In 1800 London was already the largest city in the world, and over the course of the next century its population grew rapidly, reaching over seven million by 1914. Historians have often depicted London after the Industrial Revolution as an industrial backwater that declined into the mass exploitation of labour through 'sweating', dominated by City and merchant interests. This book instead argues that London was a centre of nineteenth-century British economic growth. Modern economic theories of cities are used to explain the causes of metropolitan economic development, and emphasis is placed on the changing role of the metropolis within Britain and the wider world economy.
Individual chapters comprehensively survey a wide variety of topics including:
- population and migration
- standards of living
- employment and industry
- changes in retailing and leisure
- social welfare and local government
- post and telecommunications.
The evolution of London did not occur on purely free market terms - the supply of urban services is an important component of metropolitan history, particularly in the changing relationship between government and private endeavour. This fascinating history of a remarkable city will appeal to a wide audience from amateur to specialist interests in economics, history, urban studies and geography.
Table of Contents
Part I: Economics and Urban History 1. This City 2. Economic Theory and London's History Part II: London's Economy and People 3. Population and Migration 4. Work and Industry 5. Wealth, Living Standards and Poverty Part III: The Transformation of London 6. Retailing and the New Mass Market 7. Leisure and Pleasure 8. Suburbanisation and Housing Part IV: Infrastructure 9. To and From the Capital 10. Moving Round London 11. Utilities, Communications and Markets Part V: Industrial and Commercial Change 12. Manufacturing 13. Domestic, Professional and Clerical Services 14. Financial Services and the City Part VI: Welfare and Government 15. Welfare and Social Policy 16. The Government of London Part VII: An Assessment 17. Conclusions