Jan. 28th 2013
Imagine living in a city where the streets were never quiet, the roads walked on were mud, and Shakespeare plays were watched as a leisure time activity; this city was Elizabethan London. In London, the streets smelled repulsive and everything was crammed together. Though the living conditions in London would raise eyebrows today, it was one of the prized jewels of Europe. London was the center of literacy and theatre during the English Renaissance. The overcrowded city which had been plagued with disease was becoming the center of importance in the Elizabethan era. Though London contained many hygiene problems, it was the epicenter of Britain and considered the most important city of the western world in the Elizabethan era. London’s economy, population, and religion made it one of the most important cities of the western world at the time. London was so crowded during this age, that Queen Elizabeth had issued a proclamation banning construction of any new house within three miles of the city’s gates (Dersin 31). Even with numerous restrictions, the city still thrived and its population soared. The English economy on the other hand grew even more rapidly; agriculture prospered because of the significant increase in demand for food, and London became the leading center of the wool cloth trade (City of London). Much of England prosperity at the time was due to the fact that London was becoming one of the most important cities in the world. While London’s economy did prosper, the people still struggled; many citizens of London in the earlier Elizabethan years were destitute. Plague after plague struck London, causing theatres to be shut down, due to the large crowds they gathered. One thing that never closed was church which was considered to heal the plagues. Religious belief caused much friction, mainly between Protestants and Catholics. The Reformation had a big impact in London; it...