/vik tawr"ee euh, -tohr"-/; for 3 also Sp. /beek taw"rddyah/, n.
1. the ancient Roman goddess of victory, identified with the Greek goddess Nike.
2. 1819-1901, queen of Great Britain 1837-1901; empress of India 1876-1901.
3. Guadalupe /gwahd'l oohp", -ooh"pee/; Sp. /gwah'dhah looh"pe/ (Manuel Félix Fernández), 1789-1843, Mexican military and political leader: first president of the republic 1824-29.
4. Tomás Luis de /taw mahs" lwees de/, 1548-1611, Spanish composer.
5. Also called Hong Kong, Xianggang. a seaport in and the capital of the Hong Kong colony, on the N coast of Hong Kong island, facing the seaport of Kowloon. 1,100,000.
6. a state in SE Australia. 3,832,443; 87,884 sq. mi. (227,620 sq. km). Cap.: Melbourne.
7. a seaport in and the capital of British Columbia, on Vancouver Island, in SW Canada. 62,551.
8. a city in S Texas. 50,695.
9. a former name of Nyanda.
10. a port in and the capital of the Seychelles. 13,736.
11. Lake. Also called Victoria Nyanza. a lake in E central Africa, in Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya: second largest freshwater lake in the world; source of the White Nile. 26,828 sq. mi. (69,485 sq. km).
12. Mount, a mountain on E New Guinea, in SE Papua New Guinea, in the Owen Stanley Range. 13,240 ft. (4036 m).
13. (l.c.) a low, light, four-wheeled carriage with a calash top, a seat for two passengers, and a perch in front for the driver.
14. (l.c.) an open touring car having a folding top that usually covers only the rear seat.
15. (l.c.) any of several large-leaved water lilies of the genus Victoria. Cf. royal water lily.
16. a female given name.

* * *

City (pop., 2001: metro. area, 311,902), capital of British Columbia, Canada.

It is located on the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island, overlooking Juan de Fuca Strait. It was founded in 1843 by the Hudson's Bay Co. as a fur-trading post known as Fort Camosun; it was later renamed Fort Victoria to honour the English queen. It was selected as the capital in 1866 when Vancouver Island united with British Columbia. It is now one of the province's largest business centres and a tourist resort and retirement community. A major port, it is the Pacific headquarters of the Canadian navy.
Seaport, urban district, administrative centre of Hong Kong special administrative region, China.

It lies on the northern shore of Hong Kong Island (pop., 2001: 1,335,469). It has extensive wharves and is connected to the mainland by ferry and by automobile and railway tunnels. It is the chief administrative, commercial, and cultural centre of Hong Kong and is the headquarters for numerous international banks and corporations.
State (pop., 2001: 4,822,663), southeastern Australia.

It covers an area of 87,810 sq mi (227,420 sq km); its capital is Melbourne. The state's western and northwestern parts are sandy desert and lowland, while the central and eastern parts are highlands forming the southern end of the Australian Alps. The southwestern coastal region is known as Gippsland. The Murray River forms almost the entire boundary between the state and New South Wales. Australian Aboriginal peoples had lived in the region for at least 40,000 years before contact with Europeans. Some 60 years after Capt. James Cook first sighted its coastline (1770), the area was settled by immigrants from Tasmania, who brought in their wake diseases that decimated much of the Aboriginal population. Victoria became a separate colony in 1851. In 1901 it became a state of the Commonwealth of Australia. Boosting its economy is a highly productive agricultural hinterland.
Town (pop., 1997: metro. area, 24,701), capital of the Republic of Seychelles.

Located on the northeastern coast of Mahé Island in the Indian Ocean, it is the only port of the archipelago and the only town of any size in Seychelles. It is the country's business and cultural centre.
orig. Alexandrina Victoria

born May 24, 1819, Kensington Palace, London, Eng.
died Jan. 22, 1901, Osborne, near Cowes, Isle of Wight

Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1837–1901) and Empress of India (from 1876).

The only child of Edward, duke of Kent, she succeeded her uncle, William IV, in 1837. She was first guided as queen by the Whig prime minister Lord Melbourne and then by her husband, Prince Albert, whom she married in 1840. Devoted to him, she accepted his decisions on all issues in the period sometimes called the "Albertine monarchy." They had nine children, through whose marriages descended many of the royal families of Europe. From 1861 Victoria deeply mourned Albert's death and thereafter made royal decisions as she believed he would have advised. She was frequently at odds with Prime Minister William E. Gladstone and welcomed his replacement by Benjamin Disraeli in 1874. Her reign, called the Victorian age, was marked by a period of British expansion and a restoration of dignity and popularity to the monarchy, as shown by her Jubilees of 1887 and 1897. She remains the longest reigning monarch in British history.
(as used in expressions)
Victoria de Durango
Alexandrina Victoria
Joy Friederike Victoria Gessner
Manchester Victoria University of
Victoria Mary Sackville West
Victoria Lake
Victoria Tomás Luis de
Victoria University of
Woodhull Victoria
Victoria Claflin

* * *

 capital of British Columbia, Canada. It is located on the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island, overlooking Juan de Fuca Strait. One of the province's oldest communities, it was founded in 1843 as a Hudson's Bay Company fur-trading post known as Fort Camosun, which was later renamed Fort Victoria to honour the British queen.

      Victoria, which retains a distinct transplanted British atmosphere, served as capital of the colony of Vancouver Island from 1848, before becoming the administrative centre of the united colony of British Columbia in 1868. The city was associated with the gold rush of the 1860s; it is now one of the largest commercial and distribution centres of the province and, because of its equable climate, a popular tourist resort and retirement community. A major Pacific-coast port, with a naval base and dockyard, Victoria is connected to mainland Canada and the United States by air and ferry service and to the remainder of the island by rail and highway. Manufacturing is centred on the forest-products industry but also includes shipbuilding and food processing. The city is the site of the University of Victoria (1963; formerly Victoria College, established in 1902), Royal Roads University (1995), the Royal British Columbia Museum (1886), and an astrophysical observatory. The Victorian-style Parliament Buildings (seat of the provincial legislative assembly) overlook the Inner Harbour and yacht basin. Included in Victoria's metropolitan area are the communities of Esquimalt, Oak Bay, and Saanich. Inc. 1862. Pop. (2001) city, 74,125; metropolitan area, 311,902; (2006) city, 78,057; metropolitan area, 330,088.

      densely populated urban area in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China. It lies on the north shore of Hong Kong Island, across a strait from Kowloon on the Chinese mainland, with which it is connected by ferry and by automobile and mass transit railway tunnels. Victoria is the chief administrative, commercial, and cultural centre of Hong Kong and is the headquarters for numerous international banks and corporations. Pop. (2001) 1,035,000.

▪ Roman goddess
      in Roman religion, personification of victory, the equivalent of the Greek goddess Nike. She was often associated with Jupiter, Mars, and other deities and was especially worshipped by the army. In later times she had three or four sanctuaries at Rome, including a temple on the Palatine Hill and an altar in the Senate House.

 town and capital of the Republic of Seychelles, located on the northeastern coast of Mahé Island, the largest island in the Seychelles group. Victoria is the only port of the archipelago and the only town of any size in Seychelles. Some one-third of the people of Mahé Island live in Victoria. The port has deep water for large ships and is capable of accommodating several vessels at one time. An inner harbour provides facilities for smaller craft. An international airport was built near Victoria in 1971, subsidized by British funds in compensation for the temporary removal of certain islands from Seychelles hegemony. As the business and cultural centre for the country, the town has modern facilities including a hospital and a teacher-training college. Victoria is connected by paved roads to major points on Mahé Island. Pop. (2004 est.) 25,500.

      city, seat (1836) of Victoria county, southern Texas, U.S. It lies along the Guadalupe River, some 85 miles (135 km) northeast of Corpus Christi. Founded in 1824 by Spanish settlers under Martín de León, it was named to honour both Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Jesus Victoria (Our Lady of Guadalupe) and Guadalupe Victoria (Victoria, Guadalupe), the first Mexican president. Actively involved in the Texas Revolution, it was incorporated in 1839 as a city in the Republic of Texas. Many of its residents died during a cholera epidemic in 1846, an event commemorated by the city's Memorial Square. Victoria later developed as a cattle centre and became a rendezvous for trail drivers moving northward.

      Since the 1940s Victoria has become a hub for oil, gas, and petrochemical production of the Texas Gulf Coast. The city's industrial growth was stimulated by completion (1963) of the roughly 35-mile- (55-km-) long Victoria Barge Canal to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Manufacturing and tourism are also important. Academic institutions in the city include Victoria (community) College (1925) and the University of Houston at Victoria (1973). Notable cultural attractions are the fine-arts Nave Museum and the Texas Zoo, which is devoted to native Texas species. Fannin Battleground State Historic Site and Goliad State Historical Park are located southwest of the city. Pop. (1990) city, 55,076; Victoria MSA, 74,361; (2000) city, 60,603; Victoria MSA, 84,088.

▪ queen of United Kingdom
in full  Alexandrina Victoria 
born May 24, 1819, Kensington Palace, London, England
died January 22, 1901, Osborne, near Cowes, Isle of Wight
 queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1837–1901) and empress of India (1876–1901). She was the last of the House of Hanover and gave her name to an era, the Victorian Age. During her reign the English monarchy took on its modern ceremonial character. She and her husband, Prince Consort Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, had nine children, through whose marriages were descended many of the royal families of Europe.

      Victoria first learned of her future role as a young princess during a history lesson when she was 10 years old. Almost four decades later Victoria's governess recalled that the future queen reacted to the discovery by declaring, “I will be good.” This combination of earnestness and egotism marked Victoria as a child of the age that bears her name. The queen, however, rejected important Victorian values and developments. Although she hated pregnancy and childbirth, detested babies, and was uncomfortable in the presence of children, Victoria reigned in a society that idealized both motherhood and the family. She had no interest in social issues, yet the 19th century in Britain was an age of reform. She resisted technological change even while mechanical and technological innovations reshaped the face of European civilization.

      Most significantly, Victoria was a queen determined to retain political power; yet unwillingly and unwittingly she presided over the transformation of the sovereign's political role into a ceremonial one and thus preserved the English monarchy. When Victoria became queen, the political role of the crown was by no means clear; nor was the permanence of the throne itself. When she died and her son Edward VII moved from Marlborough House to Buckingham Palace, the change was one of social rather than of political focus; there was no doubt about the monarchy's continuance. That was the measure of her reign.

Lineage and early life
      On the death in 1817 of Princess Charlotte, daughter of the prince regent (later George IV), there was no surviving legitimate offspring of George III's 15 children. In 1818, therefore, three of his sons, the dukes of Clarence, Kent, and Cambridge, married to provide for the succession. The winner in the race to father the next ruler of Britain was Edward, duke of Kent, fourth son of King George III. His only child was christened Alexandrina Victoria. After his death and George IV's accession in 1820, Victoria became third in the line of succession to the throne after the Duke of York (died 1827) and the Duke of Clarence (subsequently William IV), whose own children died in infancy.

      Victoria, by her own account, “was brought up very simply,” principally at Kensington Palace, where her closest companions, other than her German-born mother, the Duchess of Kent, were her half sister, Féodore, and her governess, Louise (afterward the Baroness) Lehzen, a native of Coburg. An important father figure to the orphaned princess was her uncle Leopold (Leopold I), her mother's brother, who lived at Claremont, near Esher, Surrey, until he became king of the Belgians in 1831.

      Victoria's childhood was made increasingly unhappy by the machinations of the Duchess of Kent's advisor, Sir John Conroy. In control of the pliable duchess, Conroy hoped to dominate the future queen of Britain as well. Persuaded by Conroy that the royal dukes, “the wicked uncles,” posed a threat to her daughter, the duchess reared Victoria according to “the Kensington system,” by which she and Conroy systematically isolated Victoria from her contemporaries and her father's family. Conroy thus aimed to make the princess dependent on and easily led by himself.

