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A Whistle Stop Tour Of The History Of London, Brought to you by London Window Cleaners - Ncpm247.com
London is one of the world's truly great cities, but it has not become the major hub of trade and industry that it is today easily. From fires to plagues; aerial bombings to terrorist attacks; the history of London makes for a compelling story; here we will take a whistle stop journey through the ages to see what makes it beat so fervently.
Though there are many theories and claims that the site where London now stands was inhabited by early Britons; recorded history and evidential support traces back no further than 43AD. It was then that the Roman Empire, under the leadership of Claudius, invaded Britain and founded what was called Londinium.
The site was chosen due to its superior location; strategically and economically. The river Thames at that time was easy to bridge too; allowing for the easy movement of troops and supplies, as the empire strove to conquer the entire British Isles.
London thrived under the Romans; despite is relative unattractive location in the bleak and cold northern regions. The first disaster in the history of London was not long in coming however. Tribes of Britons came together under the Queen Boudicca, and rampaged through the town; destroying it completely in 60AD.
It was a victory that would not last, as the Romans shortly claimed the town once more. Restoration was quick and defensive walls, remnants of which stand today, were constructed around the city. The area which now makes up the City of London - the financial district, quickly became one of the most important outposts of the Empire.
Over the next three centuries Londinium prospered commercially and socially. The population exploded to in excess of 30,000, whilst construction of huge and magnificent buildings was at a rapid pace.
A huge fort was installed; an amphitheatre; a basilica and a forum soon followed. Next to be built were the temples and public baths, as the inhabitants lived a lavish and decadent lifestyle. Over the years as London continued to grow, their foundations and ruins have been discovered; truly revealing the extent to which the population were pampered.
It was more than a shining example of the excesses of the Roman Empire however; as the town became the center of operations for military operations. Londinium served as both the water conduit and road conduit to be exploited to the full.
Such was the success story, the town became much lusted after by invaders from overseas nations; and had to defend itself against many assaults. Eventually, the Romans were unable to hold out; and abandoned the town in the 4th century. The town became a haven for criminal activity and descended into a pit of iniquity; not even a shadow of its former splendor.
Such was the fall from grace; London would not prosper as a viable center for four centuries when the Anglo-Saxons established themselves there. It became a major trade hub once more, with business across the English Channel and the North Sea.
With the Vikings rampaging throughout England, defense became important once more; resulting in the creation of the aldermen. These military defenders of the wards of the city would later grow to establish London's local government system.
As the Middle Ages came, London grew at a massive rate; extending out to the West. Many major buildings were constructed; the royal residence came to the town and parliament sat there. It was now rightly the most important location in the country.
But, as before; disaster was never too far from London's door, and so it was that the devastating Great Plague swept through the city in 1665 killing thousands. The very next year, the Great Fire destroyed the city; though killing very few.
Showing the resilience it had before; and that it would show again; the city responded with a major rebuilding plan. Squares were laid out as time moved on, and the scene was set for London to become a major player in the growing trade industry of the world.
The city begun to thrive; and clear definitions were further made between the City of London, where the guildsmen ruled; and the City of Westminster where Parliament sat. The success story continued as the population flourished; through civil battles and political wrangling the city stood firm and became a symbol of strength.
It was not until the dark days of World War II that London's true spirit and resilience would come under scrutiny once more. Under the Nazi's blitz campaigns, much of the thriving Docklands and the city were targeted; the loss of life and property was huge. Even Buckingham Palace was bombed.
But London, and the people of London remained strong and faced down the evils from Hitler's Germany; with the oft reconstructed St Paul's Cathedral being symbolic of this above all else. The war won, restoration and reconstruction began once again. But London would never truly be the same again.
Industry was moved away from the Docklands, and the outer city, to the growing outskirts of the city. Museums, galleries and shopping centers grew exponentially. Beaten and battered, and left nearly bankrupt, the entire country came to rely, in part at least, on London's economy.
By 1950, the good times were returning with new work in the automotive, aviation, financial and consumer industries. Though the once great British Empire was slowly coming to an end; London still managed to hold its head high. Indeed, with immigrants from, and trade between, the colonies heading centered in and around London; the effect was a positive one.
As the open market flourished; so did the financial industry built around power houses such as The Bank of England, and the Lloyds Register. Through recessions the city fought back, and remained resilient; building itself into one of the most modern cities in the world.
But once again, London was to be attacked. In July of 2005, a British born terrorist cell took to the public transport system and unleashed terror, which had not been since the IRA campaigns of some years before.
Once again though, London and Londoners stood firm. Bruised once again, the city was not beaten. The city continues to grow today; and was awarded for its show of strength with the award of the 2012 Olympics; poetically to be based in the once devastated East End. The history of London is a story that is still being written by the people that are proud to call it home.
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