Coming Up With Interesting Dissertation Ideas About The 19th Century

The 19th Century has to be one of the most interesting periods in history. The age saw the unparalleled growth of towns and cities which was mostly due to industrialization. People were moving into towns where they would get work at factories and population growth in the countryside was on a decline.

If you are in the position of looking for dissertation ideas about the 19th Century then it is difficult to choose one idea as most of the issues of social change are interwoven with any other aspects. It is not an easy making a choice for your dissertation, but the following ideas may help.

You could develop some of these ideas to make your dissertation idea more personalized to your own interests and ideas.

  1. Change in Social ideals. As people moved from villages to towns, a lot of traditional skills and ways of life suffered. Focus on the mass production of lace in the factories and compare to the quality produced by skilled lace makers in as a cottage industry.
  2. The unsettling effect of Darwin’s work on the Victorians. The Victorians found this very unsettling and found the concept of humans evolving from apes as very threatening.
  3. Religious doubt caused by social change. Darwin’s work also made people question their religious beliefs and the writings in the bible. Generally the Victorians felt that the meaning of the bible was lost.
  4. Prince Albert’s influence on housing. In Britain, there was concern that workers and their families did not have suitable places to live, Prince Albert designed housing that was more suitable than the ghettos that most workers were living in.
  5. Effect of Industrialization in other countries. In the USA there was a similar trend of people moving to towns to secure work in factories. Look at the textile factories and they way that production changed the way that the workers dressed.
  6. It was also the age of secular change. Literature tried to compensate for the loss of meaning associated meaning that people had assumed. Look towards Writers such as Thomas Hardy ‘Love and Loss’.
  7. Look towards understanding the new and emerging power relationships. Charles Dickens illustrated these social changes in works such as Bleak House and The Old Curiosity Shop.
  8. Family. 19th Century changes also were embedded into family life and gender representation was illustrated mainly through the works of Gaskell, and Ruskin.
  9. Domestic Work. There type of work that domestics were engaged in and the social hierarchy that took place ‘downstairs’. A as a dissertation topic this could be extended to show how it reproduced the traditional family.
  10. Treatment of Convicts. Topics that could be more specific could involve the way that convicts were transported to Australia and how it influenced feelings of nationalism.