Europe (1848-1871)


Victorian England

Summary Victorian England

The peace that prevailed in Europe throughout most of the nineteenth century has often been called the "Pax Britannia," like the "Pax Romana" that prevailed during the golden age of Rome. Now, Britain did not use her armies to actively enforce peace throughout Europe and the globe; however, her role as a key victor over Napoleon and unquestioned mistress of the seas kept overt aggression in check until the German army and navy could compete effectively at the beginning of the twentieth century. Besides Britain's foreign policy, domestic policy that ensured peace at home also strengthened London's image as an enforcer of fair peace in the world. Professor Kishlansky sums up the great success of Britain in this era by referring to its great compromise: the reconciliation of industrialists' commitment to unimpeded growth and workers' needs for protection from the state. Only Great Britain succeeded in doing this prior to the great explosion of the welfare state and modern, regulated capitalism.

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