ⓘ History of Bristol
Bristol is a city with a population of nearly half a million people in south west England, situated between Somerset and Gloucestershire on the tidal River Avon. It has been among the countrys largest and most economically and culturally important cities for eight centuries. The Bristol area has been settled since the Stone Age and there is evidence of Roman occupation. A mint was established in the Saxon burgh of Brycgstow by the 10th century and the town rose to prominence in the Norman era, gaining a charter and county status in 1373. The change in the form of the name Bristol is due to the local pronunciation of ow as ol.
Maritime connections to Wales, Ireland, Iceland, Western France, Spain and Portugal brought a steady growth of trade in wool, fish, wine and grain during the middle Ages. Bristol became a city in 1542 and trade across the Atlantic developed. The city was captured by the royalists, and then recaptured Parliament during the English Civil war. In the 17th and 18th centuries the transatlantic slave trade and the industrial revolution contributed to the further prosperity. Edmund Burke, MP for Bristol, supported the American revolution and free trade. Prominent reformers such as Mary carpenter and Hannah more were opposed to the slave trade.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries in the construction of a floating harbour, advances in shipbuilding and the future of industrialization with the growth of glass, paper, soap and chemical industry contributed to the establishment of Bristol as the end of the great Western railway by I. K. Brunel. At the beginning of the 20th century, Bristol was at the forefront of aircraft manufacture and the city became an important financial centre and high technology hub by the beginning of the 21st century.