London began the 20th century as the capital of the world's largest Empire and Britain's dominant city. One third of the entire trade of Great Britain passed through London's docks.
This decade was dominated by the First World War. Conflict broke out in 1914 and lasted for 4 years, much longer than anticipated.
London in the 1920s changed its mood. The lifting of war time restrictions in the early 1920s created new sorts of night-life in the West End. The capital began to feel less traditional and more modern.
London in the 1930s tried to be cleaner, more modern and efficient. The Capital's old problems were being tackled by new public bodies.
The 1940s was dominated by the second world war. London had first experienced aerial bombing during the first world war but this time bombs had a devastating effect.
The 1950s was a prosperous decade. Record quantities of imports and exports passed through London's docks. Skilled labour was now being actively recruited from Commonwealth countries.
During the 1960s London developed a new sense of itself. It became officially larger when its government was reorganised as 'Greater London'. It also got a new image as the capital of youth.
The 1970s was a traumatic decade for London. Changes in global trade disrupted all sectors of the economy. As docks and factories closed, so inner city London developed a landscape of dereliction and decay.
Many of the tensions of the 1970s continued into the 1980s. The 1980s also saw new reasons for optimism about London's future. After reaching its lowest point in 1983 London's population began to rise again.
The 1990s saw a new mood of optimism in London. The capital began to think of itself as truly global. It grew relaxed with its multicultural population and proud of its creative buzz.