London's Population Part 2

Ref: C2419863

London has been shaped by waves of immigration from the Huguenots who fled religious persecution in France. We will look at the unwilling visitors brought as slaves and how London became the biggest city in the world by the nineteenth century. Robert Southey said in 1800, “London is more remarkable for the distribution of its inhabitants than any city of the continent. A nobleman would not be found by any accident in that part which is properly called the City.” We will look at the destruction and rebirth of the city through fire and the building of canals, railways and sewers. We will examine the city’s development with slides and group discussions. We will look at mass immigration from Ireland, Eastern Europe and the British Empire. The discussion follows on from a companion course that looks at the city from its foundation by the Romans to the Restoration.

Course aim

To understand how London's population formed through waves of immigration from the countryside and overseas from the 18th century to the present day.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Appreciate the varied influences that shaped the city
  • Explain how historical facts and myths become confused
  • Understand how historical events shaped the city's population

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • It is useful to be able to take notes.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but you may find it useful to look at relevant books, such as Peter Ackroyd's London, the Biography or Stephen Inwood's A History of London

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

London's Population Part 2

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This course has been cancelled.


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  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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