Queen Victoria

Key Terms and Events

terms Key Terms and Events


Conservative -  · The political party which succeeded the Tory party in the mid-nineteenth century. The Conservatives were pro-Empire in their policies and favored slow democratic reforms, if any, in the ruling structure of Britain. They were more pro-business than their Tory predecessors.
High Church -  · A form of liturgy in the Church of England characterized by its many rituals, traditional sacramental practices, and close similarities to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church. Raised as a Lutheran, Victoria was not fond of High Church Anglicanism, and preferred the simple worship services of the Scottish Church and other more formally Protesant denominations.
Home Rule -  · Controversial policy idea pushed by some British Liberals and desired by many of the Irish people to grant Ireland its own parliament, rather than have Irish representatives sit in the British Parliament in London. It was rejected consistently by parliaments throughout Victoria's reign.
Liberal -  · The political party which succeeded the Whigs in the mid-nineteenth century. The Liberals continued to champion democratic reform efforts, were less imperialist in their politics than the Conservatives, and tended to be more open to the establishment of labor unions and other organizations that empowered traditionally unrepresented groups in politics.
Prince Consort -  · Title granted to Prince Albert, Victoria's husband, in 1857. It reflected his official position in the Crown government, which was wholly subordinate to the rule of his wife and Queen. Parliament had originally been reluctant to grant him any official title, fearing it would encourage him to behave as a king—a reasonable fear considering Victoria's great personal dependence on her strong-minded husband.
Republican movements -  · Sporadic, non-violent revolutionary efforts in Britain to change the principle of the nations's government from the constitutional "Crown, King (or Queen), and Commons" to that of total popular sovereignty. The republican effort was very strong at the beginning of Victoria's reign as well as in the 1860s, when the Queen hid herself from the public eye in mourning for her late husband, Prince Albert.
Tory -  · Name of the conservative, monarchist political party in Britain in the first part of the nineteenth century. Tories were often opposed to democratic reform efforts in the Parliament, favored protectionist trade policies, and often represented the interests of the traditionalist elements in the Anglican Church and the agricultural aristocracy.
Whig -  · Name of the liberal political party in Britain in the first part of the nineteenth century. Whigs usually favored free trade and were often enthusiastic about democratic reform efforts in the Parliament. They usually represented the merchant and middle-class interests, along with those of a substantial portion of the moneyed aristocracy.


Boer War - 1899–1902 conflict between British forces and descendents of Dutch settlers in the country later known as South Africa. The war was brutal, drawn- out, and opposed by many quarters in Britain and abroad, casting the one great, dark shadow over the otherwise happy end of Victoria's long reign as the British Queen and Empress.
Crimean War - 1853–1856, a war fought by Great Britain and Turkey against Russia, which had aggressively moved in on Turkish lands in the Balkans in 1853. The war was strongly supported and encouraged by the British people, but was noted for its many blunders, including the famous Charge of the Light Brigade, when 600 soldiers charged into sure death after misinterpreting their orders.
Diamond Jubilee - 1897 celebration marking the sixtieth anniversary of Victoria's succession as Queen.
Golden Jubilee - 1887 celebration marking the fiftieth anniversary of Victoria's succession as Queen.
Great Exhibition - Organized by Prince Albert in 1851, a gathering of thousands of scientists, inventors, and artists from around the globe showcasing the cutting-edge technological advancements of the mid-nineteenth century.
Mutiny - 1857–1858 rebellion by the people of India against the rule of British east India Company. The rebellion was crushed by British troops and marked the transition to direct rule over India by the British government.
Second Reform Bill - 1867 bill introduced by Benjamin Disraeli that expanded the electorate by reducing property requirements for voting. Better-to-do artisand and middle- class people were primarily affected, though the bill was originally intended to affect the greater population of working class people.
Third Reform Bill - 1884 bill passed by Gladstone's parliament which expanded the voting franchise to poorer agricultural workers and laborers in British towns and cities.
Treaty of Berlin - 1878 treaty that avoided another British war with Russia, whose troops had moved in on the Balkan territories of Turkey. The treaty restored Turkish power to the Balkans and also handed Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Austro-Hungarians. Benjamin Disraeli was one of the treaty's main architects.

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