      Strong-willed, and supported by Lehzen, Victoria survived the Kensington system; when she ascended the throne in 1837, she did so alone. Her mother's actions had estranged her from Victoria and taught the future queen caution in her friendships. Moreover, her retentive memory did not allow her to forgive readily.

Accession to the throne
 In the early hours of June 20, 1837, Victoria received a call from the archbishop of Canterbury and the lord chamberlain and learned of the death of William IV, third son of George III. Later that morning the Privy Council was impressed by the graceful assurance of the new queen's demeanour. She was small, carried herself well, and had a delightful silvery voice, which she retained all her life. The accession of a young woman was romantically popular. But because of the existence in Hanover of the Salic law (Salic Law of Succession), which prevented succession by a woman, the crowns of Great Britain and Hanover became separated, the latter passing to William IV's eldest surviving brother, Ernest (Ernest I), the unpopular duke of Cumberland.

      The queen, who had never before had a room to herself, exiled her mother to a distant set of apartments when they moved into Buckingham Palace. Conroy was pensioned off. Only Lehzen, of whom Victoria was still in awe, remained close to the queen. Even her beloved uncle Leopold was politely warned off discussions of English politics. “Alone” at last, she enjoyed her new-found freedom. “Victoria,” wrote her cousin, Prince Albert (Albert, Prince Consort of Great Britain and Ireland), who later married her,

is said to be incredibly stubborn and her extreme obstinacy to be constantly at war with her good nature; she delights in Court ceremonies, etiquette and trivial formalities.…She is said not to take the slightest pleasure in nature and to enjoy sitting up at night and sleeping late into the day.

      It was, in retrospect, “the least sensible and satisfactory time in her whole life”; but at the time it was exciting and enjoyable, the more so because of her romantic friendship with Lord Melbourne (Melbourne, William Lamb, 2nd Viscount, Lord Melbourne, Baron of Kilmore, Baron Melbourne of Melbourne), the prime minister.

      Melbourne was a crucial influence on Victoria, in many ways an unfortunate one. The urbane and sophisticated prime minister fostered the new queen's self-confidence and enthusiasm for her role; he also encouraged her to ignore or minimize social problems and to attribute all discontent and unrest to the activities of a small group of agitators. Moreover, because of Melbourne, Victoria became an ardent Whig.

      Victoria's constitutionally dangerous political partisanship contributed to the first two crises of her reign, both of which broke in 1839. The Hastings affair began when Lady Flora Hastings, a maid of honour who was allied and connected to the Tories, was forced by Victoria to undergo a medical examination for suspected pregnancy. The gossip, when it was discovered that the queen had been mistaken, became the more damaging when later in the year Lady Flora died of a disease that had not been diagnosed by the examining physician. The enthusiasm of the populace over the coronation (June 28, 1838) swiftly dissipated.

      Between the two phases of the Hastings case “the bedchamber crisis” intervened. When Melbourne resigned in May 1839, Sir Robert Peel (Peel, Sir Robert, 2nd Baronet), the Conservative leader, stipulated that the Whig (Whig and Tory) ladies of the bedchamber should be removed. The queen imperiously refused, not without Melbourne's encouragement. “The Queen of England will not submit to such trickery,” she said. Peel therefore declined to take office, which Melbourne rather weakly resumed. “I was very young then,” wrote the queen long afterward, “and perhaps I should act differently if it was all to be done again.”

The Albertine monarchy
      Victoria's wedding to Prince Albert served as a stage for displays of political partisanship: very few Tories received invitations, and the Tories themselves rejected Victoria's request that Albert be granted rank and precedence second only to her own. Victoria responded violently, “Monsters! You Tories shall be punished. Revenge! Revenge!” Marriage to Albert, however, lessened the queen's enthusiasm for Melbourne and the Whigs. She admitted many years later regarding Melbourne that “Albert thinks I worked myself up to what really became rather foolish.” Albert thus shifted Victoria's political sympathies; he also became the dominant figure and influence in her life. She quickly grew to depend on him for everything; soon she “didn't put on a gown or a bonnet if he didn't approve it.” No more did Victoria rule alone.

Marriage to Albert
      Attracted by Albert's good looks and encouraged by her uncle Leopold, Victoria proposed to her cousin on Oct. 15, 1839, just five days after he had arrived at Windsor on a visit to the English court. She described her impressions of him in the journal she kept throughout her life: “Albert really is quite charming, and so extremely handsome…a beautiful figure, broad in the shoulders and a fine waist; my heart is quite going.” They were married on Feb. 10, 1840, the queen dressed entirely in articles of British manufacture.

      Children quickly followed. Victoria, the princess royal (the “Vicky” of the Letters), was born in 1840; in 1858 she married the crown prince of Prussia and later became the mother of the emperor William II. The Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) was born in 1841. Then followed Princess Alice, afterward grand duchess of Hesse, 1843; Prince Alfred, afterward duke of Edinburgh and duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, 1844; Princess Helena (Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein), 1846; Princess Louise (duchess of Argyll), 1848; Prince Arthur (duke of Connaught), 1850; Prince Leopold (duke of Albany), 1853; and Princess Beatrice (Princess Henry of Battenberg), 1857. The queen's first grandchild was born in 1859, and her first great-grandchild in 1879. There were 37 great-grandchildren alive at her death.

      Victoria never lost her early passion for Albert: “Without him everything loses its interest.” Despite conflicts produced by the queen's uncontrollable temper and recurrent fits of depression, which usually occurred during and after pregnancy, the couple had a happy marriage. Victoria, however, was never reconciled to the childbearing that accompanied her marital bliss—the “shadow-side of marriage,” as she called it. Victoria explained to her eldest daughter in 1858:

What you say of the pride of giving life to an immortal soul is very fine, dear, but I own I cannot enter into that; I think much more of our being like a cow or a dog at such moments; when our poor nature becomes so very animal and unecstatic.

      At the beginning of their marriage the queen was insistent that her husband should have no share in the government of the country. Within six months, on Melbourne's repeated suggestion, the prince was allowed to start seeing the dispatches, then to be present when the queen saw her ministers. The concession became a routine, and during her first pregnancy the prince received a “key to the secret boxes.” As one unwanted pregnancy followed another and as Victoria became increasingly dependent on her husband, Albert assumed an ever-larger political role. By 1845 Charles Greville, the observer of royal affairs, could write, “it is obvious that while she has the title, he is really discharging the functions of the Sovereign. He is the King to all intents and purposes.” Victoria, once so enthusiastic about her role, came to conclude that “we women are not made for governing.”

Relations with Peel
      The prince came into his own to negotiate with Peel a compromise on the bedchamber question after the Melbourne government had been defeated in the general election of 1841. The queen's first interview with Peel went well, eased by Melbourne's advice to his successor:

The Queen is not conceited—she is aware there are many things she cannot understand and she likes to have them explained to her elementarily—not at length and in detail but shortly and clearly.

      If, as Lady Lyon once noted, “there was ‘a vein of iron' which ran through the Queen's extraordinary character,” the iron could bend; Victoria was able to revise her opinions and reevaluate her judgments. Peel's very real distress when in the summer of 1842 an attempt was made to assassinate the queen—together with the affinity between the prince and the new prime minister—soon converted the “cold odd man” of the queen's earlier comment into “a great statesman, a man who thinks but little of party and never of himself.” Lord Aberdeen, the foreign secretary, also became a great favourite. “We felt so safe with them both,” she told King Leopold.

      The departure of the possessive Lehzen for Germany in 1842 signaled Albert's victory in the battle between the two for Victoria's loyalty and for power in the royal household. He became effectively the queen's private secretary—according to himself, “her permanent minister.” As a result of Albert's diligence and refusal to accept the obstacles that ministers threw in his path, the management of the queen's properties was rationalized and her income thus increased.

      A visible sign of the prince's power and influence was the building of the royal residences of Osborne, on the Isle of Wight, and Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Albert, who taught the once party-loving Victoria to despise London, played a central role in the acquisition of both properties as well as in designing the homes he and Victoria erected on them between 1845 and 1855.

      Victoria described Osborne as “our island home” and retreated there frequently; it was, however, at Balmoral that she was happiest. The royal pair and their family were able to live there “with the greatest simplicity and ease,” wrote Greville. The queen soon came to hold the Highlanders in more esteem than she held any other of her subjects. She liked the simpler life of the Highlands, as her published journal was to reveal: she came to make the most of the thin stream of Scottish blood in her veins; also, so long as the sermons were short enough, she came to prefer the Scottish form of religious service. “You know,” she was to tell her prime minister, William Ewart Gladstone, “I am not much of an Episcopalian”; and she developed a comfort in the consolations of the Reverend Norman Macleod and also a delight in the plain speech of John Brown, the Highland servant who stalked with Albert and became her personal attendant.

      The royal couple's withdrawal to Scotland and the Isle of Wight bore witness to a new sort of British monarchy. In their quest for privacy and intimacy Albert and Victoria adopted a way of life that mirrored that of their middle-class subjects, admittedly on a grander scale. Although Albert was interested in intellectual and scientific matters, Victoria's tastes were closer to those of most of her people. She enjoyed the novels of Charles Dickens and patronized the circus and waxwork exhibitions. Both Victoria and Albert, however, differed from many in the middle class in their shared preference for nudes in painting and sculpture. Victoria was not the prude that many claimed her to be. She was also no Sabbatarian: “I am not at all an admirer or approver of our very dull Sunday.”

      Victoria's delight in mingling with the Scottish poor at Balmoral did little to raise the level of her social awareness. Although in 1846 she and Albert supported the repeal of the Corn Laws (Corn Law) (protectionist legislation that kept the price of British grain artificially high) in order to relieve distress in famine-devastated Ireland, they remained much more interested in and involved with the building of Osborne and foreign policy than in the tragedy of Ireland. Victoria, moreover, gave her full support to the government's policy of repression of the Chartists (advocates of far-reaching political and social reform) and believed the workers in her realm to be contented and loyal. In 1848, rejoicing in the failure of the last great Chartist demonstration in London, the queen wrote:

The loyalty of the people at large has been very striking and their indignation at their peace being interfered with by such worthless and wanton men—immense.

      The consequences of continental revolutions led her to conclude:

Revolutions are always bad for the country, and the cause of untold misery to the people. Obedience to the laws and to the Sovereign, is obedience to a higher Power, divinely instituted for the good of the people, not the Sovereign, who has equally duties and obligations.

      Yet, revolution or no revolution, many of her people lived in “untold misery,” a fact Victoria rarely confronted.

      For both the queen and the prince consort the highlight of their reign came in 1851, with the opening of the Great Exhibition. Albert poured himself into the task of organizing the international trade show that became a symbol of the Victorian Age. Housed in the architectural marvel of the Crystal Palace, a splendid, greenhouse-inspired glass building erected in Hyde Park, the Great Exhibition displayed Britain's wealth and technological achievements to a wondering world. To Victoria the success of the Great Exhibition provided further evidence of her husband's genius: “I do feel proud at the thought of what my beloved Albert's great mind has conceived.” Profits from the Great Exhibition funded what became the South Kensington complex of colleges and museums.

      Albert has been credited with teaching Victoria the importance of remaining above party. Certainly he saw the danger in the Whig partisanship she openly displayed before their marriage; more clearly than Victoria he realized the fine sense of balance required of a constitutional monarch. Albert's own actions, however, such as his much-criticized appearance in the gallery of the House of Commons during Peel's speech on the first day of the Corn Laws debates (and thus his open and partisan show of support for Peel), revealed his political sympathies. Gladstone noted in 1846 that

the Prince is very strongly Conservative in his politics and his influence with the Q. is over-ruling; through him she has become so attached to Conservative ideas that she could hardly endure the idea of the opposite Party as her ministers.

