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Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in northwest England and is within the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester which consists of ten metropolitan boroughs. Those boroughs include Salford, Bury, Oldham, Bolton, Stockport, Rochdale, Tameside, Wigan, and Trafford. The county, a result of the Local Government Act of 1972, was designated a city region on 1 April 2011.

In 79 AD, the Romans established a civilian settlement near the Roman Fort Mamucium, which was on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the Rivers Irwell and Medlock. The fort was demolished in approximately 140 AD. It was not rebuilt until 160. As the Roman Empire crumbled during the 5th century, the Roman army fled back to Rome.

During the early parts of the Middle Ages, the settlement was taken by numerous entities, including the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, and the Danes.

Beginning in 1750, cotton fabrics had replaced much of the wool demand, and Manchester accommodated the demand of the cotton.

Manchester found itself at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, having become an important textile region, being the origin of numerous textiles but primarily cotton, so much cotton, in fact, that the city, which was the largest marketplace for cotton worldwide, was called “Cottonopolis.”

Cotton was exported throughout the United Kingdom and to North America, and Manchester was thus unexpectedly urbanized due to the Industrial Revolution. It was, in fact, the first industrial city in the entire world. Manchester Ship Canal opened in 1894, linking the city to the Irish Sea and established the Port of Manchester.

During World War II, the city was bombed repeatedly, and on the nights of December 22, 23, and 24, 1940, the Christmas Blitz razed much of the city centre, taking out 200 businesses, 165 warehouses, and 150 offices. 376 people were killed and more than 30,000 houses were damaged. The trajectory of the city and the cotton industry within was reset to downward, and by 1968, the exchange closed. Ship traffic declined drastically, and the port closed in 1982. Between 1961 and 1983, Manchester lost more than 150,000 manufacturing jobs.

After massive regeneration and reinvestment, it was the host of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, and the metropolitan economy is the third largest in the Kingdom.


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