Her majesty Queen Victoria Xll is, by the grace of God, still on the throne of Victoriana and all is well within her Empire. Victorianan warships patrol the oceans and Victorianan army's enforce the peace. Victoria rules over half the globe and her reign is marked by wealth and prosperity, at least for the privileged few.
Roughly 1% of the population owned 95% of all the land and industry in the country. They were the Aristocratic class, the Aristo’s as they were known. The other 99% of the country were the Proletariat, the Proles for short. And although they lived in the same cities and breathed the same air, they were like two distinct species.
The Aristo's made the rules, and the Proles obeyed them. That's how it had always been. The Aristo’s owned the constabulary and the army and the navy and the judiciary. They also employed the Proletariat, but strictly on their own terms. There was no social security or state aid. Everyone worked, there were no exceptions. No employment meant no money which meant no food or lodgings and ultimately the workhouse.
The workhouse was the tool by which the state enforced its will on the people. Every town had at least one, dark, forbidding places in which the lazy and the feckless and the dissenters could be painfully taught the error of their ways.
This is the story of how a universe , running in parallel to our own perhaps? And still bound by 19th century attitudes and morality organises its own society, for better or for worse? Welcome to Victoriana.