An academy is an institution of secondary education, higher learning, research, or honorary membership. Academia is the worldwide group composed of professors and researchers at institutes of higher learning; the name traces back to Plato's school of philosophy, founded 385 BC at Akademia, a sanctuary of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and skill, north of Athens, Greece. The word comes from the Academy in ancient Greece, which derives from Akademos. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning; the sacred space, dedicated to the goddess of wisdom, had been an olive grove, hence the expression "the groves of Academe". In these gardens, the philosopher Plato conversed with followers. Plato developed his sessions into a method of teaching philosophy and in 387 BC, established what is known today as the Old Academy. By extension academia has come to mean the cultural accumulation of knowledge, its development and transmission across generations and its practitioners and transmitters.
In the 17th century, British and French scholars used the term to describe types of institutions of higher learning. Before Akademia was a school, before Cimon enclosed its precincts with a wall, it contained a sacred grove of olive trees dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom, outside the city walls of ancient Athens; the archaic name for the site was Hekademia, which by classical times evolved into Akademia and was explained, at least as early as the beginning of the 6th century BC, by linking it to an Athenian hero, a legendary "Akademos". The site of Akademia was sacred to other immortals. Plato's immediate successors as "scholarch" of Akademia were Speusippus, Polemon and Arcesilaus. Scholarchs include Lacydes of Cyrene, Carneades and Philo of Larissa. Other notable members of Akademia include Aristotle, Heraclides Ponticus, Eudoxus of Cnidus, Philip of Opus and Antiochus of Ascalon. After a lapse during the early Roman occupation, Akademia was refounded as a new institution of some outstanding Platonists of late antiquity who called themselves "successors" and presented themselves as an uninterrupted tradition reaching back to Plato.
However, there cannot have been any geographical, economic or personal continuity with the original Academy in the new organizational entity. The last "Greek" philosophers of the revived Akademia in the 6th century were drawn from various parts of the Hellenistic cultural world and suggest the broad syncretism of the common culture: Five of the seven Akademia philosophers mentioned by Agathias were Syriac in their cultural origin: Hermias and Diogenes, Isidorus of Gaza, Damascius of Syria, Iamblichus of Coele-Syria and even Simplicius of Cilicia; the emperor Justinian closed the school in AD 529, a date, cited as the end of Antiquity. According to the sole witness, the historian Agathias, its remaining members looked for protection under the rule of Sassanid king Khosrau I in his capital at Ctesiphon, carrying with them precious scrolls of literature and philosophy, to a lesser degree of science. After a peace treaty between the Persian and the Byzantine empire in 532 guaranteed their personal security, some members found sanctuary in the pagan stronghold of Harran, near Edessa.
One of the last leading figures of this group was Simplicius, a pupil of Damascius, the last head of the Athenian school. It has been speculated. After his exile, may have travelled to Harran, near Edessa. From there, the students of an Academy-in-exile could have survived into the 9th century, long enough to facilitate the Arabic revival of the Neoplatonist commentary tradition in Baghdad. In ancient Greece, after the establishment of the original Academy, Plato's colleagues and pupils developed spin-offs of his method. Arcesilaus, a Greek student of Plato established the Middle Academy. Carneades, another student, established the New Academy. In 335 BC, Aristotle refined the method with his own theories and established the Lyceum in another gymnasium; the library of Alexandria in Egypt was frequented by intellectuals from Africa and Asia studying various aspects of philosophy and mathematics. The University of Timbuktu was a medieval university in Timbuktu, present-day Mali, which comprised three schools: the Mosque of Djinguereber, the Mosque of Sidi Yahya, the Mosque of Sankore.
