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Victorian Summary Notes

History Notes > Intellect and Culture in Victorian Britain Notes

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Contents
Major Issues
University Reform
Education
History
Ruskin
Morris
Pre--Raphaelites
John Stuart Mill
Herbert Spencer
Science of Society
Evolution
Science
Religion
Secularisation
Culture

Major issues

! Religion
*> Historical + cultural relativism
*> Geology, evolution + biblical criticism
*> Atonement => Incarnation -- against Broad Church
*> Increased demands on the laity
*> Emotive -- immorality of Scripture

! Discovery of 'deep time'
! New involvement of middle classes -- general public sphere
! 1832 -- Reform Act => against parliamentary corruption
*> End period -- 2/3 males had the vote
*> 1867 -- issue of enfranchisement of entire urban working class
*> Carlyle -- 'swarmery' => swamped by numbers

! 1846 -- repeal of the Corn Laws => against aristocracy yet benefited manufacturers who
could now give lower wages

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1848 -- Public Health Act => regulation of urbanisation under a single board
1882 -- Married Women's Property Act
Mrs Humphrey Ward -- 'Appeal Against Women's Suffrage' (1889)
Campaign against 1860s Contagious Diseases Acts => 1886 repeal
Crisis of Christianity -- lacked worldview until science of 1860s
*> Looked to classical past + medieval
*> Importance of respectability + individualism

! Cultural relativism -- Babylonian creation myth + deluge stories
*> 'Myth' was most contentious of Higher Critical terms

- Eliot's translation of Strauss's Life of Jesus (1846) -- extensive use of term
! Brixham Cave discoveries -- stone tools => Lyell wrote about it
*> New study of anthropology

! By 1830s -- although education might lead to radicalism, was hoped it would lead to
social control => seen as a means of reducing crime
*> Psychological change -- less isolation of rural communities
*> Factory Act 1833 -- educate children
*> Cheapening books -- Gothic + romantic novels
*> National Society Schools + publishing

! Over 300 Mechanics' Institutes by 1841 -- tuition in physics + chemistry for artificers,
mechanics + craftsmen => yet some just concentrated on basis reading + writing or
centres of radical political activity e.g. Cheltenham

! Won most prizes at Great Exhibition of 1851 yet poor achievement at Paris Exhibition in
1867
*> Middle class scientific endeavour -- postponement of general elementary
education

! 1870 -- Forster Education Act => secular, state--supported elementary schools

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Coleridge talked of 3 estates -- the landed, the personal interest and the 'national
Church' --> 'the clerisy'
~ Commercial and professional classes had detached themselves from the clergy of
the church but he asserted that they did not thereby cease to be parts of the clerisy
-- learned of all denominations which constitute the civilisation of a country as well
as the theological

~ Preserve 'civilisation with freedom' => inspired Arnold

University Reform

! Laurence Goldman -- 'mid--Victorian reform of the universities, carried out between the
early 1850s + early 1880s, was largely imposed from outside by the state'
*> Importance of university extension -- step in making universities truly national
institutions

! Thomas Heyck -- 'the external reform movement exerted a force without which
significant reforms would not have occurred'
*> 'the internal reform movement did most to shape the character + direction of
these reforms'

! Heyck -- 'The more science won a place in the universities . . . the more the universities
had to be altered towards the research + professorial system'
*> Scarcely begun by reforms in 1850s

! Charles Gillespie
*> 'In the C19th, following the reform of Parliament itself, it was inevitable that
the universities should not have been spared by the social developments, the
political forces, the economic interests, the shifting class relations + the
intellectual + religious influences which modernised the whole fabric of the
nation'
*> University reform was 'effected chiefly as a result of public demand brought to
bear in the press, in the political arena + in Parliament'

!

! Tractarian controversy => state reform => internal arguments
*> 'Golden age' from 1870s -- gradually secularised + refocused on scholarship +
research

- Reform early 1850--80s -- beginning of modern university
*> Natural science
*> Evolution of exams
*> Career structure

!

! 1800 -- New Examination Statute => emphasis on exams
! 1828 -- repeal of test + corporation acts
*> University Reform acts 1854 + 1856 -- no 39 Articles for BA
*> 1871 -- full lack of subscription for advanced degrees + fellowships => after long
campaign

! Royal Commissions of Enquiry into Oxford (1850) + Cambridge (1852)
*> Must broaden curricula to include modern subjects -- especially natural science
*> Permanent careers + scholarship

! University Reform Acts -- Oxford (1854) + Cambridge (1856) => opened to Dissenters -- no
subscription to 39 Articles for BA
*> 1854 -- Oxford Executive Commission
*> 1856 -- Cambridge Statutory Commission
*> Important for making universities more federal -- access to funds

*> Yet were compromises -- change yet limitations
*> Ended subscription to 39 Articles, established an elected Hebdomadal Council +
licensed private halls of residence

! Early 1870s -- Cleveland Commission into properties + income
*> 1877 legislation -- reapportionment of revenues from colleges to federal
university purposes

! Cambridge (1848) -- 2 new triposes in Natural Sciences + Moral Sciences => included
history + law
*> Yet before 1860 -- no more than 10 students a year took Natural Sciences Tripos
*> Before 1870 -- no more than 20 a year

! Oxford (1850) -- Schools of Law and Modern History + of Natural Sciences
*> Yet only from 1866 could they be taken as specialised subjects

! 1877 -- Act to revises statutes of colleges => released funds for scientific professorship +
university institutions
*> Key rebalancing of power between colleges + universities
*> Still a long way to go

! Gladstone -- Oxford bill was 'an emancipating measure' => 'releasing its government
from the fetters to which its action has long been subject'

! Issue of autonomy of the colleges -- college--based, anti--research, cheap teaching

!