      Like the queen, Albert believed that the sovereign had an important and active role to play in British politics. The fluid political situation operating during the prince's lifetime made such an active role seem possible. After the repeal of the Corn Laws (1846) there was a period, not ending until the election of 1868, when politics tended to consist of a series of temporary alliances between splinter groups and no single group could guarantee its extended control over the House of Commons: the golden age of the private member, a condition rendering active political intervention by the crown not only possible but sometimes even necessary. There was a role for the cabinet maker, especially in helping to compose coalitions. Its significance must not, however, be overemphasized; although Victoria probably would not have admitted it, the queen's role, albeit “substantial,” was always “secondary.”

Foreign affairs
      The tradition also persisted that the sovereign had a special part to play in foreign affairs and could conduct them alone with a secretary of state. Victoria and Albert had relatives throughout Europe and were to have more. Moreover, they visited and were visited by other monarchs. Albert was determined that this personal intelligence should not be disregarded and that the queen should never become (as his own mentor the Baron Stockmar had indicated) “a mandarin figure which has to nod its head in assent or shake it in denial as its Minister pleases.” The result was a clash with Lord Palmerston (Palmerston, Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount, Baron Temple Of Mount Temple), the foreign secretary, who could look back on a career of high office beginning before the royal couple was born. The prince distrusted Palmerston's character, disapproved of his methods, thought his policy shallow, and disagreed with his concept of the constitution.

      Even after Victoria insisted to Palmerston in 1850, “having once given her sanction to a measure, that it be not arbitrarily altered or modified by the minister,” the foreign secretary continued to follow policies disapproved of by both Albert and Victoria, such as his encouragement of nationalist movements that threatened to dismember the Austrian Empire. Finally, after Palmerston expressed his approval of the coup d'état of Louis Napoleon (later Napoleon III) in 1851 without consulting the queen, the prime minister, Lord John Russell (Russell, John Russell, 1st Earl, Viscount Amberley Of Amberley And Of Ardsalla), dismissed him. Within a few months the immensely popular Palmerston was back in office, however, as home secretary. He would serve twice as prime minister. After Albert's death Victoria's disapproval of Palmerston diminished; his conservative domestic policy and his insistence that Britain receive its due in world affairs accorded with her own later views.

      On the eve of the Crimean War (1854–56) the royal pair encountered a wave of unpopularity, and Albert was suspected, without any foundation, of trying to influence the government in favour of the Russian cause. There was, however, a marked revival of royalist sentiment as the war wore on. The queen personally superintended the committees of ladies who organized relief for the wounded and eagerly seconded the efforts of Florence Nightingale (Nightingale, Florence): she visited crippled soldiers in the hospitals and instituted the Victoria Cross for gallantry.

      With the death of Prince Albert on Dec. 14, 1861, the Albertine monarchy came to an end. Albert's influence on the queen was lasting. He had changed her personal habits and her political sympathies. From him she had received training in orderly ways of business, in hard work, in the expectation of royal intervention in ministry making at home, and in the establishment of a private (because royal) intelligence service abroad. The English monarchy had changed. As the historian G.M. Young said, “In place of a definite but brittle prerogative it had acquired an undefinable but potent influence.”

      After Albert's death Victoria descended into deep depression—“those paroxysms of despair and yearning and longing and of daily, nightly longing to die…for the first three years never left me.” Even after climbing out of depression, she remained in mourning and in partial retirement. She balked at performing the ceremonial functions expected of the monarch and withdrew to Balmoral and Osborne four months out of every year, heedless of the inconvenience and strain this imposed on ministers. After an initial period of respect and sympathy for the queen's grief, the public grew increasingly impatient with its absent sovereign. No one, however, could budge the stubborn Victoria.

      Although Victoria resisted carrying out her ceremonial duties, she remained determined to retain an effective political role in the period after Albert's death and to behave as he would have ordained. Her testing point was, then, her “dear one's” point of view; and this she had known at a particular and thereafter not necessarily relevant period in English political life. Her training and his influence were ill suited to the “swing of the pendulum” politics that better party organization and a wider electorate enjoined after the Reform Bill of 1867. And since she blamed her son and heir for Albert's death—the prince consort (Edward VII) had come back ill from Cambridge, where he had gone to see the Prince of Wales regarding an indiscretion the young prince had committed in Ireland—she did not hesitate to vent her loneliness upon him or to refuse him all responsibility. “It quite irritates me to see him in the room,” she startled Lord Clarendon by saying. The breach was never really healed, and as time went on the queen was clearly envious of the popularity of the Prince and Princess of Wales. She liked to be, but she took little trouble to see that she was, popular.

      It was despite, yet because of, Albert that Victoria succumbed to Benjamin Disraeli (Disraeli, Benjamin, Earl Of Beaconsfield, Viscount Hughenden Of Hughenden) and thus made herself a partisan in the most famous political rivalry of the 19th century. Albert had thought Disraeli insufficiently a gentleman and remembered his bitter attacks on Peel over the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846; the prince (Albert, Prince Consort of Great Britain and Ireland), on the other hand, had approved of Gladstone (Gladstone, William Ewart), Disraeli's political rival. Yet Disraeli was able to enter into the queen's grief, flatter her, restore her self-confidence, and make the lonely crown an easier burden. Behind all his calculated attacks on her affections there was a bond of mutual loneliness, a note of mystery and romanticism, and, besides, the return to good gossip. Disraeli, moreover, told the queen in 1868 that it would be “his delight and duty, to render the transaction of affairs as easy to your Majesty, as possible.” Since the queen was only too ready to consider herself overworked, this approach was especially successful. Gladstone, on the other hand, would never acknowledge that she was, as she put it, “dead beat,” perhaps because he never was himself; Disraeli, however, tired easily. The contrast between Disraeli's gay, often malicious, gossipy letters and Gladstone's 40 sides of foolscap is obvious. And there was no Albert to give her a neat précis. Gladstone, moreover, held the throne as an institution in such awe that it affected his relations with its essentially feminine occupant. His “feeling” for the crown, said Lady Ponsonby, was “always snubbed.” The queen had no patience with Gladstone's moralistic (and, she believed, hypocritical) approach to politics and foreign affairs. His persistent and often tactless attempts to persuade her to resume her ceremonial duties especially enraged her.

      Over the problem of Ireland their paths separated ever more widely. Whereas “to pacify Ireland” had become the “mission” of Gladstone's life, the queen (like the majority of her subjects) had little understanding of, or sympathy for, Irish grievances. She disliked disorder and regarded the suggestion of Irish Home Rule as sheer disloyalty. The proposal of an Irish “Balmoral” was repugnant to her, especially when it was suggested that the Prince of Wales might go in her place. To avoid the Irish Sea, she claimed to be a bad sailor; yet she was willing in her later years to cross the English Channel almost every year. In all, she made but four visits to Ireland, the last in 1900 being provoked by her appreciation of the gallantry of the Irish regiments in the South African War.

      The news of Gladstone's defeat in 1874 delighted the queen. “What an important turn the elections have taken,” she wrote.

It shows that the country is not Radical. What a triumph, too, Mr. Disraeli has obtained and what a good sign this large Conservative (Conservative Party) majority is of the state of the country, which really required (as formerly) a strong Conservative party!

      If, years before, Melbourne, almost despite himself, had made her a good little Whig, and if Albert had left her, in general, a Peelite, temperamental and subsequently doctrinal differences with Gladstone helped make it easy for Disraeli to turn Victoria into a stout supporter of the Conservative Party.

      One of the bonds shared by Victoria and Disraeli was a romantic attachment to the East and the idea of empire. Although she supported Disraeli's reform of the franchise in 1867, Victoria had little interest in or sympathy with his program of social reform; she was, however, entranced by his imperialism and by his assertive foreign policy. She applauded his brilliant maneuvering, which led to the British purchase of slightly less than half of the shares in the Suez Canal in 1875 (a move that prevented the canal from falling entirely under French control), especially since he presented the canal as a personal gift to her: “It is just settled; you have it, Ma'am.” The addition of “Empress of India” in 1876 to the royal title thrilled the queen even more. Victoria and Disraeli also agreed on their answer to the vexing “Eastern question”—what was to be done with the declining Turkish empire? Even the revelation of Turkish atrocities against rebelling Bulgarians failed to sway the sovereign and her prime minister from their position that Britain's best interests lay in supporting Turkey, the “Sick Man” of Europe. The fact that Gladstone took the opposing view, of course, strengthened their pro-Turkish sympathies. With the outbreak of a Russo-Turkish war in 1877, however, Disraeli found himself in the uncomfortable position of having to restrain his bellicose sovereign, who demanded that Britain enter the war against Russia. At the Congress of Berlin in 1878 Disraeli emerged triumphant: Russian influence in the Balkans was reduced, and Britain gained control of the strategically located island of Cyprus. The queen was ecstatic.

      Victoria's delight in Disraeli's premiership made further conflict with Gladstone inevitable. When in September 1879 a dissolution of Parliament seemed imminent, the queen wrote to the Marchioness of Ely (who was, after the Duchess of Argyll, perhaps her most intimate friend):

Dear Janie,…I hope and trust the Government will be able to go on after the Election, as change is so disagreeable and so bad for the country; but if it should not, I wish the principal people of the Opposition should know there are certain things which I never can consent to.…
I never COULD take Mr. Gladstone…as my Minister again, for I never could have the slightest particle of confidence in Mr. Gladstone after his violent, mischievous, and dangerous conduct for the last three years.

      After the blow fell with the Conservative Party's defeat in 1880, Victoria sent for Lord Hartington (Devonshire, Spencer Compton Cavendish, 8th duke of, marquess of Hartington, earl of Devonshire, Baron Cavendish of Hardwick).

Mr. Gladstone she could have nothing to do with, for she considers his whole conduct since '76 to have been one series of violent, passionate invective against and abuse of Lord Beaconsfield, and that he caused the Russian war.

      Nevertheless, as Hartington pointed out, it was Gladstone whom she had to have. She made no secret of her hostility, she hoped he would retire, and she remained in correspondence with Lord Beaconsfield (as Disraeli had become). Gladstone, indeed, said that he himself “would never be surprised to see her turn the Government out, after the manner of her uncles.” The queen abhorred Gladstone's lack of Disraelian vision of Britain's role in the world. Over the abandonment of Kandahar in Afghanistan, in 1881, for example, Sir Henry Ponsonby had never seen her so angry: “The Queen has never before been treated,” she told him, “with such want of respect and consideration in the forty three and a half years she has worn her thorny crown.”

      Victoria convinced herself that Gladstone's government, dominated (she believed) by Radicals, threatened the stability of the nation:

No one is more truly Liberal in her heart than the Queen, but she has always strongly deprecated the great tendency of the present Government to encourage instead of checking the stream of destructive democracy which has become so alarming.…She will not be a Sovereign of a Democratic Monarchy.

      Nevertheless, Victoria did act as an important mediating influence between the two houses to bring about the compromise that resulted in the third parliamentary Reform Act in 1884.

      Victoria never acclimatized herself to the effects of the new electorate on party organization. No longer was the monarchy normally necessary as cabinet maker; yet, the queen was reluctant to accept her more limited role. Thus, in 1886 she sought to avoid a third Gladstone ministry by attempting to form an anti-Radical coalition. Her attempt failed. Irish Home Rule, not the queen, would defeat the “People's William.”

Last years
      In the Salisbury administration (1895–1902), with which her long reign ended, Victoria was eventually to find not only the sort of ministry with which she felt comfortable but one which lent a last ray of colour to her closing years by its alliance, through Joseph Chamberlain, with the mounting imperialism that she had so greatly enjoyed in Disraeli's day when he had made her empress of India.

