London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom, and the most populous city in the European Union.
London is one of the world's major business, political and cultural centres. It is a leader in international finance, politics, communications, entertainment, fashion and the arts and has considerable influence worldwide. It is widely regarded as one of the world's major global cities, and has been an important settlement for nearly 2000 years.
London has an estimated population of 8 million (as of 2011metropolitan area population of between 12 and 14 million. London has an extremely cosmopolitan population, drawing from a diverse range of peoples, cultures and religions, speaking over 300 different languages. Residents of London are referred to as Londoners.
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The city is an international transport hub and a major tourist destination, counting iconic landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace amongst its many attractions, along with famous institutions such as the British Museum and the National Gallery.
London has three main central business districts: the City of London, the West End in Westminster and Canary Wharf in Docklands. The City of London is the largest financial and business district in Europe.
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of London from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall. It threatened, but did not quite reach, the aristocratic district of Westminster and Charles II's Palace of Whitehall and left the suburban slums surrounding the City largely untouched. It consumed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St. Paul's Cathedral, and nearly all the buildings of the City authorities. It is estimated that it made homeless 70,000 of the City's 80,000 inhabitants. The death toll from the fire is unknown and has traditionally been thought to have been small, as only a few verified deaths are recorded. (more...)
Hubert Gregg, "Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner" (1947)
||Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner,
That I love London so;
Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner,
That I think of her wherever I go.
I get a funny feeling inside of me,
Just walking up and down;
Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner,
That I love London town.
Emmeline Pankhurst (1858–1928) was a political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement. Although she was widely criticised for her militant tactics, her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in Britain. She became involved with the Women's Franchise League, which advocated suffrage for women. When that organisation broke apart, she joined the left-leaning Independent Labour Party through her friendship with socialist Keir Hardie. After her husband died in 1898, Pankhurst founded the Women's Social and Political Union, an all-women suffrage advocacy organisation dedicated to "deeds, not words". The group quickly became infamous when its members smashed windows and assaulted police officers. Pankhurst, her daughters, and other WSPU activists were sentenced to repeated prison sentences, where they staged hunger strikes to secure better conditions. Eventually arson became a common tactic among WSPU members, and more moderate organisations spoke out against the Pankhurst family. With the advent of World War I, Pankhurst called an immediate halt to militant suffrage activism, in order to support the British government against the "German Peril". They urged women to aid industrial production, and encouraged young men to fight.