Scientists pinpoint the year that Britons were happiest

The Independent 1 month ago

Britons really were happier in the "good old days", according to a new study which suggests 1880 was the year that the nation's mood was at its best. 

The year appears very familiar. 

 It saw the first ever test match between England and Australia and the UK was embroiled in the second Anglo-Afghan war,

That year also saw Benjamin Disraeli elected as prime minister for the second time and the first frozen lamb was imported from Australia.

Spirits sank during both world wars, but researchers at the University of Warwick found the lowest point was during the Winter of Discontent in 1978. 

Queen Elizabeth II sits with Prince Charles on the Sovereign's throne ahead of delivering the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament
Great Britain's Joe Fraser competes on Parallel Bars during the World Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. He claimed GB's second gold with his victory. The 20-year-old from Birmingham nailed his routine to score 15.0 then watched as a series of rivals failed to live up to his total
St Helens players celebrate with the trophy after they won the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford in Manchester. They beat Salford Red Devils 23-6
Richard Ratcliffe, husband of British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe jailed in Tehran since 2016, holds his daughter Gabriella during a news conference in London. Their five-year-old daughter has arrived back in Britain, after making the "bittersweet" decision to bring her home
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Thornton Manor. Their meeting focused on further Brexit proposals
Wales survived an almighty scare against Fiji to secure quarter-final spot at the rugby world cup. Warren Gatland’s side recovered from a 10-0 deficit thanks to a hat-trick from Josh Adams
Protesters dubbed the Red Rebels at Millbank at the junction with Great College Street, during an Extinction Rebellion protest in Westminster
Final preparations are made in front of a reproduction of Michelangelo's 'The Last Judgement', ahead of the opening of for the 'Michelangelo: A Different View' exhibition at Hull Minister
A car drives through a flooded street in Whitley Bay in Northumberland
Thousands took to the streets of Edinburgh today to march in support of a second Scottish independence referendum
A 12ft sculpture of a gorilla, entitled 'Gorilla Apocalypse', created by Luke Kite entirely from scrap car bumpers and panels discarded in the last decade is on display at the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire
Police stands in front of the Treasury building during an Extinction Rebellion protest in London
Ex-Thomas Cook employees demonstrate in London after delivering a petition calling for a full inquiry into Thomas Cook's collapse and for the company's directors to pay back their bonuses
A road in Alum Rock, Birmingham is flooded after persistent heavy rain
Two tourists pose for pictures in front of Union and EU flags outside the Houses of Parliament in London
A sheep on London Bridge as Freemen of the City of London took up their historic entitlement to drive sheep over the bridge, which was once London's only river crossing
An Aldabra giant tortoise is fed watermelon as a treat at the Malvern Autumn Show, at the Three Counties Showground near Malvern in Worcestershire
Gallery assistants pose with an artwork entitled 'Devolved Parliament' by British artist Banksy, during a press view in London ahead of Sotheby's contemporary art sale, as part of the Frieze Art Fair
England's Jonathan Joseph is tackled by United State's Marcel Brache during their group match at the Rugby World Cup in Japan. England scored seven tries on their way to winning 45-7
Tributes for former Rangers player Fernando Ricksen at Ibrox Stadium. Today, the funeral procession will pass Ibrox Stadium before making the journey to Wellington Church
A person dressed as a caricature of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a prison uniform stands outside the Supreme Court after it ruled that his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal
Thomas Cook aircraft are parked up at Manchester Airport on the day they collapsed after rescue talks failed. A total of 22,000 jobs - including 9,000 in UK - are to be lost following administration. More than 150,000 British holidaymakers need to be brought home, with the government and CAA hiring dozens of charter planes to fly customers home free of charge
Fire performer Penella Bee performs before people take part in the North East Skinny Dip at Druridge Bay in Nothumberland, an annual event that marks the Autumn Equinox and raises money for MIND - the Mental Health Charity
Protesters gather for a march and rally organised by "The People's Vote" in Brighton, to call for politicians to give the public a final say referendum on Brexit
Protesters in London joined millions across world to demand urgent action to save planet in the largest environmental protest in history
Rapper Dave poses with the Mercury Prize: Albums of the Year Award at Apollo
A surfer in action during sunrise at Tynemouth on the north east coast
Protesters dressed as the Incredible Hulk and Robocop outside the Supreme Court in London where judges are due to consider legal challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament. The Supreme Court will hear appeals over three days from two separate challenges to the prorogation of Parliament brought in England and Scotland
Farmer Tom Hoggard harvests pumpkins at Howe Bridge Farm in Yorkshire, ahead of Halloween
Team Europe celebrate winning the Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Scotland. Europe won the last three singles matches to claim victory 14½-13½
Sunset at St Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay
Activists from PETA stage a demonstration outside a venue during London Fashion Week in London, Britain
Australia's Marnus Labuschagne attempts to stop a boundary in the fifth Test
Storm clouds gather over the pier just off the North East coast at South Shields
The peloton rides past the Angel of the North during stage four of the Tour of Britain from Gateshead to Kendal
A penny farthing cyclist rides past St. John's, Smith Square, Westminster, London
Australia celebrate the wicket of England's Craig Overton, which meant they won the fourth test and retained the Ashes
Manchester City celebrate after Caroline Weir scored during their Women's Super League match against Manchester United at Etihad Stadium. The WSL attendance record was smashed with 31,213 people watching the first Manchester derby of Women’s Super League era – nearly six times the previous WSL record
A bull bumps into a plain clothes police officer (left) while being walked by Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Darnford Farm in Banchory near Aberdeen. It coincided with the publication of Lord Bew's review and an announcement of extra funding for Scottish farmers
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon cuts the hair of David Torrance MSP raising £1000 for the charity Maggie's Centre in Kirkcaldy at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh
Australia's David Warner looks dejected after being dismissed by England's Stuart Broad during day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford in Manchester
Anti Brexit demonstrators attend a protest at Parliament Square. Lawmakers returned from their summer recess Tuesday for a pivotal day in British politics as they challenged Prime Minister Boris Johnson's insistence that the UK leave the European Union on 31 October, even without a withdrawal agreement to cushion the economic blow
Set building begins on Waterloo Place in Edinburgh ahead of filming for Fast and Furious 9
Members of the Royal Southern Yacht Club and the Island Sailing Club take part during the annual cricket match between the clubs, which takes place on the Bramble Bank sandbank in the middle of the Solent at low tide
Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate at Whitehall in London
One of the iconic 'Girl with Balloon' artworks by anonymous street artist Banksy is carried near one of the original locations the artwork appeared at on the Southbank in London
The sun rises over the sculpture "The Couple" by artist Sean Henry, at Newbiggin-by-the-sea in Northumberland
A person wearing a Boris Johnson 'head' digs a grave at the foot of a tombstone during a protest organised by Avaaz and Best for Britain, outside Downing Street in London
Nat Lofthouse statue is covered in flags at the University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton
Performers take part in Notting Hill Carnival. Nearly one million people were expected to attend Sunday and Monday's carnival to celebrate Caribbean culture

