In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, and its later half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. Morally and politically, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodists, and the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Ideologically, the Victorian era witnessed resistance to the rationalism that defined the Georgian period and an increasing turn towards romanticism and even mysticism with regard to religion, social values, and arts. Technologically, this era saw a staggering amount of innovations that proved key to Britain's power and prosperity. Doctors started moving away from tradition and mysticism towards a science-based approach; modern medicine saw the light of day thanks to the adoption of the germ theory of disease and pioneering research in epidemiology. Multiple studies suggest that on the per-capita basis, the numbers of significant innovations in science and technology and of scientific geniuses peaked during the Victorian era and have been on the decline ever since.