      The South African War (1899–1902) dominated her final years. The sufferings of her soldiers in South Africa aroused the queen to a level of activity and public visibility that she had avoided for decades. With a demanding schedule of troop inspections, medal ceremonies, and visits to military hospitals, Victoria finally became the exemplar of a modern monarch.

      Victoria absorbed a great deal of the time of her ministers, especially Gladstone's, but after 1868 it may be doubted whether, save in rare instances, it made a great deal of difference. She may have postponed an occasional evil day; she certainly hampered an occasional career. And sometimes that “continuous political experience,” which Walter Bagehot (Bagehot, Walter) remarked as a long-lived monarch's greatest asset, was invaluable: in stopping “red tapings,” as the queen called them, or in breaking a logjam. Meanwhile—“a comparatively late growth”—she had gained the affection of her subjects. The sheer endurance of her reign in a time of swift change deepened her symbolic value and hence heightened her popularity. Lord Salisbury (Salisbury, James Edward Hubert Gascoyne-Cecil, 4th Marquess of, Earl Of Salisbury, Viscount Cranborne, Baron Cecil Of Essendon) observed in the House of Lords (Jan. 25, 1901) after her death that:

She had an extraordinary knowledge of what her people would think—extraordinary, because it could not come from any personal intercourse. I have said for years that I have always felt that when I knew what the Queen thought, I knew pretty certainly what views her subjects would take, and especially the middle class of her subjects.

      The queen, as the Jubilees of 1887 and 1897 showed, was popular. Gone were the days when pamphlets were circulated asking what she did with her money. More and more fully with advancing years, she was able to satisfy the imagination of the middle class—and the poorer class—of her subjects.

      She remained, nevertheless, either aloof from or in opposition to many of the important political, social, and intellectual currents of the later Victorian period. She never reconciled herself to the advance of democracy, and she thought the idea of female suffrage anathema. The sufferings of an individual worker could engage her sympathy; the working class, however, remained outside her field of vision. After Albert's death Victoria had little contact with intellectual and artistic subjects and so remained happily unaware of the unsettling new directions being explored in the world around her. Her reign was shaped by the new technology—without the railroad and the telegraph, her extended stays in Osborne and Balmoral would have been impossible—yet she never welcomed innovation.

      Many of the movements of the day passed the aged queen by, many irritated her, but the stupendous hard work that Albert had taught her went on—the meticulous examination of the boxes, the regular signature of the papers. To the very end Victoria remained a passionate and strong-willed woman.

      Those who were nearest to her came completely under her spell; yet all from the Prince of Wales down stood in considerable awe. A breach of the rules could still make a fearsome change in the kindly, managing great-grandmother in black silk dress and white cap. The eyes would begin to protrude, the mouth to go down at the corners. Those who suffered her displeasure never forgot it, nor did she. Yielding to nobody else's comfort and keeping every anniversary, she lived surrounded by mementos, photographs, miniatures, busts, and souvenirs in chilly rooms at the end of drafty corridors, down which one tiptoed past Indian attendants to the presence. Nobody knocked; a gentle scratching on the door was all that she permitted. Every night at Windsor Albert's clothes were laid out on the bed, every morning fresh water was put in the basin in his room. She slept with a photograph—over her head—taken of his head and shoulders as he lay dead.

      Queen Victoria had fought a long rearguard action against the growth of “democratic monarchy”; yet, in some ways, she had done more than anyone else to create it. She had made the monarchy respectable and had thereby guaranteed its continuance—not as a political power but as a political institution. Her long reign had woven a legend, and, as her political power ebbed away, her political value grew. It lay, perhaps, more in what the electorate thought of her, indeed felt about her, than in what she ever was or certainly ever believed herself to be. Paradoxically enough, her principal contribution to the British monarchy and her political importance lay in regard to those “dignified” functions that she was accused of neglecting rather than to the “business” functions that, perhaps sometimes, she did not neglect enough.

      The queen died after a short and painless illness. “We all feel a bit motherless today,” wrote Henry James, “mysterious little Victoria is dead and fat vulgar Edward is King.” She was buried beside Prince Albert in the mausoleum at Frogmore near Windsor. Young said,

She had lived long enough. The idol of her people, she had come to press on the springs of government with something of the weight of an idol, and in the innermost circle of public life the prevailing sentiment was relief.

      Her essential achievement was simple. By the length of her reign, the longest in English history, she had restored both dignity and popularity to a tarnished crown: an achievement of character, as well as of longevity. Historians may differ in their assessment of her political acumen, her political importance, or her role as a constitutional monarch. None will question her high sense of duty or the transparent honesty, the massive simplicity, of her royal character.

Sir Edgar Trevor Williams Meredith Veldman

Additional Reading
The most important authority for the queen's life is The Letters of Queen Victoria in three series: for the years 1837–61, ed. by Arthur Christopher Benson and Viscount Esher (Reginald B. Esher), 3 vol. (1907); for 1862–85, ed. by George Earle Buckle, 3 vol. (1926–28); and for 1886–1901, ed. by George Earle Buckle, 3 vol. (1930–32). See also Hector Bolitho (ed.), Letters of Queen Victoria, trans. from German (1938; U.K. title, Further Letters of Queen Victoria, 1938, reprinted 1976). Correspondence between the queen and her eldest daughter was edited by Roger Fulford: Dearest Child (1964, reissued 1977), covering the years 1858–61; Dearest Mama (1968, reissued 1977), covering 1861–64; Your Dear Letter (1971), covering 1865–71; Darling Child (1976), covering 1871–78; and Beloved Mama (1981), covering 1878–85. Her correspondence with Gladstone is collected in Philip Guedalla (ed.), The Queen and Mr. Gladstone, 2 vol. (1933); and with Palmerston in Brian Connell (ed.), Regina vs. Palmerston (1961), covering the years 1837–65. See also Hope Dyson and Charles Tennyson (eds.), Dear and Honoured Lady: The Correspondence Between Queen Victoria and Alfred Tennyson (1969, reissued 1971). Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands from 1848 to 1861 (1868, reprinted 1969), and More Leaves from the Journal of a Life in the Highlands, from 1862 to 1882 (1884), both ed. by Arthur Helps, were published in the queen's lifetime and played their part in eventually securing public affection. Selections from these two journals were published in David Duff (ed.), Queen Victoria's Highland Journals, new and rev. ed. (1980). See also Christopher Hibbert, Queen Victoria in Her Letters and Journals: A Selection (1984).Important biographies are Lytton Strachey, Queen Victoria (1921; reissued with the title The Illustrated Queen Victoria, 1987), which was written before the second and third series of her Letters had been published; Elizabeth Longford, Victoria R.I. (1964; U.S. title, Queen Victoria: Born to Succeed, 1965, reprinted 1974); Cecil Woodham-Smith, Queen Victoria, from Her Birth to the Death of the Prince Consort (U.K. title, Queen Victoria: Her Life and Times, 1972); Dorothy Marshall, The Life and Times of Victoria (1972); and Stanley Weintraub, Victoria: An Intimate Biography (U.K. title, Victoria: Biography of a Queen, 1987).Additional sources on her private life include Marina Warner, Queen Victoria's Sketchbook (1979), a collection of the queen's artistic works with accompanying narrative text; Tyler Whittle (Michael Sidney Tyler-Whittle), Victoria and Albert at Home (1980); Ronald W. Clark, Balmoral, Queen Victoria's Highland Home (1981); Robert Rhodes James, Albert, Prince Consort: A Biography (1983; U.S. title, Prince Albert: A Biography, 1984); and Delia Millar, Queen Victoria's Life in the Scottish Highlands: Depicted by Her Watercolour Artists (1985).Studies of the queen's reign include Frank Hardie, The Political Influence of Queen Victoria, 1861–1901, 2nd ed. (1938, reissued 1963); Hector Bolitho, The Reign of Queen Victoria (1948); Theo Aronson, Victoria and Disraeli: The Making of a Romantic Partnership (1977, reprinted 1987); Jeffrey L. Lant, Insubstantial Pageant: Ceremony and Confusion at Queen Victoria's Court (1979); John May, Victoria Remembered: A Royal History, 1817–1861, Entirely Illustrated by Commemoratives (1983); and Barry St.-John Nevill (ed.), Life at the Court of Queen Victoria, 1861–1901 (1984).Sir Edgar Trevor Williams Meredith Veldman

Victoria, flag of   state of southeastern Australia, occupying a mountainous coastal region of the continent. Victoria is separated from New South Wales to the north by the Murray River for a length of about 1,065 miles (1,715 km) and by an additional boundary of some 110 miles (180 km) linking Cape Howe (Howe, Cape) and the nearest source of the Murray. The western boundary is with South Australia, and the southern coastline on the Tasman Sea and the Indian (Indian Ocean) (Southern) Ocean stretches for about 1,045 miles (1,680 km) and includes the shoreline of Port Phillip Bay. Melbourne, the state capital, is at the head of the bay off Bass Strait.

      The discovery and exploitation of petroleum and natural gas in the Gippsland Basin and Bass Strait beginning in the 1960s have provided a great boost to Victoria's economy. Although production of oil began to decline in the late 20th century, the state has retained its role as a major source of the country's natural gas and petroleum. Among the Australian states, Victoria is second only to New South Wales in terms of population, production, and influence in federal politics. Area 87,806 square miles (227,416 square km). Pop. (2006) 4,932,422.

 The rich variety of landscapes in Victoria includes both alpine plateaus in the northeast, around Bright, and sandy deserts in the west, near Lake Hindmarsh. This wide range results from a complex geologic history and from variations in the weather as it is experienced in particular areas. These dominant factors have created distinct regions, which create different opportunities and problems.

      The main upland areas are a continuation of the Great Dividing Range of eastern Australia. Starting with a width of about 190 miles (310 km) on the New South Wales border, these uplands arc westward across the state, becoming narrower and lower for 400 miles (640 km) before terminating in the Grampians and the Dundas Tableland, 25 miles (40 km) east of the South Australian boundary. The low, wide Kilmore Gap divides this upland core into two distinct regions. The eastern region is more extensive and higher, with several peaks over 5,000 feet (1,500 metres), culminating in Mount Bogong (Bogong, Mount) (6,516 feet [1,986 metres]). There are also some high plateaus. The varied geologic structure has been heavily chiseled by perennial streams, fed in spring by melting snow and ice. The highest peak in the western region is Mount William (3,829 feet [1,167 metres]) in the Grampians.

      Plains surround Victoria's upland region on the north, west, and south. Apart from a narrow strip adjoining the Murray River in the north, the vast plains of the northwest region, bounded by latitude 36° S and the Avoca River, are known as the Mallee. This name is derived from a type of eucalypt that sends up a number of slender trunks from a single large underground source. The region's undulating surface of broad, low ridges and depressions reflects the faulting and folding of the underlying sedimentary rocks, which in turn have been overlain by windblown deposits that have been fixed by drought-resistant vegetation. To the west of the Mallee lies an area known as the Big Desert.

      Port Phillip Bay, which was formed by the invasion of the sea after a downward movement of the Earth's crust, divides the southern plains into two distinct regions. To the east are the Gippsland Plains, intensive settlement of which has destroyed much of the original forest cover. To the west is a region of ancient basaltic flows, above which stand some of the original volcanic cones. The flows cover some 7,000 square miles (18,100 square km) and stretch 190 miles (310 km) west of Melbourne. Partitioning the southern plains into smaller areas are the Otway Ranges and the South Gippsland Highlands (north of Wilsons Promontory).

Drainage and soils
      Australia's main river, the Murray, flows along nearly the entire length of Victoria's northern border. The soils and climate along the river's bank offer reliable conditions for farming. No streams rise in the Mallee, and those that enter from the south fail to reach the Murray, terminating instead in such salt lakes as Lake Tyrrell (Tyrrell, Lake). Lack of water and wind-erosion hazards in the extreme northwest of the state and in the Big Desert make conditions too difficult for farming. Similarly, the Little Desert, which straddles the state's western boundary just to the south of the Big Desert, consists of deep sands, deficient in zinc and copper, that render the land unsuitable for settlement. Otherwise, the light soils of the Mallee are easily cultivated, and the development of suitable fertilizers has allowed better crop rotation and the production of improved pasture.