Researchers studied millions of books and newspapers for the research published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

It measures nearly two hundred years of the nation’s happiness dating back to Georgian times in 1820.

Researchers are unable to pinpoint exactly why the nation's mood was lifted in 1880.  

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

“It’s difficult to say why because there’s a lot of things that have changed since the 1880s," said one of the authors of the study, Professor Thomas Hills of Warwick University said. “The number of women writing for example, the different styles and the changes in language.

“The people that were writing then would have probably been rich and educated, and life might have been like a basket of cherries for those people. It’s the age of empire for Britain, it’s very proud of itself and that might be reflected in the writing as well."

Source link
Read also:
Forbes › 3 weeks ago
Models using data gleaned from dust grains inside ancient meteorite fragments are helping planetary scientists pinpoint our solar system’s earliest beginnings.
Breitbart › Politics › 1 week ago
On Friday's "PBS NewsHour," New York Times columnist David Brooks stated that 2020 presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is "the happiest | Clips
Express › 3 weeks ago
SCIENTISTS have been able to pinpoint the geographical location where the earliest ancestors of modern humans migrated from some 200,000 years ago.
CNN › Traveling › 1 month ago
Wölffer Estate's annual harvest party is October 12. Open to the public and family-friendly, it's the happiest hour of all in the Hamptons and pure fall magic.
BuzzFeed › 4 days ago
It's the hap-happiest season of the Happiest Place on Earth.View Entire Post ›
The Sydney Morning Herald › Lifestyle › 2 weeks ago
Queensland researchers have teamed up with Taiwanese scientists in a 20-year search for candidates, resulting in fresh insights into how ADHD disrupts the brain.
Mirror Online › 3 weeks ago
Researchers have been able to pinpoint the geographical location where the earliest ancestors of anatomically modern humans arose 200,000 years ago
Daily Mail Online › 1 week ago
The controversial TV historian, 74, suggested the annual commemoration had become a 'crazy religious ritual' in which Britons had to prove they were thinking of the war dead.
Telegraph › 2 weeks ago
Ten Britons were among 33 people injured when a Paris to London coach skidded off a motorway in wet weather and overturned in northern France on Sunday.
The Guardian › Politics › 3 weeks ago
Britons in Europe spoke of the importance of an actively European identity to them
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google