The Rebellion of Victorianism

The Rebellion Against Victorianism The 1890\'s was in time
for transformation for the English society. After Queen
Victoria died the heart of the Victorian culture seemed to
fade. England was beginning to experience economic
competition from other states and a gradual decline from its
former pinnacle of power. Politically, the Parliament
experienced some fundamental power shifts after the turn of
the century. This essay will address the climate of change in
the English culture and its expressions. The changes
occurred in two separate and distinct time periods. These
time periods are the turn of the century from 1890\'s to
World War II. The second period is WWII to 1970\'s. The
new century brought about an end to the old and stuffy
Victorian life-styles. The social stigmas of women and their
behavior was challenged and change by the rise of feminism
in 1910. Women began to protest against the system for
women \'s suffrage. One instance these "violent women" ran
around in the city smashing store windows to get notoriety
for their cause. Books such as the Odd Women, featured a
fictional representation of "professional women". They were
classified in two categories, both an attack on the social
institution of marriage. The first of these new women were
out only for fun. The second was the concept of an asexual
being who did not need a man. These women owned their
own flats and had various jobs usually secretarial in nature..
The book expressed an uncomfortable period of
transformation. Working women were not completely
accepted by English society at this time. The book portrayed
different lives and how they coped with their situations.1 The
male character was also in a state of change. This change
brought about the term "new men". These new men were
classified by a "sexual anarchy". This movement was
predominantly a middle class, liberal expression. Many were
young male artisans who were homosexual . The word
homosexuality was created by an amendment to criminal law
which had declared all acts of sodomy as illegal. Previous to
this amendment the act of homosexuality was punishable by
hanging. Doctors and scientist had seen homosexuality as a
disease, thus the need developed for a "cure". Sexuality
became all inclusive. There was a large aesthetic movement
which was also inherent in this "new" culture. This movement
classified art as being done for art\'s sake. Art was now being
viewed as separate from society. This meant that art could
be a personal expression rather than a group think project.
These attributes coined the term the "Decadent Movement".
The England was experiencing tremendous growth in its
economy and political change during this time. However, this
growth was also shared by to other rival countries, Germany
and the United States. England had a fear of the massive
economic strength of the United States. England, at the turn
of the century, was no longer the international hegemon it
was a decade previous. This caused the English look
introspectly at itself. The political change occurred inside of
the Parliament. The conservative House of Lords began
vetoing new liberal budget proposals. Both the Prime
Minister and the House of Commons were liberal in their
political affiliation. The vetoing created a deadlock in the
government. The Prime Minister and the House of
Commons proposed a referendum which would nullify the
House of Lords power of veto over the budgetary matters.
This was presented to the House of Lords with an ultimatum.
If the referendum was not passed the House of Lords would
be flooded with liberal Middle class citizens. The referendum
was then passed and the deadlock broken. This shift of
power was crucial in the infrastructure of the political system
of England. World War I left a tremendous impression of
reality on the English. Their confidence was compromised
due to the ineffectiveness in combat and their dependence of
United States aid for victory. This is the true end of all of the
glory held by the British Empire. The English were left with a
tremendous national debt totalling at $7 billion dollars.
England would never be a hegemon in the international
community again. World War II brought a feeling of unity
back to England. "The Battle for Britain" with the
inspirational radio speeches of Winston Churchill inspired
national pride to the British. The period of decline enhanced
by WW I, a large debt and the Great Depression had
traumatic effects on the English psyche. The civilian bombing
planned by Hitler tried to enhance this feeling of despair.
However, it accomplish the exact opposite. The children of
England were sent to the country side. These children were
predominantly working class children. When the upper class
saw the state that these children where in the showed pity