The history of London began with a conquest: a small Celtic village on the banks of a river fell to the might of a powerful army and became, in the hands of the Romans, an important centre of trade. Over the centuries the city expanded on both sides of the Thames, royal dynasties came and went, heads fell, the balance of world power shifted and imperial monuments were built. It might be said that this is a story shared by all great cities and all the capitals of the great nations, but this is true only in part. While in the past London has been a symbol of power, military might, expansionism and high finance, in the twentieth century the capital of the United Kingdom has become the destination of choice for all those with the ideals of "peace and liberty" at heart. London has witnessed the birth of a unique musical style, rebellious fashion s and high ideals. No other cities has succeeded like London has in embodying the desires and aspirations of entire generations of young people. The "British Renaissance", boosted by a reviving economy, is but the latest evidence of the immortality of the spirit of London. Twenty centuries after its foundation London continues to hold an undying appeal for the young and those who still feel young inside. It dictates manners, mores, music and fashion. And it rests in the heart of all those who at least once in their lives have breathed London air.
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