dumb question - what do americans call the victorian era?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by andrew markworthy, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. andrew markworthy

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    Long story, but the essence is that I'm writing a textbook at the moment and a couple of times have referred to 'the Victorians' (referring to the era circa 1840-1900). Is this likely to be understood by Americans, or do you guys have another name for this period of history?
     
  2. Stacie

    Stacie Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think it's a problem. I've always clearly understood "Victorian Era" to refer to the second half of the 19th century.
     
  3. Mark Fontana

    Mark Fontana Stunt Coordinator

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    Though some Americans would probably stare blankly if asked this question, most would call it the Victorian era, same as you do... Over here, we seem to hear this term most frequently in an architectural context...
     
  4. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    I think the Victorian Era is fine, but the years you state cver The American Civil War and Recounstruction, and The Industrial Revolution.
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    What Stacie wrote. And to add to Mark’s observation, we also frequently understand Victorian in social terms (class structure, for example) as well as architectural ones.
     
  6. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    In California we speak of "Victorian archtecture" all the time. Most of the older houses in San Francisco fall into that category. As they are made of heart redwood, most will last damned near forever.
    However, we probably get a little foggy when you talk about the "Edwardian era".
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jeff Pryor

    Jeff Pryor Supporting Actor

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    1840-1900, I'd call this period the mid-to-late 19th century, the era of Southern oppression by the Union.
     
  8. LarryDavenport

    LarryDavenport Cinematographer

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    Thank you Trent Lott.
     
  9. Matthew Todd

    Matthew Todd Second Unit

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    Somewhat off topic (and please don't let this slide into a political debate), but this reminded me of my elementary and middle school years, which I spent in South Carolina, and by some teachers "The Civil War" was referred to as "The War of Northern Agression." [​IMG]
    More on topic, I've mostly heard that time period (~1840-~1900) referred to as the Victorian Era.
     
  10. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    Well in American academia it's called the Victorian Era, just as the Edwardian Era is called the Edwardian Era. After all, for all intents and purposes, Britain was the world at that time, so it would make sense to name the periods after Her Monarchs. If you're speaking to Americans of the years immediately surrounding the American Civil War (I personally think the American War of Northern Aggression is a far more accurate title considering the reality of the situation, but the American Civil War is the more common title), however, it is best to refer to these shorter periods as the Antebellum and Reconstruction Eras respectively. Of course to the average American, the Victorian Era is probably refered to as "Huh?" [​IMG]
     
  11. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    The Civil War was the Union name for what the South called the War Between The States. But the winning side always gets to write the history books, so The Civil War it should be.

    In the US I'd bet we commonly identify "Edwardian era" incorrectly because of Edward VIII. He's better known (for scandalous reasons) than Edward VII.
     
  12. Karl_O

    Karl_O Stunt Coordinator

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    Since the United States is not a monarchy, the 1840-1900 period has many names: Antebellum (pre-Civil War), Civil War (1861-1865), Reconstruction (1865-1876), the Industrial Age (post Civil War), the Populist Era (1890s), and the Gilded Age (post Civil war) which is the age of outragous government corruption in American cities (Boss Tweed) and the the federal government (Whiskey Ring).
     
  13. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    I remember having "The Industrial Revolution" as the chapter after the "Reconstruction" chapter in my middle school U.S. History textbook. I've always avoided using that term, however, because of its inaccuracy. The Industrial Revolution, much like the Renaissance, was a global event that took place over hundreds of years. Although it originated in England in the 18th century, it reached the U.S. long before the American Civil War began (exactly where did all the mass-produced items that the North used come from?).
     
  14. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    The Victorian Era and the Edwardian Era are understood perfectly well by most literate Americans. No translations needed. Nobody here with an ounce of sense thinks of Edward VIII's brief reign as having constituted an "era". Both terms are generally used in social contexts - Victoria's social influence was quite strong over here, and British fashion, literature, art and manners still set the standard. The loosening of those standards under Eddy was also imitated here. [​IMG] And it makes a handy label for the pre-war years generally. Mark Twain's satirical label, "The Gilded Age" (contrast with "The Golden Age"), had little to do with official corruption in the cities and everything to do with the social pretensions of the newly rich railroad, steel and banking barons of the time.
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  15. andrew markworthy

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    Thanks for the info, folks. I'd kind of thought I was safe with referring to 'the Victorians' and similar, but I wanted to be sure.

    Incidentally, referring to the 'Industrial Revolution' period would put events about 100 years earlier in the UK. Oh yes, and we Brits call it the American Civil War (to distinguish it from our own little affair a couple of hundred years earlier) - talking about 'Civil War period' to a Brit would conjure up images of the middlish 17th century. When I was at school and aged circa nine, we got our one dose of formally-taught American history, and it was presented rather simplistically as the noble North overcoming the evils of the slave-owning South. A lot of Brits of my age (40s) and older probably still see it this way. [And before anyone seeks to enlighten me, yes I do now that the situation was rather more complex, though I think 'war of Northern aggression' is a little bit extreme].
     
  16. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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  17. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    As was stated, since we have many edwardians and victorians in San Francisco, we use the term a lot.
    Most of the time we break it into "before the Big One" & "After the big one".... that is the 1906 earthquake.
    I am on bedrock and my Victorian managed very well. I Reinforced all the walls just in case..... never know how big the next one will be.
    1849 till the big Comstock load discovery is considered the "Gold Rush Era" ... at least out here in the Wild West[​IMG]
     
  18. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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  19. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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  20. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    Of course, leave it to Southerners to foul up the grammar. I always thought it should be the War AMONG the States. After all, there are more than two...
    Granny Clampett probably called it The War Betwixt the States.
     

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