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The Victorian Era in England generally refers to the reign of Queen Victoria, an era in which England recovered rapidly from its devastating international losses in the Napoleonic Wars and the Treaty of London and reaffirmed itself as a major world power. Often also referred to as the Great Recovery, during the reign of Victoria England reaffirmed itself as an economic power during the worldwide Industrial Revolution, came to control vast swaths of foreign lands in direct competition to French influence, and made English the world's most-spoken language. The Victorian Era saw the birth of a vibrant, cosmopolitan English middle class at its peak in the 1860's and 1870's, although the middle class declined towards the end of Victoria's reign. During this period, England also began allying itself diplomatically with the United States, most notably during Victoria's 1864 tour of America's great cities.
The period, however, was also built upon a grossly unstable imbalance of wealth and an uncontrollably rapidly expanding economy, problems exacerbated and revealed in the Panic of 1890 and later in the Panic of 1908, once Victoria was no longer in power. The continued accumulation of massive power in the hands of a few in industrial England is directly responsible for the Revolution of 1909 and, a decade afterwards, the Socialist Revolution.