1874 Mitchell Atlas of the World- England Wales shows the Mitchell signature grape and vine border. A beautiful historic map and a thoughtful gift.
In 1877, Queen Victoria was declared Empress of India. The British East India Company, which had ruled much of India, was dissolved in 1857. India was thus formally incorporated, with all its possessions and protectorates, into the British Empire. Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and the Parliament made Victoria Empress through the Royal Titles Act of 1876. Britain's vast empire was occupied only partly by the subcontinent of India. In fact, by 1922, the nation had colonized up to one fifth of the world's population. Due to its position as an island nation, it was able to distance itself from the political and power struggles of mainland Europe. The country was thus able to focus more intensely on colonization of the land around them, with substantially less need to focus power and resources on protection from neighboring European nations. Additionally, Great Britain developed a world renowned naval force that demolished any force attempting to capture or destroy them. It is of interest to consider that the decline of the British Empire coincided with its involvement with the two World Wars.
In 1870, the Education Act was passed. This act set the framework for the schooling of all children between the ages of five and twelve in England and Wales. The driving force behind the legislation was the perceived need for Britain to remain competitive in the world. The Act wasn't immediately enforced and adopted by all. Many still objected to the idea of mass education, claiming that it would give the lower classes false ideas of worth, or worse, trigger violent revolts. Education was not made compulsory until 1880, as many factory owners feared the elimination of cheap child labor (It is interesting to note that the hand-coloring of the original Mitchell Atlas in the United States was accomplished in part through a great deal of child labor, one edition at a time). By 1880, three to four thousand schools were taken over, or started, by school boards.
Archival reproduction print from high resolution scan. 12" x 15"