! 1809--10 Edinburgh Review compared English classical scholarship to the Continent
*> Oxford + Cambridge 'cease to lead the intellect of the country'
*> 1831 -- only 9/23 professors at Oxford giving any lectures
*> Sir William Hamilton -- 1830s articles on the Liberal cause

- 'a university is a trust confided by the state to certain hands for the
common interests of the nation'

! Mark Pattison, Rector of Lincoln College -- 1830s Oxford
*> 'Oxford was, at the time I write of de facto, though not de jure, a close clerical
corporation + . . . therefore talent was much scarcer here than it now is [1880s]
since the secularisation of the University'

! 1854 -- MP Robert Collier saw urgent need of reform in Oxford
*> 'The main cause of it was, her own exclusiveness' -- excluded Dissent, advancing
knowledge, modern science + art => ignored progress

- 'the close atmosphere of Oxford required ventilation'
- Need to be useful for country
! Benjamin Jowett -- 1850 Royal Commission
*> Public wanted 'quiet + cheap education + extension of studies + to bury for ever
out ecclesiastical differences'

! Vaughan + other reformers asked Russell + Gladstone 'to encourage the residence of
men at Oxford who shall devote themselves to the pursuit of special departments of
knowledge + acquire high eminence in learning'
*> Jowett -- would create an 'intellectual aristocracy'

! Jowett -- aim of 'opening to the lower + middle classes an honourable way of
advancement in life' => failed

!

! Pattison -- no time to master what you are teaching => cramming students for exams
*> Indefensibly narrow curriculum -- need scientific development

! Jowett's solutions
*> Unrestricted meritocratic fellowships
*> Broader curriculum
*> Research specialisation
*> Construction of a university teaching career => professorial position

! Lord Robert Cecil -- 'dangerous precedent of Parliamentary authority' in university affairs
! By 1900 -- enrolment increased to ~2,500
*> Oxford -- 8 honours courses
*> Cambridge -- 12 triposes
*> 75% graduates took honours exams

- Even by 1830s -- 1/2 Oxbridge students opted for honours courses
- Oxford -- mid century 63% => 39% religious orders by end of century =>
18% in 1912

! Oxford
*> 1800 -- 741 undergraduates
*> 1900 -- over 2,500 => yet may actually be lower proportion of population

! James Bryce -- university reforms had not made universities serviceable to the whole
nation => still only upper classes
*> 'Little more than a training school of literary rhetoric for the upper classes'

! Inclusion of women -- 1870s
*> Girton (1869) Newnham (1871)
*> Somerville + LMH (1879)

! New university colleges -- natural sciences => 1870s
*> 1851 -- Owens College, Manchester => founded for education like Oxbridge

- 1870s -- new sense of purpose in industry
*> 1875 -- Mason's College, Birmigham
*> No effective civic institutions until 1870

! University of London (1828) -- no religious tests, cheaper + strong emphasis on
professional training in medical, legal, engineering + economic studies
*> Entirely secular -- utilitarian
*> Became an examining body from 1858 -- vital root of civic universities
movement after 1870 > gave uniformity of standards
*> 1830--70 London rather than the provinces offered necessary alternative higher
education

! Durham (1833) -- remained an ecclesiastical backwater

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Education

! Edward Pusey -- 'the object of the Universities is, with + through the discipline of the
intellect, as far as may be, to discipline + train the whole moral + intellectual being'

! John Newman -- object of university was the 'diffusion + extension of knowledge rather
than the advancement'
*> 'Liberal' education to produce a good 'habit of mind'

! Copleston, Whewell + Newman -- statements in favour of the old liberal education ideal
*> William Whewell, Master of Trinity, Cambridge -- mathematics teach essential
truths => better than philosophy

- 'Permanent' v. 'progressive' subjects -- need permanent first
*> Issue of influencing provincial universities => no progress

! Seeley -- importance is attached to testable subjects rather than greatest questions
! The Times (1867) -- research v. teaching => most parents expect their children to be

!

educated

! William Vaughan -- wanted a secular institution dominated by professors => research
*> Should discipline whole moral + intelligent being

! Utilitarianism -- making all institutions conform to middle--class values of work,
productivity + efficiency

! Mark Pattison -- Suggestions on Academical Organisation (1868)
*> Remarkable blueprint for reform -- one of very few
*> Collegiate system + intellectual ambitions of great German universities
*> Assumption that ancient universities were national institutions -- should serve
public interest
*> Reforms of 1850s had not led to learning and teaching by men who were
masters of subjects
*> Should prize academic achievement
*> Centre of science + learning -- knowledge for its own sake

!

- Learner first, teacher second

! 1830s--40s -- 'Decline of science' controversy
*> 1830 -- Charles Babbage, professor of Maths at Cambridge published Reflection
on the Decline of Science in England => split scientific community

- Issue of lack of education + lack of professionalisation
- Yet Davy + Faraday had made the Royal Institution a leading centre for
science in Europe

- Natural theology -- Paley => Bridgewater Treatises (1830s) -- design
argument

Science proves wisdom of Deity

- Literary + Philosophical Societies -- 1830s Manchester
- Specialist societies e.g. geological, zoological, chemical

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