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London History

London History from Roman Britain to the present.A Brief Overview of the Various Eras in the History of London.

About London History


London, a leading global city and the world's largest financial centre alongside New York City, had a very humble beginning in the Roman era. Over the past 2000 years, London has experienced plague, devastating fire, civil war, aerial bombardment and terrorist attacks to emerge as one of the most significant financial and cultural capitals of the world and a major tourist destination for domestic and international travelers.

A Brief Overview of the Various Eras in the History of London


1. Prehistoric London


Archaeologists have toiled day and night to discover Londonís prehistoric existence. However, despite intensive excavations, they have found no evidence of a prehistoric major settlement in the area now known as London.

2. Roman London


Established as a civilian town by the Romans about seven years after the Roman invasion of AD 43, the city occupied a relatively small area, roughly equivalent to the size of Hyde Park. The Roman occupation of Britain came to an end in 410 AD following which the Roman city went into rapid decline and by the end of the century it was practically abandoned.

3. Anglo-Saxon London


Most of the 9th century was dominated by Viking attacks. In 878 King Alfred the Great led English forces and defeated the Vikings at the Battle of Ethandun. He forced the Viking leader Guthrum to sue for peace and English rule in London was restored.

4. Norman and Medieval London


The Medieval period of London began with the Norman invasion of Britain in 1066. William, the Duke of Normandy, who killed English king Harold Godwinson in the Battle of Hastings constructed several royal forts along the riverfront of London like the Tower of London, Baynard's Castle and Montfichet's Castle. This period also saw the beginning of the construction of the London Bridge.

5. Tudor London


The Tudor period from 1485 until 1603 was an important and eventful period of English history. The period saw the rapid rise of London as an important commercial center in Europe. The late 16th century was also the most distinguished period in the cityís cultural history with the likes of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries living and working in London.

6. Stuart London


This was the period when London suffered the outbreak of what is referred to as the Great Plague that killed around 60000 people. It was also the period when on Sunday, 2 September 1666 the Great Fire of London broke out destroying 60% of the city.

7. 18th century


The 18th century was a crucial period in Londonís history. It was a period of rapid growth for London. This was a period of enlightenment and paved the way for the beginning of the modern times in the 19th century.

8. 19th century


In the 19th century London became the world's largest city and capital of the British Empire. Its population expanded from 1 million in 1800 to 6.7 million a century later. During this period, London became a global political, financial, and trading capital.

9. 20th century


London entered the 20th century as the capital of the largest empire in history. London had to sustain damage inflicted by the bombings carried out by the German Zeppelin airships during World War I but the period between the two World Wars saw London's geographical extent growing very rapidly. During World War II, London, like other British cities, suffered severe damage, being bombed extensively by the Luftwaffe as a part of The Blitz.

10. Since 1945


This was a period when London slowly regrouped and rebuilt post the damages suffered in World War II and consolidated its position as a leading financial, political and trading city in todayís world.



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