London was actually founded by the Romans, who originally named it Londonium in the 4th century BC. At the time, London had around 50 000 inhabitants, owing its dense population numbers to the proximity and importance of its nearby pier. During the 5th century, a huge number of onslaughts and invasions by the AngloSaxons ensued aimed at taking the region away from the Roman seize. In the 7th century, the city became the capital of the Kingdom of Essex.
In the 9th century, England fell victim to countless invasions by the Vikings, to which London was no exception. The city and the whole country saw many Danish immigrants come at the time, who contributed a lot to the development of trade in the region. Many merchants and artisants set up shops in London, turning it into the urban centre of England. The city in all its glory drew attention of Danish King Alfred The Great, who conquered London in 886.
In 1067, the newly-crowned King of England, William of Normandy, after conquering England for the benefit of Normandy, established the rule of law in England, including rules, regulations and privileges that were officially accepted in the city, and it was at this time that the London Tower was built. In 1199, King John of England strengthened the city’s local jurisdiction system, and 1215 saw the implementation of a law that enabled Londoners to elect a new mayor on a regular yearly basis
However, it is important to note that London was not always the capital of England. In effect, England did not have a capital for a long time at all. A key step to this becoming so was the moving of English institutions to Westminster, a city near London. This action, combined with the advances in trade in the city were key factors to the rise of London and its official recognition as England’s capital.
During the 14th century, London and its main pier became the central hub of distribution of goods to the whole of Europe. In the 15th century, textile trade was the most important economic factor of the country. The further development of trade routes from England led to a sharp rise in population numbers, which is obvious by the fact that, in the 8th century, London had 100 000 inhabitants, whereas in the mid-17th century, this number jumped to 500 000.
At the end of the 17th century, London was struck by an outbreak of the Great Plague, which saw the death of more than 70 000 people, and famine and overall poor living conditions prevailed in the city in its wake , regrettably though. To make matters worse, The Great Fire of London in 1666 saw most of the city’s buildings turn to ash, and even though people began rebuilding the city quickly, the process lasted for decades. During the rebuilding of London, buildings like Saint Paul’s Cathedral and many more monumental landmarks were built, which all made the city a rising cultural and social center of England at the time.
On a related note, London was further developed thanks to the advances made in the financial sector, as well as the founding of The Bank of England in 1694. This institution is the second oldest central bank, junior only to the Bank of Sweden, and it was surely the backbone of the development of London into what it stands for in this day and age.
Most of what can be seen around London was constructed during the Victorian Era. Up until the 19th century, London only took up what used to be the Roman city of Londonium, surrounded by lush greenery, but the start of The Industrial Revolution brought many people to London, which, unfortunately, made the grim consequences of the forthcoming cholera epidemic of 1832 catastrophic to the city and its population.
During the 19th century, London totaled 4,5 million inhabitants, a number which would rise to 6 million in the 20th century. At the end of the 19th century, London became the main international trade and financial centre.
Population numbers in the capital began to dwindle at the end of World War One, with the number of people being decimated to under 3.5 million in 1950. Contrary to this, population numbers in the suburbs of the city constantly grew, and in 1963, a new division of London was established, consisting of the old city and 32 additional sections.
Today, London has 9 million inhabitants, and is a multi-national and multi-cultural melting pot for people from all around the world.
London is a unique European city located on the banks of the river Thames. It is the seat of the Government of The United Kingdom, as well as the main financial center of both the UK and Europe. One might say that the city is located in a rather convenient position in the south of England; it is a city that has always been densely populated and located in the most affluent part of the country. Known for its architecture, hustle and bustle of its urban lifestyle, London is a city that people either love or hate to its extremes and you can say without fear of contradiction that it is a city of contrast in this respect.