      The Loddon River originates in the highlands to the northwest of Melbourne, flows northward across the plains that lie between the Mallee and the uplands, and ultimately joins the Murray at the state's northern boundary. The area to the west of the river, known as the Wimmera, has cultivable soils consisting mainly of gray clays that swell when wet and crack open when dry. The plains to the east of the Loddon River, which narrow toward Albury in New South Wales, are irrigated and support a wider range of farming activities. In recent geologic time the forerunners of present rivers laid down alluvial deposits that reveal considerable diversity in sand and clay content.

      Although the western part of the southern plains has a uniform volcanic origin, there are local differences in the colour, texture, and stone content of the region's soils. These variations, once masked by the grasslands that covered the area, have been exposed by a generally uniform use of the land for livestock and dairy farming.

      The easterly passage of anticyclones (high-pressure areas) and depressions is the main determinant of weather for most of Victoria. The track of the disturbances lies overland during the winter (generally the wettest season), while a more southerly oceanic course during the summer reduces the frequency of rain days. East Gippsland is an exception, since most of its rain results from intense depressions centred east of Bass Strait in the summer.

      There is generally a close correlation between annual precipitation and elevation, and there is a clear decline in annual rainfall toward the northwest. The lowest-lying, driest parts of the Mallee usually receive less than 12 inches (300 mm) of precipitation per year, while in the Wimmera the annual amount ranges from about 12 inches in the far northern region to 22 inches (550 mm) in the higher elevations of the south. Some of the wettest areas in the mountains of the southeast may receive nearly 80 inches (2,000 mm) of precipitation in a single year, including heavy snowfall in winter.

      The southern coast is generally cooler than the inland areas, except for the mountains, where in the highest elevations the average maximum temperature drops to less than 38 °F (3 °C) in winter. In Melbourne the maximum temperature in winter averages 55 °F (13 °C), while in summer the average is 80 °F (26 °C). In the warmest northwestern reaches of the Mallee, temperatures rise to a mean high of 90 °F (32 °C) in January and 59 °F (15 °C) in July.

Plant and animal life
      Victoria has maintained a progressive conservation policy, the primary legislation of which was the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act of 1988. Administered by the Department of Sustainability and Environment, this act aims to preserve biodiversity by guaranteeing an environment that will allow all species to survive and flourish. More than 300 plant and animal species have been declared endangered, and all native species are protected.

 The flora and fauna of Victoria are as diverse as the state's landforms. The slopes of the eastern segment of the primary upland region have the most extensive forest, the main species being snow gum, alpine ash, and mountain ash. Lower-growing vegetation is typical of the arid northwestern Mallee. The distinctive eucalypts of this region rarely exceed 30 feet (9 metres) in height and are surrounded by various grasses and shrubs. In the sparsely vegetated sands of the Big Desert, heath, scrub cypress pine, grass tree, and other low shrubs predominate.

 Victoria is home to a broad spectrum of animal species. Common marsupials include various kangaroos, wallabies, bandicoots, and wombats. Koalas (koala) usually inhabit wooded regions, but they have become a problem in some urban and residential areas, where they defoliate trees because of insufficient food supplies in their (shrinking) forest habitat. Other native mammals include the Australian fur seal on the coast, swamp rats, and flying foxes. Red deer are common in the Grampians and the Otway Ranges. Although not native to Victoria, deer are nevertheless protected. Rabbits, on the contrary, are ubiquitous and have become a serious menace to farming communities. Their eradication is an ongoing project. An assortment of native ducks and other waterbirds populate the wetlands, and cormorants are common on the coast. There are several types of cockatoos in Victoria, and although native to the region, some species are unprotected in certain circumstances. More than 50 species of lizards and snakes have been recorded in the Big Desert.


Population composition
      Before 1939 the majority of Victoria's population had been born in Australia, and in 1947 only 8.7 percent of the population was foreign-born, most of them British. After World War II, however, Australia in general and Victoria in particular encouraged large-scale immigration from Europe in order to make the country stronger strategically, to assist many European and, later, Asian refugees made homeless by war, and to reduce the economic problems caused by the low Australian birth rate during the Great Depression of the 1930s. By the early 21st century nearly one-fourth of the Victorian population was foreign-born.

      The largest groups of non-Australian- and non-British-born residents of Victoria are from Italy, New Zealand, Vietnam, China, Greece, and India. The Chinese and Indian communities are among the fastest growing. Ethnic friction, while present, is minimal, and the economic benefits of immigration are incalculable. The immigrant population has also made a distinctive contribution to the cultural life of the state—in architectural style and house decoration, in sports of all kinds, and in culinary variety.

      Aboriginal Australians (Australian Aborigine) and Torres Strait Islanders comprise less than 1 percent of Victoria's residents, the lowest proportion of any state or territory. A large segment of the indigenous population is under age 15, and only a small fraction is over age 65, reflecting fertility and mortality rates that are notably higher than those of other communities in Victoria and in Australia as a whole. Roughly half of the Aboriginal population lives in and around Melbourne; most of the remainder lives in smaller towns, such as Shepparton in the northeastern part of the state, and, to a lesser extent, in rural areas. Active campaigns for land rights and the preservation of sacred places have resulted in the return of some cultural heritage sites, such as Gariward (Grampians National Park), to their traditional custodians. Although the federal government took responsibility for Aboriginal affairs in 1975, administration is still in the hands of the Victorian government. Some authority, however, has been transferred to the Aboriginal land councils.

      The diverse origins of the population are reflected in the variety of religious faiths found in the state. Christian denominations with the most adherents include the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Uniting, Eastern Orthodox, and Presbyterian churches. There are also significant Muslim and Buddhist communities. Roughly one-fifth of Victorians, however, follow no specific religion.

Settlement patterns and demographic trends
      Victoria is by far the most densely populated Australian state, and it is surpassed only by New South Wales in total population. However, Victoria's rate of increase, especially since the later years of the 20th century, trailed that of several other states, including Queensland, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory, while the proportion of Australians living in Victoria—about one-fourth—also declined somewhat. More than half of Victoria's population growth has been attributable to immigration from overseas, while natural increase has continued to decline. Some residents have also been lost to interstate migration.

 Almost three-fourths of Victoria's people live in the Melbourne metropolitan area, about one-tenth live in eight other urban areas ( Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton [including Mooroopna], Melton, Warrnambool, Albury-Wodonga, and Mildura), and the rest reside in towns of fewer than 20,000 or in rural areas. Population distribution outside the metropolitan area reflects the qualities of the landscape. Geelong is the second port of Victoria, Ballarat and Bendigo originally grew up around goldfields, now largely exhausted, and Moe-Yallourn stands on brown coal beds, used for electricity production. The densest rural settlements are in fertile sections of the irrigated Murray River valley and the dairying areas of Gippsland; the sparsest are in the alpine sections of the eastern region and the dry Mallee. The northern plains have been only lightly settled.

      Since 1980 there have been significant and ongoing shifts in population and settlement patterns. Greater Melbourne's growth rate has consistently outpaced that of the rest of Victoria, as Casey and Knox on the southeast fringe and Brimbank to the west of the metropolis have continued to expand. By the beginning of the 21st century, these newer suburbs held more than a half million residents. Older provincial cities and their surrounds have maintained their modest growth, and seashore settlements along the Mornington Peninsula, Bass Strait, and the Indian Ocean have expanded in response to retirement and recreation demands. Traditional Melbourne manufacturing hubs such as Dandenong and Maribyrnong have continued to recover from a decline that began in the 1990s, while country centres such as Ararat, Benalla, Stawell, Colac, and Moe have shown slow to moderate growth. Meanwhile, as Melbourne and regional centres have expanded, the rural dairying and mixed-farming regions of Gippsland and Corangamite have struggled to retain residents, as have the agricultural areas of the Mallee and Wimmera.

      Environmental concerns began intensifying toward the end of the 20th century. The flow of the Murray River has been substantially reduced by irrigation, and increasing soil salinity has placed vast areas of farmland at risk. Soil degradation in central and western Victoria, severe wind erosion in the Mallee and Wimmera, and tree dieback and soil acidification in the central settlement belt have all constituted a severe challenge to sustainable agriculture. Landcare initiatives, inaugurated in the 1980s by the state and federal governments, have increasingly addressed such issues on the community level throughout Victoria's farmland region.

      Victoria has a broadly based economy with well-developed primary, manufacturing, and service sectors; it contributes about one-fourth of Australia's gross domestic product (GDP). Since the mid-1960s the state's limited reserves of major land-based mineral deposits have been balanced by offshore petroleum and natural gas finds. Most of the main farming areas are used for improved or natural pastures or for cultivation, which involves mainly wheat and fodder crops. The main categories of productive holdings are dairy farms, sheep stations, mixed sheep-and-cereal farms, cereal farms, beef cattle operations, and vineyards.

      Until the 1980s Victoria was the traditional financial and cultural hub of Australia. Toward the end of the 20th century it was supplanted in this role by New South Wales, largely because of the decline of traditional protected manufacturing industries and a fall in the relative value of trade return for agricultural commodities. By the beginning of the 21st century, however, Victoria had begun to regain its stature through economic growth and restructuring.

      With the exception of the deserts of the west and extreme northwest, agricultural activities are undertaken in nearly every segment of Victoria's varied terrain. In the eastern region of the upland core, steep slopes and longer winters have discouraged cultivation except in sheltered valleys, but some hops and tobacco are grown. Beef cattle breeding and fattening, raising of prime lambs, and production of crossbred wool are the main rural activities of the area. In the western part of the upland, the lower relief, gentler slopes, and milder winters render the region more suitable for crop farming, and much of the forest cover has been cleared; most farmers also raise sheep and beef cattle.

      In the plains surrounding the uplands, the agricultural industry centres on the cultivation of feed grains and grasses, the raising of livestock, and dairying, although the Mallee is also the state's primary viticultural area. Cultivation of wheat and fodder to support and supplement the raising of prime lambs and Merino sheep (for wool) are prominent in the plains north of the uplands and in the Wimmera. East of the Loddon River, varying soils and irrigation allow the cultivation of fruit and grain, as well as the raising of sheep and dairy cattle. The plentiful winter rainfall and mild summers of the Gippsland Plains make for excellent dairy farming; the production of veal and pork supplements the yields of milk and cheese. In the western region of the southern plains, livestock raising is again preeminent. Fine-wool sheep breeding and beef cattle breeding and fattening are typical, with some dairying around the towns of Colac, Camperdown, and Koroit.

      Victoria is not only preeminent as Australia's dairying state; it is also a major producer of cattle and calves and wool. These three activities form the core of the state's agriculture sector. Agricultural activities generate only a tiny fraction of the state's economic output and employ a comparable proportion of the total labour force. Nevertheless, the agriculture sector is an important component of both the state and national economies.

      Grains are the primary crops of Victoria, with wheat leading in terms of tonnage and area under cultivation, followed by barley. The state also ranks high in the country in the production of oats. Assorted fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute a significant segment of Victoria's agricultural yield. Grape growing and wine production have expanded rapidly since the 1990s, and in the early 21st century Victoria was not only supplying wine to other states but also providing some one-sixth of the country's wine exports.

      Deregulation of the dairy industry in 2000, especially at the expense of small farmers in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia, has intensified the move toward larger farms, agribusiness, and the consolidation of processing in a few large cooperative and multinational establishments. Although most of Victoria's farming businesses remain family-owned, such consolidation has ultimately slowed the growth of country towns, particularly in East Gippsland, Colac-Otway, and south-central Victoria.

