Charles Dickens: His 3 Accomplishments That Changed History

BornFebruary 7th, 1812
Died9th of June, 1870
Famous Quote“Trifles make the sum of life.”
Known ForWriting societal critiques of Victorian England, helping to reform the prison system, helping to establish Victorian morals in the west
Region of WorldEngland, 19th century

Charles Dickens forever changed history with his 3 major accomplishments. The western world today is significantly more humanistic due to the writings of Charles Dickens. Even in our modern time his accomplishments continue to inspire and enthrall readers, politicians, and humanitarians everywhere.

The 3 accomplishments of Charles Dickens that forever changed history are the following. First, Charles Dickens shed light on the dark nature of industrialism. Second, Charles Dickens’s writings lead to a reformation of the prison system in the west. Third, It is through Dickens’s writings that Victorian morals would come to be emulated throughout the world.

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Without further ado, here are the 3 accomplishments of Charles Dickens that changed history forever.

Charles Dickens Shed Light On The Dark Nature Of The Industrial Revolution

The 19th century is often referred to as the age of industrialism. Starting in 1790 the British Empire started the process of rapidly industrializing their economy to mass produce goods.

While this was a time of great technological advancement it came at the cost of longer work hours and lower standards of living across the British Empire.

Nowhere was this more apparent than in the capital of the Empire, London. The lower class of Londoner who worked in the factory during Dickens time would have experienced overcrowding, low amounts of food, long hours, and nonstop pollution.

While these factory workers were barely scraping by the rest of English society went on as if nothing was happening. To the elite of London they barely noticed the average plight of the working class who could barely afford to pay for food.

This is where Charles Dickens changed everything. In all of Charles Dickens’s works he highlights the dark nature of industrialism on humanity as a whole. His most famous novel A Christmas Carol demonstrates this perfectly as the family of Bob Cratchit can barely survive while working for Ebenezer Scrooge.

Charles Dickens’s written works changed everything. The elite of London society had to now contend with the horrible working conditions of the average Victorian worker.

This started the world’s first humanitarian movements. Examples of this can be seen in William Booth starting the Salvation Army in 19th century London during Dickens’s time.

Another example of Dickens’s accomplishment of shedding light upon the dark nature of industrialism can be seen in the Settlement Movement. This movement would take the upcoming elite of London society from Oxford and have them live in the slums to experience how the working class lived.

As such one of Charles Dickens’s major accomplishments that forever changed history was his ability to shed light on the dark nature of the industrial revolution.

Charles Dickens’s Writings Led To A Reformation Of The Prison System

At an early age Charles Dickens’s father went into debt and was thrown into prison. This was normal for the time as England had a system of forced labor prisons where debtors could pay off their debt.

However, often this prison system was rigged to keep people in debtors’ prison forever. This was because the prisons operated as private for profit prisons. They made money from each prisoner’s work.

In order to help his father the young Charles Dickens would go work in a shoe blacking business. Here the young Dickens would work 14 hour days to make just enough money to help his father.

This profoundly affected Charles Dickens views on labor and the world of penitentiary systems. For the rest of his life Charles Dickens would seek to help the working poor of society by reforming the views and morals of the elite.

Because of the portrayal of the working class in his writings eventually the concept of debtor prisons would be banned during Dickens’s time. However the works of Charles Dickens continue to inspire penitentiary reform worldwide.

Over a century after his death Charles Dickens’s writings are inspiring prison reform in the United States. In 2000 an article was written by Sean C. Grass titled “Narrating the Cell: Dickens on the American Prisons.”

Today the works of Charles Dickens inspire the world to change penitentiary systems. As a result this is one of the major accomplishments of Charles Dickens that changed history.

Charles Dickens Changed The Western Worlds Morals

One of the major accomplishments of Charles Dickens was his support of Victorian morals within his work.

During her reign Queen Victoria would attempt to reform the moral code of the British Empire into one centered around religion, morality, and an industrial work ethic.

In order to do this however Queen Victoria would need cultural icons to begin the shift in morals. This was where Charles Dickens stepped in.

In his most famous novel A Christmas Carol is the sole reason for the revival of the now famous holiday of Christmas.

All of Charles Dickens’s works revolve around British morality and humanity. In each of his works there is a subtle undertone of a reformation and return to family values and morals while also seeking self improvement.

Charles Dickens’s fame resulted in a drastic change in the morals of first London and then the whole British Empire. Some of this moral code even transferred across Europe and into the United States and Canada.

This remains one of the biggest accomplishments of Charles Dickens that changed history forever. The reason we celebrate Christmas and other Victorian morals is because of the writings of Charles Dickens.


There you have it; an entire article that goes over the 3 accomplishments of Charles Dickens that changed history.

Few people understand how important Charles Dickens is as a writer. Some don’t even recognize his name, but most recognize his work, and all have been impacted by his accomplishments.

If you liked this article then consider subscribing to the free newsletter. Here at The History Ace I strive to publish the best history articles on the internet. Sharing around is much appreciated.

Further, you can check out some of the other articles below. 

Until next time, I wish you a happy history.



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