England travel guide




London Travel Guide

London 20th century

London continued growing rapidly in the early decades of the century, and the transport was greatly expanded, the first motorbus service began to operate in the 1900s. A large-scale of public railways were constructed, linking London to many of the major cities, the first electric lighting appeared, and carriages could occasionally be seen on the streets.

During the first world war, London experienced its first bombing raids carried out by German zeppelin airships, called by the Londoners as “Baby Killers”; over than 700 people died and caused great terror, but were merely a foretaste of what was to come.

After the First World War and before the second one London grows geographically more quickly than ever before or since. A preference for lower density suburban housing, typically semi-detached, by Londoners seeking a more "rural" lifestyle, superseded Londoners' old predilection for terraced houses. London's suburbs expanded outside the boundaries of the County of London, into the neighboring counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey.

The Great Depression of the 1930s caused severe unemployment and Communist Party of Great Britain won a seat in the House of Commons, and the far-right British Union of Fascists received extensive support. Clashes between right and left finished with the Battle of Cable Street in 1936. The population of London reached an all time peak of 8.6 million in 1939.

During World War II, London was bombing by the Luftwaffe as a part of The Blitz, hundreds of thousands of children in London were evacuated to the countryside to avoid the bombing. Civilians took shelter from the air raids in underground stations. In this period, London was subjected to 71 separate raids receiving over 18,000 tones of explosives and suffering severe damages and heavy casualties, the worst hit part being the Docklands area of the East End; 30,000 Londoners had been killed by the bombing, and over 50,000 seriously injured, thousands of buildings were destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless.

In 1950s London has experiment the an immigration of large number of people from the Commonwealth countries such as Jamaica, India and Pakistan, which dramatically changed the face of London. This converted to London into one of the most diverse cities in Europe. However, the integration of the new immigrants was not easy, it have racial tensions such as the Brixton Riots in the early 1980s.

Starting in the mid-1960s, and partly as a result of the success of such UK musicians as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, London became a centre for the worldwide youth culture. London's role as a trendsetter for youth fashion was revived strongly in the 1980s during the New Wave and Punk eras. In the mid-1990s this was revived to some extent with the emergence of the Britpop era.

In the early 1980s has political disputes between the GLC run by Ken Livingstone and the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher, this caused the GLC's abolition in 1986, with most of its powers were relegated to the London boroughs. In 2000, London-wide government was restored, with the creation of the Greater London Authority (GLA) by Tony Blair's government, covering the same area of Greater London. The new authority had similar powers to the old GLC, but was made up of a directly elected Mayor and a London Assembly.

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