Resources and power
      Before the discovery of petroleum and natural gas, the brown coal deposits near Moe-Yallourn were the mineral deposits of greatest value to the state. The focus of attention then shifted to natural gas fields in the waters of East Gippsland and oil fields in the eastern Bass Strait. All these fields have been linked by pipelines to the Longford gas-processing and crude-stabilization plant in Gippsland and the Long Island Point fractionation and crude-storage plant on Western Port Bay. More recently, gas fields have been discovered in the western Bass Strait off Cape Otway. Although a major portion of its known reserves had been consumed by the turn of the 21st century, Victoria has continued to produce nearly one-fifth of Australia's petroleum and half of its natural gas requirements.

      The Latrobe Valley in the Gippsland Plains is noted for the generation of electric power. Large brown coal deposits in the region have been tapped as an energy source since the early 20th century. The Latrobe Valley coal mines supply several thermal power stations and provide the bulk of the state's electricity.

      The state's manufacturing sector employs some one-seventh of the labour force, the vast majority of whom work in the factories of Melbourne and Geelong and in the coalfield centres of the Latrobe Valley. The original industrial suburbs of Melbourne had a central location, but many new factories have been constructed in peripheral areas, such as Altona, Dandenong, Broadmeadows, and Moorabbin, where larger areas of cheaper land were available. Geelong, like Melbourne, produces a wide range of products. Aside from electricity generation, industry in the Latrobe Valley centres on food and clothing manufacture, using local materials. Although a relatively small portion of the factories employ more than 50 workers, such factories employ most of the total workforce. In terms of numbers employed and value of wages, the most important manufactures include metal products and machinery, clothing, textiles, beverages and foodstuffs, print items and media, petroleum products and chemicals, and paper products. While the contribution of manufacturing to the overall state economy has declined since the last decade of the 20th century, Victoria has continued to be a leader of the country's manufacturing sector.

      The decline in Victoria's manufacturing sector as a result of the steady removal of protective tariffs and a flood of comparatively inexpensive imports from China, Japan, and Southeast Asia was countered to a degree by expansion in service activities, now the mainstay of the state's economy. In the early 21st century, services accounted for roughly four-fifths of the state's economic output and nearly the same proportion of the labour pool. The strongest employment growth had occurred in property and business services, as well as in health and community services.

      Tourism, constituting a relatively small portion of the state's overall economy and employment, nonetheless has been growing in importance. Victoria has come to command more than one-fifth of the national tourism sector. Other service activities, including information and communications technologies and education, have also been on the rise.

      The major port and the focus of the rail, air, and road systems is Melbourne. Melbourne and Geelong ports between themselves handle most of the cargo entering and leaving the state, and Melbourne is the dominant passenger terminal. State-owned railways serve all productive areas through the several thousands of miles of mainly single-track lines. Since 1962 narrow-gauge tracks have linked Melbourne with the standard system of New South Wales at Albury. The capital's electrified metropolitan rail system carries thousands of passengers each working day, although the vast majority of working people drive to their place of employment. Melbourne Airport, just northwest of the city, was opened to international flights in 1970 and to domestic flights in 1971; it includes a major freight terminal. Multilane divided highways link all the major centres of the state.

Government and society

Constitutional framework
      Victoria's basic government structure—established as an act of British Parliament in the state's constitution of 1855 and reaffirmed with declaration of the constitution as an act of the Parliament of Victoria in 1975—consists of separate legislative, judicial, and executive branches. The state's Parliament comprises two houses: the Legislative Assembly (lower) and the Legislative Council (upper). The leader of the majority party or alliance of parties in the Legislative Assembly is requested to form a government by the governor, the titular representative of the British monarch. The premier-elect (chief minister-elect) submits names of proposed ministers to the governor for appointment. These ministers become members of the Executive Council, which advises the governor, who is regarded as the trustee of the constitution and stands above party politics. The governor summons and prorogues Parliament, outlines the government's legislative program at the beginning of each session, and gives assent to bills that do not have to be referred to the monarch.

      The Victorian Parliament legislates for those subjects not exclusively granted to the Commonwealth of Australia's Parliament by the federal constitution. If there is any inconsistency between state and federal laws, the federal laws prevail, and the subjects granted to the Commonwealth may be varied by an appropriate Commonwealth act. The public service of Victoria is based on the departments of premier and treasury, which serve a variety of purposes, and a number of other departments and ministries dealing with a single subject. Several formerly public corporations controlling such activities as utilities and transportation have been privatized.

      The members of the Legislative Assembly are elected by universal adult suffrage in single-member electorates for a term of four years. Members of the Legislative Council (often referred to as the House of Review) are elected from five-member electoral provinces by universal adult suffrage, also for a four-year term. Victoria uses the secret ballot ( Australian ballot)—a practice it pioneered in its first parliamentary elections in 1856. Members of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council are elected using the preferential voting system. Voting for both houses is compulsory.

      There are three major political parties in Victoria: the Liberal Party (Liberal Party of Australia), the National Party, and the Australian Labor Party. The Liberal Party, predominant in the 1970s and again in the '90s, supports free enterprise and draws most of its support from middle- and upper-class voters in urban and some rural areas. The National Party represents rural interests and usually wins no urban seats. The Australian Labor Party, which garners its strongest support among the working classes, was dominant in the 1980s and the early 21st century.

      Local governments, all of which are administered by elected councils, are responsible for a range of services including waste management, communications, community services, building controls, recreational and cultural facilities, and some traffic regulation. In the early 21st century, following substantial restructuring and amalgamation, there were some 80 local government councils in Victoria, split about evenly between city councils (some of which were rural) and shires. There was also one borough council.

      Before 1973, local governments received no direct financial assistance from the federal government. Financial assistance did exist, but it was filtered through the state governments. Procedures were established in 1973 whereby local governments could apply to the federal government for general-purpose grants. Victoria local governments received several million dollars in federal government grants during the initial years. From 1986 new arrangements were introduced to distribute funds to local governments more equitably. Local government councils continue to derive much of their revenue from grants from the federal government, as well as from certain license fees and various property taxes.

      The courts are graduated in status according to the gravity of cases that they consider. Magistrates' courts, found in metropolitan suburbs and other towns throughout the state, deal with less-serious criminal offenses, hold initial inquiries into indictable criminal offenses, and adjudicate civil matters not involving more than $100,000 (Australian). A county court sits continuously in Melbourne and visits a number of other circuit towns. It deals with civil matters in which the amount does not exceed $200,000 and all criminal offenses except murder, treason, and other statutory exceptions. It also may act as an appeals court for petty sessions courts. The Supreme Court sits in Melbourne. It may deal with all matters not excluded by statute and act as appeals court for the county court. There are also specialized courts that handle cases involving children, certain circumstances of death, drugs, family violence, and indigenous offenders who plead guilty to a crime.

Health and welfare
      Universal health insurance is provided by Medicare in Australia. There are also commercial health insurance companies. In the early 21st century there were more than 200 public and private hospitals in Victoria.

      Income support for individuals is provided principally by federal departments. Pensions are provided for senior citizens, people with physical disabilities, and widows. Unemployment and sickness benefits are provided for persons in temporary difficulties.

      Wages and working conditions in Victoria are supervised by the Australian Fair Pay Commission (AFPC) and the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, for industries that operate in and beyond the state, and by the Victorian Conciliation and Arbitration Boards, for industries entirely within the state. Wage increases, while still within award structures, are established by government and union accords. During the 1990s union membership and power began to decline, and enterprise bargaining (i.e., within a single factory or company) and individual contracts increasingly took the place of the old centralized wage-fixing system, although the AFPC still sets minimum rates.

      Every Victorian child is entitled to secular, compulsory, and free education to age 16. Both state and independent schools operate; some two-thirds of primary pupils and three-fifths of secondary students attend state schools, though enrollments at private institutions have increased. Primary schools offer seven years of education, and secondary schools offer six years. In the early 1990s the introduction of the Victorian Certificate was a major development; its aim has been to encourage students to complete a full 13-year course and to provide a foundation for their further study, working lives, and participation in society.

      Victoria has several publicly funded universities, the most prominent of which include Australian Catholic University (1991), Monash University (1958), the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (1887), and the University of Melbourne (1853), the state's oldest institution of higher education. In the early 21st century, nearly two-thirds of Victoria's higher-education student body came from within the state, and another one-fourth came from outside of Australia. At the university level, Victoria had the highest proportion of international enrollment of any Australian state.

Cultural life
      The National Gallery of Victoria (1861), in Melbourne, houses an extensive international collection in the older of its two buildings; the newer building, the Ian Potter Centre (2001), is dedicated to Australian art. The creation of the Arts Centre (1984), on land near the centre of the city of Melbourne, was an important cultural development for the state. The multifunctional institution includes art galleries, courtyards for theatrical productions and displays of sculpture, underground theatres, a convention and concert hall, a display centre, and a hall for state receptions. There are also art galleries in smaller cities, including Ballarat, Bendigo, Castlemaine, Geelong, Warrnambool, Hamilton, Benalla, and Shepparton, among others. Many of these galleries sponsor annual competitions. The Pioneer Settlement Museum, featuring historic buildings, machinery, and paddle steamers, has been built on a large site at Swan Hill, while the Sovereign Hill attraction at Ballarat realistically re-creates the artifacts and atmosphere of the gold-digging era.

      The Library Board of Victoria manages the important State Library of Victoria (founded in 1856 as Melbourne Public Library) and advises the government on the promotion of library services throughout the state. Throughout the 20th century the State Library built up strong collections in many fields, but shortages of funds and rising costs have limited the areas where collections are maintained in depth. The library's emphases include historical bibliography, fine arts, biography, military history, and British typography. The collection of Victoriana in the library and the state archives are especially valuable historical sources.

      Melbourne's orchestra has made successful overseas tours, and the city has many cinemas, theatres, and restaurants. The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) plays an important part in stimulating interest in historic architecture, places of scenic beauty, and rare flora and fauna. A number of old buildings have been acquired and restored, and a schedule of other buildings to be acquired has been prepared to avoid the possibility that a major cultural loss might occur through their demolition. Museum Victoria oversees several cultural and scientific institutions in the state capital, including the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne's Carlton Gardens, built in the late 1800s to host major international exhibitions, Museum Melbourne, emphasizing the history of Victoria, the Migration Museum, which documents international migration into Australia, and Scienceworks, an interactive science museum and planetarium. In 2004 the Royal Exhibition Building became the first historical building in Australia to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

  Leisure facilities are particularly plentiful and well-developed in Melbourne. An extensive casino and entertainment complex was completed on the south bank of the Yarra River in 1997. Melbourne Park (1988) is the site of a multipurpose arena (2000), as well as the National Tennis Centre, which hosts the Australian Open competition each January. The sports (especially Australian rules football) and entertainment stadium in the city's Docklands (2000) supplements the renowned Melbourne Cricket Ground and the Flemington racecourse, both of which have remained in operation since their establishment in the mid-19th century. Australia's richest and most prestigious horse race, the Melbourne Cup, is run annually at Flemington course on the first Tuesday in November.

 Victoria is dotted with numerous state and national parks, notably Alpine National Park, which protects some 2,500 square miles (6,500 square km) of the Great Dividing Range. The Healesville Sanctuary, roughly 40 miles (60 km) east of Melbourne, serves not only as a wildlife conservation centre, supporting more than 200 native species, but also as a cultural centre, preserving and transmitting indigenous knowledge through guided tours into the protected bushlands. Off the southwest coast of Victoria, the Twelve Apostles, a spectacular formation of limestone sea stacks, are part of Port Campbell National Park; the historic collapse of one of the stacks occurred in 2005.

      Several daily newspapers circulate throughout the state, but Melbourne's major dailies have a combined countrywide readership of well in excess of one million. Most of the other urban centres throughout Victoria have their own local papers. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, financed by the government, provides comprehensive radio and television service to the entire state. There also are many commercial radio stations and several commercial television stations.

