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History in Focus

the guide to historical resources • Issue 13: The City •

The City

Houses of Parliament, London, by Claude Monet

Houses of Parliament, London, painted by Claude Monet in c.1904

Metropolitan comparisons: London as a city-state

Derek Keene, Centre for Metropolitan History


This article, first published in Historical Research (1) explores ideas associated with the term 'metropolis', especially when used concerning London, and then takes the notion of the city-state as a heuristic device to identify recurrent and fundamental characteristics of this particular metropolis. The comparisons are between successive phases in London's history, including the present; between London and other metropolises; and between London and that elusive ideal type, the 'city-state'.

Full text of Derek Keene's article (pdf file, 147KB).

  1. D. Keene, 'Metropolitan comparisons: London as a city-state', Historical Research 76 (2004), 459-80.Back to (1)

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