What Did Queen Victoria Do That Was Important?

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Queen Victoria established the modern role of a monarch in a constitutional monarchy and exerted her influence to promote the British Empire’s expansion and reforms benefiting the poor, according to the website of The British Monarchy. During her 67-year reign of Britain, the Empire experienced immense social, political and industrial change. Her longevity, combined with her grace and reclusive nature, led to her becoming a national icon of moral strictness.

Queen Victoria ruled during a time when the British monarch held little real political power. Nevertheless, she used her title and personality to influence public affairs as she saw fit. The effects of her behind-the-scenes politicking were observable in foreign policy. Victoria successfully pressed her ministers to avoid involving the nation in the Prussia-Austria-Denmark War, thereby saving Britain from the costs of massive military engagement. According to the official website of The British Monarchy, Victoria prevented a Franco-German war in 1875 by writing a persuasive letter to the Emperor of Germany, whose son had married her daughter.

Through a personal relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Queen Victoria indirectly shaped the foreign policy that made Britain a world empire. During her reign, the Crown took over rule of India from the East India Company; the Royal Titles Act made Victoria Empress of India.

Victoria also supported a number of acts that democratized the country, including the establishment of the secret ballot, easing of voting requirements and enacting of wage increases for the working class.