John R.V. Prescott Duncan Bruce Waterson


The Aborigines (Australian Aborigine)
      Aboriginal (Australian Aborigine) communities had been living in Victoria for at least 40,000 years before European contact. They arrived from the north and settled along the southern coast and around large western rivers and freshwater lakes. Between 15,000 and 17,500 years ago the climate changed drastically: the mountains lost permanent ice and snow, and some rivers and lakes dried up. By roughly 12,000 years ago, the land bridge to Tasmania had been submerged.

      Indigenous hunter-gatherer society as it was at the time of European settlement emerged about 5,000 years ago. On contact there were three main Aboriginal groups in Victoria: the Kurnai of Gippsland, the Yorta Yorta of the eastern Murray, and the Kulin of the Central Divide. These groups were subdivided into about 34 distinct subgroups, each with its own territory, customs, laws, language, and beliefs. The basic unit was an extended family of 50–100 members. The Aboriginal peoples exploited the land efficiently by “firestick farming,” the use of fire to regulate and maintain plant and animal food sources. They had a range of specialized tools and weapons, and, while groups did not wander far from their own territory, they occasionally met in large gatherings for gift giving, bartering, and religious ceremonies. Around Lake Condah elaborate and unique stone buildings, weirs, and fish traps existed until the area was cleared for white farmers and missionaries in the mid-19th century. A sophisticated religious culture had developed based on an intimate relationship with the land and the elements. According to the archaeologist Sylvia Hallam,

A rich fabric of life mattered more than numbers or objects: knowledge and control of ritual lore and ecological lore, not possessions, were the basis of respect and status in Aboriginal societies.

      The work of the economic historian Noel Butlin suggests that the accepted Aboriginal population of Victoria in 1788 could have been as great as 100,000, given the richness of the land. It also appears that at the time of the first European penetration into Victoria, in the 1820s, the indigenous people of the area had already been decimated by European diseases, particularly smallpox, measles, and venereal diseases, which had spread overland from Botany Bay to the east during the preceding 30 years.

European exploration and settlement
      European Victoria was founded by groups of pastoral pioneers who crossed Bass Strait from Van Diemen's Land (renamed Tasmania in 1856) in the 1830s in search of fertile grazing land. The occupation of the area was made in defiance of a British (British Empire) government edict forbidding settlement in the territory, which was then part of the colony (colonialism, Western) of New South Wales. In November 1834 the Henty family landed stock and stores at Portland, on the south coast, and in 1835 John Batman landed at Port Phillip. Batman's venture led the way to the pastoral occupation of Victoria. In that same year John Pascoe Fawkner established a colony on the banks of the Yarra River. From Batman's colony grew Victoria's capital city, Melbourne.

      Exploration by sea and land had preceded European settlement. Capt. James Cook (Cook, James) made the first recorded sighting of the Victorian coast at Point Hicks in 1770. George Bass (1798), James Grant (1801–02), John Murray (1802), and Matthew Flinders (Flinders, Matthew) (1802) explored and charted Victorian waters and penetrated Western Port, Portland, and Port Phillip (Port Phillip Bay) bays. In the 1820s and '30s overland expeditions from New South Wales opened up the hinterland. Hamilton Hume and William Hilton Hovell struck south and reached the coast of Port Phillip in 1824; Charles Sturt plotted the full reach of the Murray in 1829; Maj. Thomas Livingstone Mitchell (Mitchell, Sir Thomas Livingstone) crossed the central and western plains in 1836; and several parties penetrated the mountainous Gippsland district by 1840. Early attempts to establish convict settlements near Sorrento in 1803 and on Western Port in 1826 failed. But the Port Phillip settlement flourished. In December 1836 Capt. William Lonsdale (Lonsdale, William) was appointed first resident magistrate.

      Lacking domestic animals, cultivation, and technology and resistant to Christian conversion, the indigenous population suffered tremendously with European expansion. Brutal frontier guerrilla war raged from 1830 to the mid-1840s, intensified in the later years by the use of paramilitary Native Police. Massacres of Aborigines, such as that by the Whyte brothers (William, George, Pringle, James, and John) at The Hummocks near Wando Vale in the Western District—where only one member of the Konongwootong Gundidj clan (which included men, women, and children) escaped slaughter—were common. By 1850 there were barely 3,500 Aborigines left in the colony. Beginning in 1837, mission stations were established, but they were largely unsuccessful, as was the Port Phillip Aboriginal Protectorate established under George Augustus Robinson in 1839. In 1862 some of the broken remnants of the Aboriginal population were gathered on reserves such as Framlingham and Ramahyuck. Most of those lands were eventually usurped for European farming and their inhabitants dispersed. In 1886 the Aborigines Protection Act defined categories of Aboriginal Australians and forced those of mixed ancestry off the reserves. By 1917 all full-blooded Aboriginal peoples were concentrated on the two surviving mission stations largely against their will, and children were separated from their parents and placed in children's homes or with white families.

      After the 1840s, Victoria became a prosperous pastoral community, as squatters extended their grazing runs. The population rose rapidly, as British migrants arrived and more settlers crossed from Van Diemen's Land or drove their flocks and herds south from New South Wales. By 1850 Victoria had 76,000 people and 6,000,000 sheep. Melbourne, Geelong, and Portland were its main urban centres.

Independent settlement and discovery of gold
      Dissatisfied with their limited representation on the Legislative Council of New South Wales, the Port Phillip pastoralists agitated for separation. In 1851 Victoria became a separate colony with an Executive Council appointed by the British crown and a Legislative Council, partly elected and partly appointed, effectively dominated by conservative landed interests.

      In 1851 the discovery of gold (gold rush) at Warrandyte, 16 miles (26 km) from Melbourne, led to a dramatic rush; other discoveries followed. By the end of 1851 half the men of the colony were working on the goldfields. In 10 years an extraordinary wealth of gold was won, the fields at Ballarat and Bendigo being the most important. More than 200,000 immigrants arrived from Britain and 25,000 from China. By 1860 the population of Victoria had exceeded 500,000 and constituted nearly half of the Australian total.

      Gold transformed Victoria from a pastoral backwater into the most celebrated colony of the empire. The comparatively well-educated and skilled artisans lured by gold produced a society renowned for its attachment to 19th-century middle-class values and institutions. Although actual opportunities soon contracted and a Melbourne working class rapidly emerged, Victoria was noted for its economic individualism and opportunism and for its material progress and financial speculation, as well as for its imperial loyalty and political pragmatism.

 The establishment of the University of Melbourne (Melbourne, University of) (1853), the Melbourne Public Library (1856), and the forerunner of the National Gallery of Victoria (1861) were manifestations of “Marvellous Melbourne's” confidence. The city also expresses its pride by hosting the annual Melbourne Cup (first run 1861), Australia's richest horse race, and through its passion for Australian rules football, played with quasi-religious devotion unknown elsewhere in the country. Even the disastrous Victorian Exploring Expedition under Robert O'Hara Burke (Burke, Robert O'Hara) and William John Wills from Melbourne to the Gulf of Carpentaria (Carpentaria, Gulf of) in 1860 and the frontier discontent that culminated in the hanging of the extraordinary bushranger (outlaw) Ned Kelly (Kelly, Ned) in 1880 failed to dent the optimism of “the rush to be rich.”

      The gold rushes produced a spectacular but short-lived boom. By 1854 Melbourne was suffering from a severe economic depression. Financial stringency and waning alluvial yields aggravated discontent on the goldfields. The miners resented the fee demanded for a mining license and the brutal fashion in which it was collected by the goldfields' police. This discontent culminated in a rebellion at Eureka (Eureka Stockade), near Ballarat. Licenses were burned and a republican flag was hoisted. On Dec. 3, 1854, soldiers and police stormed the rebels' stockade. According to some sources, 30 miners and at least 4 soldiers were killed. But the incident hastened the redress of the miners' grievances and gave colonial radicals symbols and martyrs.

      Victoria attained self-government in 1855. The new constitution set up two houses of Parliament—a Legislative Council of 34 members, elected on a limited property franchise, and a Legislative Assembly, elected on a wider property and income franchise. The Legislative Council remained the stronghold of the wealthy conservative landowners and the main obstacle to land reform. But in the 1860s a series of land acts, designed to encourage small freeholders and to “unlock” the large grazing leases of the pastoralists, helped establish small wheat farmers in the Mallee and Wimmera regions. Victoria, previously an importer of flour, became Australia's largest wheat producer by the end of the century. In other districts, however, the wealthy pastoralists managed by guile and financial manipulation to evade the land acts, and very many of them acquired freeholds to large estates at low prices, especially in the fertile Western District.

      In 1871 the property qualification for the Legislative Council was reduced and the tenure of its members shortened. In 1888 additional electoral reforms for both houses were passed. With few exceptions, single-member constituencies became the rule for the Legislative Assembly. In 1899 plural voting for the assembly was abolished, and in 1900 postal voting was introduced. A free, compulsory, and secular educational system was established in 1872. The introduction of an eight-hour working day in 1856 began a series of social and industrial reforms, which produced a minimum wage and standard hours and conditions of employment in the 1890s. Victoria also embarked on constructing Australia's largest manufacturing sector, sheltered behind a high protective tariff; for a century it was the financial capital of the country.

      By the end of the 1880s the state's prosperity had expanded into a speculative boom. The crash came in 1891, aggravated by a sharp fall in the prices of Victoria's main exports, wool and wheat. In 1891–92 nearly two dozen finance societies and land banks collapsed, and in 1893 all but three of the trading banks closed their doors. The depression that followed was marked by high unemployment and industrial unrest; it lasted almost 20 years. These disasters transformed Victorian politics and socioeconomic attitudes and behaviour. The confidence of the middle class was eroded. Men of property rallied to defend the old order, but often without intellectual or even spiritual convictions. Almost overnight, Victoria, once Australia's most radical and progressive colony, became a bulwark of conservatism. All parties were forced in some measure to recognize the peculiar problems of society by introducing a form of state socialism, particularly in the provision of railways, electric power (the State Electricity Commission produced its first electricity and fuel from the Yallourn brown coal deposits in 1924), state housing, and irrigation schemes. Effective political power was monopolized by interests committed to the preservation of 19th-century notions of property and social conformity. Yet Victorian politics, until the late 1970s, were also distinguished by strands of liberalism, intellectual and religious disputations, and, within the labour movement, by radical and socialist ideas more intense than in other Australian states.

Federation and the state of Victoria
 In 1891 the first Australian National Convention met in Sydney to consider proposals for the creation of an Australian federation. On Jan. 1, 1901, Victoria and the other five colonies joined as states to become the Commonwealth of Australia, and on May 9 the first federal Parliament was opened in Melbourne. It was moved to Canberra in 1927.

      After federation it was recognized that the states needed to standardize their constitutional structures. In Victoria the number of members in the Legislative Council was reduced in 1903, the franchise for council elections and property qualifications for membership in the council were liberalized, and adult suffrage was introduced in 1908. In 1923 women were allowed to stand as candidates for election to both houses. Preferential voting was introduced for the Legislative Assembly in 1923 and for the Legislative Council in 1933, while voting was made compulsory for the assembly in 1926 and for the council in 1935.

      Political developments after federation were marked by the rise of the Country (now National (National Party)) and Australian Labor (Australian Labor Party) parties, leading in the 1920s to the creation of a three-party pattern in place of the former Liberal-Conservative two-party system. The existence of three parties partly accounts for the instability of Victorian government. Between 1901 and 1955 there were 31 ministries, mostly composite. Labor first won office, as a minority government, in 1913 and formed coalition governments on five subsequent occasions. It succeeded in winning political power only in 1952, when it gained a majority under John Cain. In 1914 the Victorian Farmers' Union was founded, sending four of its members to Parliament in 1917. In 1926 it changed its name to the United Country Party, and from 1935, led by Albert Dunstan, it governed for eight years with the support of the Labor Party.

