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Historical Description[]

London’s history dates back to Roman times. After being razed by the rebel queen Boudica, it became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia. Like England itself, the city was more or less a backwater until about the 16th century, though it was home to an office or ‘kontor’ of the Hanseatic League. The Tudor period saw the rise of England due to its focus on shipbuilding, exploration, and colonization. English naval dominance was made possible in part by the dockyards of London. Tragedy struck in 1666, when the Great Fire destroyed much of the city and left the vast majority of the population homeless.

By the time of Queen Victoria’s long reign in the nineteenth century, London was the largest and wealthiest city in the world. However, it was also a place of great poverty, as depicted in the works of Charles Dickens. Industrialization and the railroad transformed the cityscape. Railway transit allowed for easy transportation throughout the city and its suburbs. The London Underground became the world’s first subway system in 1863. Streetlights (powered first by gas and later by electricity) let people walk the streets safely at night for perhaps the first time in history. Modern London is a global capital of finance and culture. For example, a rebuilt Globe Theater has staged the plays of William Shakespeare since 1997.

History[]

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