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The period of British history when Queen Victoria ruled; it includes the entire second half of the nineteenth century, a time when Britain was the most powerful nation in the world. The Victorian period was known for a rather stern morality. It was also marked by a general earnestness about life and by a confidence that Britain's domestic prosperity (see Industrial Revolution) and vast holdings overseas (see British Empire) were signs of the country's overall righteousness (see white man's burden). As the Victorian period continued, however, such easy beliefs were increasingly challenged.