History of Oxford

History of Oxford

The history of Oxford dates back to its original settlement in the Saxon period. Originally of strategic significance due to its controlling location on the upper Thames, the town grew in national importance during the early Norman period, and in the late twelfth century became home to the fledgling University of Oxford. The university rose to dominate the town entirely, and by the middle of the fourteenth century the history of the town was effectively no more than a footnote to the history of the university. A heavily ecclesiastical town, Oxford was greatly affected by the changes of the English Reformation, emerging as the seat of a bishopric and a fully-fledged city. During the English Civil War, Oxford housed the court of Charles I. The city began to grow industrially during the nineteenth century, and had an industrial boom in the early 20th century, with major printing and car-manufacturing industries. These declined, along with other British heavy industry, in the 1970s and 1980s, leaving behind a city which had developed far beyond the university town of the past.

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