During its zenith, the university had an average attendance of around 25,000 students within a city of around 100,000 people. In China a higher education institution Shang Xiang was founded by Shun in the Youyu era before the 21st century BC; the Imperial Central Academy at Nanjing, founded in 258, was a result of the evolution of Shang Xiang and it became the first comprehensive institution combining education and research and was divided into five faculties in 470, which became Nanjing University. In the 8th century another kind of institution of learning emerged, named Shuyuan, which were privately owned. There were thousands of Shuyuan recorded in ancient times; the degrees from them varied from one to another and those advanced Shuyuan such as Bailudong Shuyuan and Yuelu Shuyuan can be classified as higher institutions of learning. Taxila or Takshashila, in ancient India, modern-day Pakistan, was an early centre of learning, near present-day Islamabad in the city of Taxila, it is considered as one
J. Paul Getty Museum
The J. Paul Getty Museum referred to as the Getty, is an art museum in California housed on two campuses: the Getty Center and Getty Villa; the two locations received over two million visitors in 2016. The primary museum, the Getty Center, is located in Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, on a hill top above the west side of the Sepulveda Pass and I-405 freeway, its collection features Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. The secondary museum, the Getty Villa, is in the Malibu neighborhood and displays art from Ancient Greece and Etruria. In 1974, J. Paul Getty opened a museum in a re-creation of the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum on his property in Malibu, California. In 1982, the museum became the richest in the world. In 1983, after an economic downturn in what was West Germany, the Getty Museum acquired 144 illuminated medieval manuscripts from the financially struggling Ludwig Collection in Aachen. In 1997, the museum moved to its current location in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles.
A suite of interactive multimedia tools called GettyGuide allows visitors to access information about exhibitions. Within the Museum, the GettyGuide multimedia player provides commentary from curators and conservators on many works of art. In the 1970s and 1980s, the curator, Jiří Frel, designed a tax manipulation scheme which expanded the museum collection of antiquities buying artifacts of dubious provenance, as well as a number of artifacts considered fakes, such as the Getty kouros. In 1984, Frel was demoted, in 1986, he resigned; the Getty is involved in a controversy regarding proper title to some of the artwork in its collection. The museum's previous curator of antiquities, Marion True, was indicted in Italy in 2005 on criminal charges relating to trafficking in stolen antiquities. Similar charges have been addressed by the Greek authorities; the primary evidence in the case came from the 1995 raid of a Geneva, warehouse which had contained a fortune in stolen artifacts. Italian art dealer Giacomo Medici was arrested in 1997.
In 2005 True was forced to tender her resignation by the Board of Trustees, which announced her early retirement. Italy allowed the statute of limitations of the charges filed against her to expire in October 2010. In a letter to the J. Paul Getty Trust on December 18, 2006, True stated that she was being made to "carry the burden" for practices which were known and condoned by the Getty's Board of Directors. True is under investigation by Greek authorities over the acquisition of a 2,500-year-old funerary wreath; the wreath, along with a 6th-century BC statue of a woman, have been returned to Greece and are exhibited at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. On November 20, 2006, the director of the museum, Michael Brand, announced that 26 disputed pieces were to be returned to Italy, but not the Victorious Youth, still claimed by the Italian authorities. In 2007, the Los Angeles J. Paul Getty Museum was forced to return 40 artifacts, including a 5th-century BC statue of the goddess Aphrodite, looted from Morgantina, an ancient Greek settlement in Sicily.
The Getty Museum resisted the requests of the Italian government for nearly two decades, only to admit that "there might be'problems'" attached to the acquisition." In 2006, Italian senior cultural official Giuseppe Proietti said: "The negotiations haven't made a single step forward." Only after he suggested the Italian government "to take cultural sanctions against the Getty, suspending all cultural cooperation," did the J. Paul Getty Museum return the antiquities. In another unrelated case in 1999, the Getty Museum had to hand over three antiquities to Italy after determining they were stolen; the objects included a Greek red-figure kylix from the 5th-century BC, signed by the painter Onesimos and the potter Euphronios as potter, looted from the Etruscan site of Cerveteri. In 2016, the terracotta head of the Greek god Hades was returned to Sicily; the archaeological artifact was looted from Morgantina in the 1970s. The Getty museum purchased the terracotta head of Hades in 1985 from the New York collector Maurice Tempelsman, who had purchased it from the London dealer Robin Symes.
