Posted By Happy Homemaker UK


It's been hard to put my finger on
but I feel I live on a different timeline in the UK
with history stretched over a bigger canvas




The Victorian era does not feel so long ago here,
as I hear it referred to frequently and see visual reminders daily
(1837 - 1901)

A real turning point in English history was
the Industrial Revolution
which created
a huge migration of people
from the countryside to cities
in search of work

As the pollution was horrendous in London,
wealthy Victorians built houses in the suburbs

It was the age of Darwin, Dickens, Carroll, Beatrix Potter,
Oscar Wilde, French Impressionism, and the construction of Big Ben

The Empire was at its most powerful,
extending across one-fifth of the earth
with almost a quarter of the world's population under the Queen's rule


The culture had an emphasis of all things pretty and nature-related 
as Victorians often craved the countryside they left behind

Plant and science exploration exploded
which we still benefit from in our gardens and classrooms

Today, beautiful Victorian buildings and homes remain a visual reminder
of this Golden Age


Victorian walled gardens enable tender plants to grow better with its warmth and protection


Juxtaposed,
the United States was in a very different place at that time
with few visual reminders still standing

Andrew Jackson was US President when Queen Victoria was crowned
That seems quite incongruous to me

Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, California Gold Rush, The Wild West, American Civil War,
and Oklahoma was still 'Indian Territory'

Goodness, doesn't that seem like a REALLY long time ago?




Another significant turning point in recent English history was
World War II 

with its years of rations, effects of continual bombing, shattered families,
personal sacrifice, and generally changing the way the English lived yet again

Gardens that had been a source of beauty 
became an important source of food

All of England was re-purposed for the war efforts
Castles and country estates were turned into hospitals and served other military needs

Today visual reminders include
Brutalist Architecture replacing bombed buildings,
war memorials, museums, red poppies
and 'pillboxes' that dot the countryside in southeast England


WWII Pillboxes were strategically built in case of a German land invasion


Here's a few significant turning points 
in American culture and lifestyle over the past century

The Great Depression, Civil Rights Movement, The Women's Movement, 
Vietnam War, the Digital Age, 9/11

America has had smaller bursts of change more frequently in a shorter amount of time
whereas it appears England has big watershed years that last decades

To me, it feels like 'recent' history began
in the 1960s in the US,
the late 19th century in England




From my observation,
an English era generally lasts the length of a reigning monarch

This year the country celebrates the 60th year of Queen Elizabeth II's reign

Although the English can rattle off an impressive list of monarchs of the past centuries,
not so for their Prime Ministers, which seem less significant and almost a 'flash-in-the-pan'
(Churchill, Thatcher and Blair were quite memorable)

Yet with American presidential elections held every four years,
the 'eras' change quite frequently

Think of these past US Presidents and their eras over the last 60 years
while Queen Elizabeth II reigned continuously:

Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush Jr, Obama

Each US president practically represents a shift in thinking, culture, and history
every four years!

( or eight, if re-elected )

See what I mean?

A different timeline

- all photos by me -

Reference: Wikipedia
Timeline of Queen Elizabeth II (here)

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