      The Country Party's influential role in Victorian politics was partly explained by the unequal size of rural and urban electoral districts. Between 1924 and 1945 each rural vote was the equivalent of two urban votes. In 1953–54 an electoral redistribution, planned by a section of the Liberal Party (Liberal Party of Australia) and carried through by a Labor government, destroyed the crucial influence of the Country Party in the Legislative Assembly. The rebel Liberal Party was annihilated at the 1955 election. A breakaway group from official Labor, the Democratic Labor Party, under the charismatic Bartholomew Augustine Santamaria and supported by the turbulent and influential Roman Catholic archbishop Daniel Mannix (Mannix, Daniel), exercised powerful, indirect political influence until its demise in the 1970s. The Legislative Council, which retained its gerrymandered electorate despite the introduction of full adult suffrage in 1950, continued to provide opportunities for political intrigue and remained a divisive force in the Victorian political system, often vetoing bills originating in the assembly.

 From 1955 to 1972 Victoria was governed by the Liberal Party under Sir Henry Bolte—a shrewd, earthy, and assertive leader and the state's most successful 20th-century politician. His administration coincided with a lengthy period of general Australian prosperity symbolized by Melbourne's hosting of the 1956 Olympic Games, the exploitation of Bass Strait oil and natural gas, the founding of two new universities (Monash [1958] and La Trobe [1964]) and several smaller colleges, and the opening of the Arts Centre in Melbourne in 1968. Victoria's traditional primacy in finance and the manufacturing industry continued.

      Bolte was succeeded as premier by two other Liberals, Sir Rupert Hamer (1972–81) and Lindsay Thompson, who was defeated by Labor's John Cain, Jr. Cain's administration (1982–90) was marked by vigorous intervention in education, social welfare, health, transportation, public utilities, industry and commerce, and antidiscrimination initiatives. Victoria's economy in the 1980s grew at a slightly faster rate than that of Australia as a whole, with high levels of disposable income, lower levels of unemployment than the national average, and higher levels of participation in the construction, finance, and retail sectors. While Victoria remained Australia's premier manufacturing state, industry declined somewhat.

      Cain's cautious, dour, and reformist government fell victim to the collapse of plans for massive state investment in high-technology industries and to the frenzy of entrepreneurial speculation that followed the federal Labor government's deregulation of the Australian banking and financial sector. Victoria (with New South Wales) was further disadvantaged by comparatively low per capita federal disbursements. By 1990 the Victorian government had accrued the largest debt ever incurred by a peacetime government in Australian history. Even the State Bank had to be sold to the Commonwealth Bank, which itself was privatized a short while later. Cain resigned in August 1990 and was succeeded by Joan Kirner—the first woman to lead the state—amid a deepening economic crisis. Public debt grew, industry stagnated, and increasingly business and cultural enterprises were transferred to Sydney. Ironically, Victoria faced a repeat of the financial disasters and economic slump that marked the recession of the 1880s, a century earlier. Some contributing factors were peculiar to Victoria; others, however, were simply more severe manifestations of general Australian economic difficulties.

      In the early 1990s the state's economy began a gradual recovery. The election of 1992 brought in a coalition government led by Jeff Kennett that almost immediately began implementing a liberalizing agenda. Publicly owned trains, trams, and buses were leased to private operators; the government-operated Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria was dismantled; and the state-owned electricity company was sold. Refurbished sporting venues, new sports facilities, expanded arts and cultural centres, improved infrastructure, and development of the mid-city area gave new life to Melbourne. Moreover, local government was completely overhauled, with municipal amalgamations emerging on the fringes of the metropolis.

      Although Kennett revitalized Melbourne, he increasingly came to be viewed as overly Melbourne-centred. Privatization had not been an unqualified success, and education, health, and welfare cuts had engendered public apprehension. In 1999 Kennett's coalition government lost to Labor under Steve (S.P.) Bracks.

      The Bracks government introduced proportional representation for the Legislative Council and ended the long-standing veto power of the Upper House, invested more in community services, returned some of the trains and trams to public ownership, revised prison privatization, and continued road construction. Bracks, a consensus grassroots politician, won reelection in 2002 and 2006 before retiring in favour of John Brumby in 2007.

      Since the late 20th century, environmental issues have figured prominently in Victorian politics and society. Victoria endured severe drought from 1997 to 2008 and extensive bushfires in 2002–03. While irrigators in the Murray-Darling Basin experienced serious water shortages, disproportionate water pricing and usage within and between those states drawing from the basin became a pressing political issue. Other environmental concerns have focused on increased greenhouse-gas emissions, especially in the Latrobe Valley, the removal of cattle from the alpine uplands of the eastern region, and the dredging of Port Phillip Bay to accommodate large container ships. Social issues have centred largely on antagonisms between urban and rural areas and on drug-related gang violence. On the economic front, manufacturing industries have declined, but the service sector, particularly higher education, tourism, and heritage enterprises, has expanded. By the early 21st century, the state had reestablished a pattern of economic growth that regularly exceeded the national average, after nearly two decades of economic sluggishness.

Duncan Bruce Waterson

Additional Reading
The Victorian Year Book is an outstanding reference. J.S. Duncan (ed.), Atlas of Victoria (1982), describes the landscape, settlement, history, and economy. Landforms are analyzed in J.G. Douglas and J.A. Ferguson (eds.), Geology of Victoria (1976). J.M. Powell, Watering the Garden State: Water, Land, and Community in Victoria, 1834–1988 (1989), treats environmental and social issues.Histories include Geoffrey Blainey, Our Side of the Country: The Story of Victoria (1984); Don Garden, Victoria: A History (1984); and The Victorians (1984), which includes 3 vol.: Richard Broome, Arriving; Tony Dingle, Settling; and Susan Priestley, Making Their Mark. Don Watson, Caledonia Australis (1984, reissued 1997), brilliantly and compassionately describes the dispossession of the Aboriginal peoples of Gippsland by Scots Highlanders, who themselves had been the victims of the “Highland clearances” in Scotland. J.M. Powell, The Public Lands of Australia Felix (1970), probes environmental factors influencing European land settlement, from 1834 to 1891. Geoffrey Serle, The Golden Age: A History of the Colony of Victoria, 1851–1861 (1963), is a brilliant, perceptive, and thorough tour de force, and The Rush to Be Rich: A History of the Colony of Victoria, 1883–1889 (1971), analyzes political, social, economic, and intellectual currents. Michael Cannon, The Land Boomers, rev. ed. (1986), gives a readable account of the orgy of speculation that afflicted Victoria in the 1880s and '90s. Margaret Kiddle, Men of Yesterday: A Social History of the Western District of Victoria, 1834–1890 (1962, reprinted 1980), describes the establishment of a squatting oligarchy in western Victoria and the political and social challenges to its hegemony. Stuart Macintyre, A Colonial Liberalism (1991); and John Rickard, H.B. Higgins (1984), forensically chart the content and philosophies of Victoria's liberalism. Meredith Fletcher, Digging People Up for Coal: A History of Yallourn (2002), recounts the triumphs and troubles of Victoria's brown coal electricity industry.Studies of Melbourne include Graeme Davison, The Rise and Fall of Marvellous Melbourne (1978), one of the finest urban histories written in Australia; David Dunstan, Governing the Metropolis: Politics, Technology, and Social Change in a Victorian City, Melbourne 1850–1891 (1984); Janet McCalman, Struggletown: Public and Private Life in Richmond, 1900–1965, new ed. (1998), which offers a unique dissection of life in the Melbourne working-class suburbs in the first half of the 20th century; John Lack, A History of Footscray (1991), a meticulously researched work; and Peter Yule (ed.), Carlton: A History (2004), which charts aspects of Carlton, a gentrified section of the inner city.The considerable economic, political, and social upheavals in Victoria during the 1980s and '90s are described in Mark Considine and Brian Costar (eds.), Trials in Power: Cain, Kirner, and Victoria, 1982–1992 (1992); Brian Costar and Nicholas Economou (eds.), The Kennett Revolution: Victorian Politics in the 1990s (1999); Tony Parkinson, Jeff: The Rise and Fall of a Political Phenomenon (2000); and Hugo Armstrong and Dick Gross, Tricontinental: The Rise and Fall of a Merchant Bank (1995).Duncan Bruce Waterson

▪ wife of Frederick III of Prussia
formally  Empress Frederick , original name  Victoria Adelaide Mary Louise , German  Kaiserin Friedrich , or  Viktoria Adelheid Maria Luise 
born Nov. 21, 1840, London, Eng.
died Aug. 5, 1901, Schloss Friedrichshof, Kronberg, Ger.

      consort of the German emperor Frederick III and eldest child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Great Britain.

      Well-educated and multilingual from childhood (spent largely at Windsor and Buckingham Palace), Victoria remained all her life strongly devoted to England and, even after her marriage to the Prussian crown prince, Frederick William, in 1858, spoke English habitually in her German household. Her English liberalism came to be shared by her husband (whom she tended to dominate) but was scorned by the conservative Prussians, especially the old emperor, William I, and Otto von Bismarck, with whom a mutual resentment developed. Within the constraints of her position, however, she encouraged philanthropic causes and the arts.

      When her husband developed throat cancer and died only 99 days after becoming emperor (as Frederick III) in 1888, she lost all possibility of influencing a change of political climate. She was again subjected to estrangement, for her son, the new emperor William II, was thoroughly Prussianized. Although later somewhat reconciled to him, she semiretired to Kronberg in the Taunus hills, where she built a palatial country seat, Schloss Friedrichshof. She died there of cancer, outliving her mother by only six months.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Victoria — puede referirse a: Contenido 1 Definición 2 Botánica 3 Deporte 3.1 Clubes deportivos 3.2 …   Wikipedia Español

  • victoria — [ viktɔrja ] n. f. • 1846; du nom de la reine Victoria, à qui le botaniste Lindley dédia la plante I ♦ (1846) Bot. Plante aquatique exotique (nymphéacées), à fleurs rouges et blanches, et dont les immenses feuilles rondes flottent sur l eau. II ♦ …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • VICTORIA (T. L. de) — Compositeur espagnol de musique sacrée, Tomás Luis de Victoria – ou Vittoria – est le plus grand polyphoniste qu’ait produit la péninsule Ibérique, à côté de Cristóbal de Morales. Son œuvre rivalise de majesté, d’expressivité ou d’inventivité… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Victoria — Victoria, AR U.S. town in Arkansas Population (2000): 59 Housing Units (2000): 30 Land area (2000): 0.307701 sq. miles (0.796942 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.307701 sq. miles (0.796942 sq.… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Victoria (F-82) — Fragata Victoria (F82) Banderas …   Wikipedia Español

  • Victoria — • Diocese in southwestern British Columbia Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Victoria     Victoria     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Victoria II — Éditeur Paradox Interactive Date de sortie 13 août 2010 Genre simulation, stratégie, gestion Mode de jeu un joueur, multijoueur Plate forme Windows XP, W …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Victoria 2 — Разработчик Paradox Interactive Издатель Paradox Interactive Дата выпуска Третий квартал 2010 года Платформы Microsoft Windows …   Википедия

  • Victoria — Vic*to ri*a, n. [NL.] 1. (Bot.) A genus of aquatic plants named in honor of Queen Victoria. The {Victoria regia} is a native of Guiana and Brazil. Its large, spreading leaves are often over five feet in diameter, and have a rim from three to five …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Victoria — (Перпиньян,Франция) Категория отеля: 3 звездочный отель Адрес: 57 Avenue Maréchal Joffre, 66000 …   Каталог отелей

  • Victoria 4 — (Мадрид,Испания) Категория отеля: 3 звездочный отель Адрес: Victoria, 4, Центр, 28012 Мад …   Каталог отелей

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”