Manchester United Kingdom Overview
The city of Manchester was founded by Romans during their invasion in Great Britain, in the course of military campaign against the powerful tribe of Brigantes. Later it was rebuilt in stone and incorporated in the fortified zone which included Hadrian Wall. A stone road connected it with legionary bases of Chester and York. There quickly grew a civilian settlement.
It declined with the fall of Roman Empire and was repopulated under Anglo-Saxon rule. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book. It is recorded as royal manor of Edward the Confessor. The town was the centre of numerous manors, raised by landlords who seized these lands after William the Conqueror's invasion. In 1301 the town received a charter and gained importance as a commercial centre.
In 14th century a community of Flemish weavers founded linen and cloth production. The town quickly grew to the main industrial centre of the area. Collegiate church, later a cathedral, was founded around 1422. By 16th century the wool trade turned the city into a thriving commercial centre. In the course of 17th century the city became and important centre of Puritanism. It supported the Parliament against Charles I. On the English restoration, as a reprisal for Parliamentarian position, the city was deprived of the recently granted Members of Parliament. It had no representatives in Parliament until 1832. Extensive church construction is attributed to this period.
Manchester remained a small trading town until industrial revolution of 19th century. With the implementation of steam engine cotton mills grew quickly all over the city. Mersey and Irwell rivers were made navigable in 1720s, which contributed to the development of naval trade, favoured by the proximity to Liverpool, significant sea port. In 1830 Liverpool and Manchester railway, the first passenger railway in the world was opened.
By twentieth century the city was one of the major industrial centres of England, with developed engineering, chemical and electrical enterprises. In the World War II it was a principal industrial basis for military forces. In 1980s the city acquired much influence as educational, cultural and sport centre. The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University attract students from different regions of the country and from abroad. New industrial districts of the city are known for their diverse ethnic population. The city is on a "tentative list" of UNESCO world heritage sites.
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