The city of London has a history and a present, embedded in, and taken ahead by both the elements of continuity and change, as any other great city might have. The founding of the city of London is sometimes attributed to “Brute, a descendant of Aeneas”, who is supposed to have reached London almost a “century after the destruction of Troy”…
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It was the Normans who introduced the feudal system to Britain (Norton, 1829). And even before and after that, London has been a town of merchandise mainly (Norton, 1829). It was a city of banks as well (Michie and Williamson, 2004, p.12). These two features of the city have remained till date. And from a very early period, the citizens of London had many privileges given to them by the respective rulers, which were not enjoyed by the rest of the Britain's inhabitants (Norton, 1829, p.50-75). Even in the present scenario, Londoners are more well-off that all other British people. And the position of London as one of the most important places of commerce in the world, though dimmed, has not been entirely lost. The history of merchandise has imparted this city a unique system of governance:
Formerly every man in London followed a trade: he therefore belonged to a company. And as the commonality, all the men of London together assembled, i.e. all the members of all the companies, elected the Mayor, so to this day the electors of the Lord Mayor are the members of the companies” (Besant, 2010, p.209).
Though many people have shifted from trade into other vocations, the power given to the members of the companies remain (Besant, 2010, p.209). Secondly, the presence of West Minster abbey in the heart of London city is yet another mark of constancy. Even after London adopted democracy, the vestiges of monarchy lingered and even in cinematic depictions of London, the monarch and the palace inevitably finds a place. (Alfie, 1966, Together, 1956, London, 1994). The twentieth century London evolved as a city completely controlled by the rule of law, in the aftermath of the World War 1 (Michie and Williamson, 2004, p.2). Throughout the twentieth and twenty first century, the city has shown great political stability. In the 1950s, city of London, as a business hub, was under a transformation from the dominance of British currency to the rule of US dollar (Schenk, 2004, p.326). The crisis imparted by this diminishing economic dominance has returned to this city now and again and cost it many developmental pitfalls. And this is why the recent economic recession that affected the United States first had a severe impact on this city as well. 1950s was a decade of the opening up of the economy of the city to such foreign influences. The
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