Getty records show. On December 21, 2016, the head of Hades was added to the collection of the archaeological museum of Aidone, where it joined the statue of Demeter, the mother of his consort Persephone. Sicilian archaeologists found a blue curl, missing from Hades' beard, so it proved the origin of the terracotta head. Getty Conservation Institute Getty Foundation Getty Research Institute
Medieval literature is a broad subject, encompassing all written works available in Europe and beyond during the Middle Ages. The literature of this time was composed of religious writings as well as secular works. Just as in modern literature, it is a complex and rich field of study, from the utterly sacred to the exuberantly profane, touching all points in-between. Works of literature are grouped by place of origin and genre. Since Latin was the language of the Roman Catholic Church, which dominated Western and Central Europe, since the Church was the only source of education, Latin was a common language for medieval writings in some parts of Europe that were never Romanized. However, in Eastern Europe, the influence of the Eastern Roman Empire and the Eastern Orthodox Church made Greek and Old Church Slavonic the dominant written languages; the common people continued to use their respective vernaculars. A few examples, such as the Old English Beowulf, the Middle High German Nibelungenlied, the Medieval Greek Digenis Acritas, the Old East Slavic Tale of Igor's Campaign, the Old French Chanson de Roland, are well known to this day.
Although the extant versions of these epics are considered the works of individual poets, there is no doubt that they are based on their peoples' older oral traditions. Celtic traditions have survived in the lais of Marie de France, the Mabinogion and the Arthurian cycles. Another host of vernacular literature has survived in the Old Norse literature and more in the Saga literature of Iceland. A notable amount of medieval literature is anonymous; this is not only due to the lack of documents from a period, but due to an interpretation of the author's role that differs from the romantic interpretation of the term in use today. Medieval authors deeply respected the classical writers and the Church Fathers and tended to re-tell and embellish stories they had heard or read rather than invent new stories, and when they did, they claimed to be handing down something from an auctor instead. From this point of view, the names of the individual authors seemed much less important, therefore many important works were never attributed to any specific person.
Theological works were the dominant form of literature found in libraries during the Middle Ages. Catholic clerics were the intellectual center of society in the Middle Ages, it is their literature, produced in the greatest quantity. Countless hymns survive from this time period; the liturgy itself was not in fixed form, numerous competing missals set out individual conceptions of the order of the mass. Religious scholars such as Anselm of Canterbury, Thomas Aquinas, Pierre Abélard wrote lengthy theological and philosophical treatises attempting to reconcile the teachings of the Greek and Roman pagan authors with the doctrines of the Church. Hagiographies, or "lives of the saints", were frequently written, as an encouragement to the devout and a warning to others; the Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine reached such popularity that, in its time, it was read more than the Bible. Francis of Assisi was a prolific poet, his Franciscan followers wrote poetry themselves as an expression of their piety.
Dies Irae and Stabat Mater are two of the most powerful Latin poems on religious subjects. Goliardic poetry was an art form used by some clerics to express dissent; the only widespread religious writing, not produced by clerics were the mystery plays: growing out of simple tableaux re-enactments of a single Biblical scene, each mystery play became its village's expression of the key events in the Bible. The text of these plays was controlled by local guilds, mystery plays would be performed on set feast-days lasting all day long and into the night. During the Middle Ages, the Jewish population of Europe produced a number of outstanding writers. Maimonides, born in Cordoba and Rashi, born in Troyes, are two of the best-known and most influential of these Jewish authors. Secular literature in this period was not produced in equal quantity as religious literature; the earliest tales are based on oral traditions: the British Y Goddoddin and Preiddeu Annwfn, along with the Germanic Beowulf and Nibelungenlied.
