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London, like most cities, was not prepared for this great increase in people. Rooms were rented to whole families or perhaps several families. Land-owners or factory owners often built houses for their workers.If there was no rooms to rent, people stayed in lodging houses. Unfortunately, this did not reduce overcrowding or improve building standards.But if a girl managed to survive to adulthood, her chance of living to a ripe old age of 50, 60, 70 or even older was quite good.These odds only increased as the century progressed and improvements in sanitation, nutrition and medical care lengthened Victorian lifespans.At the end of the 18th century, the average age of first marriage was 28 years old for men and 26 years old for women.
Certainly, infants and children died of disease, malnutrition and mishaps at much higher rates than they do today.Britain embarked on global imperial expansion, particularly in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history.Domestically, the political agenda was increasingly liberal, with a number of shifts in the direction of gradual political reform, industrial reform, and the widening of the voting franchise.Defined according to sensibilities and political concerns, the period is sometimes considered to begin with the passage of the Reform Act 1832.The period is characterised as one of relative peace among the great powers (as established by the Congress of Vienna), increased economic activity, "refined sensibilities" and national self-confidence for Great Britain.