travel4
Leisure and Travel
  • For example, bare-knuckle boxing matches drew plenty of spectators, with bouts lasting as many as a hundred hours. Boxing remained a brutal sport until Britain’s Marquis of Queensbury issued his famous rules for boxing in the 1860s; rules that are the basis for today’s boxing etiquette.
medicine shows
Medicine Shows
  • The Victorians loved medicine shows where cures for anything and everything were sold
  • Many of these “medicines” were actually made with alcohol, pepper, or turpentine (a fluid obtained by distillation from resin obtained from trees, mainly various species of pine (Pinus) causing many to get intoxicated by the medicine.
parlour games1
Parlour Games
  • Card games, such as whist, were very popular, as were checkers and chess; these games were often ways of socializing in ofter large gatherings .
  • Those of Native, Black, French, and English ancestry had distinct cultural traditions and develped their own games. Some popular games were pulling the stump, pulling the leg, kissing his thumb.
getting around
Getting Around
  • People with money to spare travelled to Europe or America and enjoyed the entertainment within popular cities such as Paris, France.
  • Transatlantic travel became much easier after the invention of the steamboat, which reduced the time for an ocean crossing to a few weeks. The Royal William, built in Quebec in 1833 corssed the Atlantic in seventeen days.
changing technology1
Changing Technology
  • Steam power improved the travel time both on land and sea. Railways and steamships also helped to build the infrastructure of Canada after 1830.
  • Canada’s first railway was the Champlain Saint Lawrence Railroad, which ran from La Prairie, a suburb of Montreal, to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelle, 40 km southease of Montreal. It was completed by 1836. The railway system in British North America linked towns and created transportation networks.
the rise of newspapers
The Rise of Newspapers
  • Newspapers became important sources of daily information to people who lived in cities. The Halifax Gazette was the country’s first newspaper founded in 1752.
  • By 1873 there were forty-seven dailies; a daily was a newspaper published every day of the week. Newspapers of the Victorian era did not contain comics, profession sports (except horse racing and boxing), horoscopes and few non-news or special-interest features.
the rise of newspaper communication1
The Rise of Newspaper/Communication
  • What made them so attractive to the readers?
  • They offered news from the outside world and were instrumental in going into other peoples’ business. Court reports and the names, sentences and fines of offenders were usually published, and made for interesting reading.
  • Also, helpful recipes, self-help articles, and fad science type articles, like phrenology (the science of personality study based on the bumps on a person’s head), were quite popular.