The History of London 1800 - 1900

The 1800s were a big growth century for London, the population grew by nearly seven times over the century. London became the world's largest city and was in many ways a global center, at the same time the city had difficulties with the rapidly growing population.

London was sharply divided between the rich and the poor during this time. The poor lived in the eastern part of the city and the rich in the western part of the city. The politicians and the rich who lived in the West, easily ignored that half of the city was poor. Many new neighbourhoods were formed during the century due to population increased from 1 million to nearly 7 million. They had to build the infrastructure to cope with the sharp population increase. During this century many of London's contemporary attractions such as Big Ben were built.

Cholera broke out in London around 1850. It was believed that the disease infected through the air at first. But a man named John Snow figured out that the disease must be transmitted through water due to the fact that most who became ill had fetched water from the same water spot. The rulers did not want to remove the water pump permanently but John Snow took matters into his own hands and stole the handle of the pump. He was hailed by the whole of London for finding the cure of cholera.

The Great Exhibition in 1851 was an important event for London which marked London's strong position in both politics and the economy during this period. The exhibition was held in the Crystal Palace and lasted half a year. 6 million people visited the exhibition.

London was during the 19th century a city of strong growth that was to become a global centre from many perspectives. At the same time, the sharp growth led to many people living fairly poor.

The First World War and the interwar period

London continued to grow during the 1900s and improved infrastructure. They began building the subways and electrification. From the Napoleonic wars until the First World War in 1914, Britain was militarily, economically, politically and scientifically leading country in the world and dominated world politics.

In 1914 Britain joined in the First World War and was bombed by German zeppelins which killed around 700 people and spread fear. Silvertown explosion was in Essex part of London where an ammunition factory exploded and 73 people died and 400 were injured and there was a bombing of a school where 16 children were killed.

After the First World War, Britain had a depression and a large unemployment. But London fared much better compered to the rest of the UK. They had a building

boom, and that it had a relatively small proportion of heavy engineering. Because of this made London new electrical industries, etc.

London during and after World War II

The biggest changes over the past 100 years was during the Blitz in World War II when Nazi Germany Luftwaffe bombed London. There were 71 bomber stripes came in December 1940 destroying large parts of London. 30,000 Londoners died during the Blitz and 50,000 were injured. Children were evacuated to the countryside and those who remained in London took shelter in the subway. The first Olympic game after the war was held in London in 1948 and in 1951 the Festival of Britain took place. during 1950, -60 and -70 century architecture in focus. London was built up in many different architectural styles and therefore it is no architecture that is the same in London.

Text: Emil Nyby, Zacharias Häggdahl-Lund and William Ekroos


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