They relate to myths or certain 6th-century events, but the surviving manuscripts date from centuries later—Y Goddoddin from the late 13th century, Preiddu Annwfn from the early 14th century, Beowulf from c. 1000, the Nibelungenlied from the 13th century. The makers and performers were bards and scops, elite professionals attached to royal or noble courts to praise the heroes of legendary history. Prose tales first emerged in Britain: the intricate Mabinogi quartet about princely families, notably anti-war in theme, the romantic adventure Culhwch and Olwen, famous for the earliest mention of King Arthur; these works were compiled from earlier oral tradition c. 1100. At about the same time a new poetry of "courtly love" became fashionable in Europe. Traveling singers—troubadours and trouvères—made a living from their love songs in French, Galician-Portuguese, Provençal, Greek. Germanic culture had its Minnesänger tradition; the songs of courtly love express unrequited longing for an ideal woman, but there
California State University, Northridge
California State University, Northridge is a public state university in the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. With a total enrollment of 38,716 students, it has the largest undergraduate population as well as the second largest total student body of the 23-campus California State University system, making it one of the largest comprehensive universities in the State of California and the nation in terms of enrollment size; the size of CSUN has a major impact on the California economy, with an estimated $1.9 billion in economic output generated by CSUN on a yearly basis. As of Fall 2017, the university had 2,127 faculty. California State University, Northridge was founded first as the Valley satellite campus of California State University, Los Angeles, it became an independent college in 1958 as San Fernando Valley State College, with major campus master planning and construction. The university adopted its current name of California State University, Northridge in 1972. CSUN offers a variety of programs including 134 different bachelor's degrees, master's degrees in 70 different fields, 3 doctoral degrees, 24 teaching credentials.
CSUN ranks 10th in the U. S. in bachelor's degrees has over 300,000 alumni. Additionally, CSUN has been recognized as having one of the best film schools in the U. S. and in the world. CSUN is home to the National Center on Deafness and the university hosts the International Conference on Technology and Persons with Disabilities, held each year in San Diego. CSUN's Chicana and Chicano Studies Department is the largest in California; the establishment of CSUN began in 1952 with the proposal of a new satellite campus for Los Angeles State College. A Baldwin Hills location was planned in 1955, but San Fernando Valley advocates persuaded state officials to change the location to Northridge. In July 1958, the campus separated from Los Angeles State College and was renamed San Fernando Valley State College, with enrollment reaching 2,525 and tuition $29 per semester. In 1959, it became the first State College to have its own computer. In 1964, the pioneering computer lab was moved into quarters in the newly completed Sierra Hall building complex, student enrollment reached nearly 12,000.
The campus's quiet, moderately conservative and overwhelmingly white suburban setting did not shield it from a share of the noise and social upheavals of the Vietnam War era. As on many college campuses, there were large antiwar demonstrations and occasional draft card burnings. In 1966–67, there were only 23 Black and 7 Latino students. Responding to complaints about low minority representation, the administration made some attempts to boost enrollment of Latinos and Blacks in 1967. By the fall of 1968 the tally stood at about 150 75 Latino students. In March 1968, a presidential primary campaign speech by Robert F. Kennedy drew an orderly crowd of 10,000, but in the wake of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. in April and Robert Kennedy himself in June, some events were not so peaceful. On November 4, 1968, a group of Black students held the college president and more than 30 staff members hostage in the Administration Building for several hours, pressing demands for greater outreach in minority enrollment and employment and the establishment of minority studies departments.
No one was hurt and, under duress, the president agreed to their demands. The administration kept its part of the bargain, but despite an included assurance of amnesty, 28 of the students involved were charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment. One month a fire started by an arsonist gutted the president's office. Several massive antiwar demonstrations took place during 1969–1970, variously resulting in campus shutdowns, heavy police responses, violent clashes, hundreds of arrests, in a few cases serious injuries to demonstrators; the last such demonstration was on the first anniversary of the Kent State shootings. The college renamed itself California State University, Northridge in June 1972. In 1975, the construction of the CSUN sculpture began at the southeast corner of campus. By 1977, enrollment at the university was 28,023, with tuition at $95. In 1981, the campus established a foreign exchange student program with Japan, Ukraine, South Korea, Taiwan and the Netherlands. In 1988, the campus had a $342 tuition fee.
