Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Liverpool: its history

In the17th century civil war, the town supported parliament against the king, and was sacked by royalist troops. Its prosperity began in the 18th century, when Liverpool stood at the apex of a trading triangle in which goods from the cotton mills of Lancashire were traded with West African states in return for slaves. The slaves were then transported across the Atlantic to the West Indies and sugar was brought back from there to Liverpool.

The city's growth continued through the War of Independence, and the American Civil War, when, as the European port closest to the US, Liverpool was the principal route for the Lancashire and Yorkshire mills, importing raw cotton and wool and exporting cloth. The industrial revolution attracted thousands of migrants from Ireland and the rural communities of Wales and north-west England to work in the factories and docks. Among the problems of this sudden growth was poor housing and poverty, and even a 1928 survey showed 14% of the city's population were living barely at survival level.

During World War II, Liverpool, as Britain's second largest port - and less well protected by air cover than London - became an easy target for the German Luftwaffe and more than 5,000 people were killed in air raids and more than 10,000 houses destroyed.

No comments: