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.Continue Reading
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.Learn more about Modern Europe