In 1990, the Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science and Dietetics was established. The 1994 Northridge earthquake struck on January 17 and caused $400 million in damage to the campus, the heaviest damage sustained by an American college campus; the epicenter was less than two miles away on a undiscovered blind thrust fault. The same month, Vice President Al Gore visited with a promise of funds to help with the reconstruction. Entire sections of the main library, the art building and several other major structures were either physically unusable or too hazardous to occupy, but classes soon continued in alternative locations and hastily erected temporary facilities. Among the structures judged to be so damaged that repair was not a practical option were the
Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private research university in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1880, it is the oldest private research university in California. For the 2018–19 academic year, there were 20,000 students enrolled in four-year undergraduate programs. USC has 27,500 graduate and professional students in a number of different programs, including business, engineering, social work, occupational therapy and medicine, it is the largest private employer in the city of Los Angeles, generates $8 billion in economic impact on Los Angeles and California. USC is the birthplace of the Domain Name System. Other technologies invented at USC include DNA computing, dynamic programming, image compression, VoIP, antivirus software. USC's alumni include a total of 11 Rhodes Scholars and 12 Marshall Scholars; as of October 2018, nine Nobel laureates, six MacArthur Fellows, one Turing Award winner have been affiliated with the university. USC sponsors a variety of intercollegiate sports and competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a member of the Pac-12 Conference.
Members of USC's sports teams, the Trojans, have won 104 NCAA team championships, ranking them third in the United States, 399 NCAA individual championships, ranking them second in the United States. Trojan athletes have won 288 medals at the Olympic Games, more than any other university in the United States. In 1969, it joined the Association of American Universities. USC has had a total of 521 football players drafted to the National Football League, the second-highest number of drafted players in the country; the University of Southern California was founded following the efforts of Judge Robert M. Widney, who helped secure donations from several key figures in early Los Angeles history: a Protestant nurseryman, Ozro Childs, an Irish Catholic former-Governor, John Gately Downey, a German Jewish banker, Isaias W. Hellman; the three donated 308 lots of land to establish the campus and provided the necessary seed money for the construction of the first buildings. Operated in affiliation with the Methodist Church, the school mandated from the start that "no student would be denied admission because of race."
The university is no longer affiliated with any church, having severed formal ties in 1952. When USC opened in 1880, tuition was $15.00 per term and students were not allowed to leave town without the knowledge and consent of the university president. The school had an enrollment of 53 students and a faculty of 10; the city lacked paved streets, electric lights, a reliable fire alarm system. Its first graduating class in 1884 was a class of three—two males and female valedictorian Minnie C. Miltimore; the colors of USC are cardinal and gold, which were approved by USC's third president, the Reverend George W. White, in 1896. In 1958, the shade of gold, more of an orange color, was changed to a more yellow shade; the letterman's awards were the first to make the change. USC students and athletes are known as Trojans, epitomized by the Trojan Shrine, nicknamed "Tommy Trojan", near the center of campus; until 1912, USC students were known as Fighting Methodists or Wesleyans, though neither name was approved by the university.
During a fateful track and field meet with Stanford University, the USC team was beaten early and conclusively. After only the first few events, it seemed implausible USC would win. After this contest, Los Angeles Times sportswriter Owen Bird reported the USC athletes "fought on like the Trojans of antiquity", the president of the university at the time, George F. Bovard, approved the name officially. During World War II, USC was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission. USC is responsible for $8 billion in economic output in Los Angeles County. On May 1, 2014, USC was named as one of many higher education institutions under investigation by the Office of Civil Rights for potential Title IX violations by Barack Obama's White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. USC is under a concurrent Title IX investigation for potential anti-male bias in disciplinary proceedings, as well as denial of counseling resources to male students, as of 8 March 2016.
In 2017, the university came into the national spotlight when the Los Angeles Times published information about Carmen A. Puliafito, the dean of USC's medical school. After accusations of drug use, he resigned from his position as dean in 2016 and was fired from the school the following year after the news stories were published, his medical license was subsequently suspended pending a decision. The following year, the Los Angeles Times broke another story about USC focusing on George Tyndall, a gynecologist accused of abusing 52 patients at USC; the reports span from 1990 to 2016 and include using racist and sexual language, conducting exams without gloves and taking pictures of his patients' genitals. Inside Higher Ed noted that there have been "other incidents in which the university is perceived to have failed to act on misconduct by powerful officials" when it reported that the university's president, C. L. Max Nikias, is resigning. Tyndall was fired in 2017 after reaching a settlement with the university.
