The History of London
Posted: Apr 17, 2022
During the fourteenth and fifteenth century, London's port became a European hub for the distribution of goods, especially due to the trade in textiles. From the sixteenth to seventeenth century under rule from the Tudors, London benefited from the centralized politics and the increased maritime trade that was continued by the Stuarts. During this time London had 100,000 inhabitants and by the mid-seventeenth century it had increased to over 500,000. By 1665, the city’s poor living conditions from inadequate urban planning were responsible for the Great Plague taking hold that killed around 70,000 people. The follow year, a huge fire burnt down most of the city. The reconstruction of London took over decade to finish, with the development of major works such as St. Paul’s Cathedral increased the appeal of London. This led to London becoming the center of English social life with palaces, halls, theaters and museums unrivaled elsewhere. London continued to grow, especially with the established of the Bank of England in 1694 which led to London’s development as a financial center.
Most of current London is from the Victorian period. The Industrial Revolution drew millions of people to London, greatly expanding the city with population increased from 700,000 in 1750 to over 4,500,000 in 1901. The overcrowded problems did lead to the 1832 cholera epidemic and the great stink of 1858 due to sewerage issues in the heat. After a steady period with not a lot of change in the population of the capital began to decline at the end of World War I and fell below 3.5 million by 1950. Surrounding suburban areas grew steadily during that time. In 1963 London was divided administratively in the old town and 32 metropolitan boroughs surrounding it.
Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.