While technically the Industrial Revolution began spinning up its gears in the mid to late 1700's, it was during the reign of Queen Victoria (1937-1901) that it truly hit its stride. The 1850's were a peak period for the age, as new inventions hit the market every day and fortunes were won and lost in mere days on enterprises like railroads, coal mines, oil wells, and the new substance of the age, commercialized steel.
It was a time of great urbanization when subsistence farmers finally realized they had better options and flocked to the cities to take jobs in factories. Trade flourished, as the British Empire conquered a quarter of the known world.
It was a great time to be alive, and doubly so if you were wealthy, educated, or willing to work very hard (ideally all three). As more and more children enjoyed the opportunity to get at least some schooling, millions began to enter an expanding middle class. As their prosperity rose, they began to demand more luxury and comfort in their lives, offering the possibility for both the ethical and unscrupulous entrepreneur to provide for their needs, whether real or imagined.
Where would you have fit into this exciting time in history? Take this quiz to find out!
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