The school did not report him to state medical authorities or law enforcement at the time, though the LAPD is now investigatin
In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, its half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodist, the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Britain's relations with the other Great Powers were driven by the colonial antagonism of the Great Game with Russia, climaxing during the Crimean War. Britain embarked on global imperial expansion in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history. National self-confidence peaked. Ideologically, the Victorian era witnessed resistance to the rationalism that defined the Georgian period and an increasing turn towards romanticism and mysticism with regard to religion, social values, arts.
Domestically, the political agenda was liberal, with a number of shifts in the direction of gradual political reform, industrial reform, the widening of the franchise. There were unprecedented demographic changes: the population of England and Wales doubled from 16.8 million in 1851 to 30.5 million in 1901, Scotland's population rose from 2.8 million in 1851 to 4.4 million in 1901. However, Ireland's population decreased from 8.2 million in 1841 to less than 4.5 million in 1901 due to emigration and the Great Famine. Between 1837 and 1901 about 15 million emigrated from Great Britain to the United States, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia; the two main political parties during the era remained the Conservatives. These parties were led by such prominent statesmen as Lord Melbourne, Sir Robert Peel, Lord Derby, Lord Palmerston, Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone, Lord Salisbury; the unsolved problems relating to Irish Home Rule played a great part in politics in the Victorian era in view of Gladstone's determination to achieve a political settlement in Ireland.
In the strictest sense, the Victorian era covers the duration of Victoria's reign as Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, from her accession on 20 June 1837—after the death of her uncle, William IV—until her death on 22 January 1901, after which she was succeeded by her eldest son, Edward VII. Her reign lasted for seven months, a longer period than any of her predecessors; the term'Victorian' was in contemporaneous usage to describe the era. The era has been understood in a more extensive sense as a period that possessed sensibilities and characteristics distinct from the periods adjacent to it, in which case it is sometimes dated to begin before Victoria's accession—typically from the passage of or agitation for the Reform Act 1832, which introduced a wide-ranging change to the electoral system of England and Wales. Definitions that purport a distinct sensibility or politics to the era have created scepticism about the worth of the label "Victorian", though there have been defences of it.
Michael Sadleir was insistent that "in truth the Victorian period is three periods, not one". He distinguished early Victorianism – the and politically unsettled period from 1837 to 1850 – and late Victorianism, with its new waves of aestheticism and imperialism, from the Victorian heyday: mid-Victorianism, 1851 to 1879, he saw the latter period as characterised by a distinctive mixture of prosperity, domestic prudery, complacency – what G. M. Trevelyan called the "mid-Victorian decades of quiet politics and roaring prosperity". In 1832, after much political agitation, the Reform Act was passed on the third attempt; the Act abolished many borough seats and created others in their place, as well as expanding the franchise in England and Wales. Minor reforms followed in 1835 and 1836. On 20 June 1837, Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom on the death of her uncle, William IV, her government was led by the Whig prime minister Lord Melbourne, but within two years he had resigned, the Tory politician Sir Robert Peel attempted to form a new ministry.
In the same year, a seizure of British opium exports to China prompted the First Opium War against the Qing dynasty, British imperial India initiated the First Anglo-Afghan War—one of the first major conflicts of the Great Game between Britain and Russia. In 1840, Queen Victoria married her German cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield, it proved a happy marriage, whose children were much sought after by royal families across Europe. In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi established British sovereignty over New Zealand; the signing of the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 ended the First Opium War and gave Britain control over Hong Kong Island. However, a disastrous retreat from Kabul in the same year led to the annihilation of a British army column in Afghanistan. In 1845, the Great Famine began to cause mass starvation and death in Ireland, sparking large-scale emigration. Peel was replaced by the Whig ministry of Lord John Russell. In 1853, Britain fought alongside France in the Crimean War against Russia.
The goal was to ensure that Russia could not benefit from the declining status