ISLINGTON HOUSING NEWS SUPPLEMENT
HISTORY OF CITY HOUSING NO.8

February
1978

1. CHILDREN IN HIGH RISE

A lady author wrote a book about people living in high rise blocks of flats. She pointed out that no one knew what would be the long term effects on those children brought up in tower blocks.

We can guess how this style of life affected one working class boy who grew up in tenements.

When he grew up, he had an overriding urge to discover new worlds.

2. CHRISTOPHER OF THE BUI1DINGS

The boy was Christopher Columbus. He was born and grew up to manhood in Genoa. Genoa was the crowded city with the highest blocks of flats in Europe of the times.

3. ROUND OR FLAT?

Christopher was convinced that the World was round. Most knew it was flat.

He pushed his idea of finding a new way to Asia, to the valuable spice islands, around the courts of Europe. He was almost despairing when the Spanish Court of Ferdinand and Isabella gave him his chance.

He took it and America came into history.

4. BRAVE, NEW AMERICAN WORLD

Columbus landed in Hispaniola (the island of the modern Haiti and Dominican Republic) in 1492.

One million Indians lived on the island when Christopher arrived. Within 20 years 900,000 of them had died.

Disease, famine and the ruthless exploitation of them by the Spaniards had reduced their numbers to 100,000.

5. FORWARD & FORWARD

The Spaniards moved on to the mainland of America. By 1522 the Spanish Conquistadores had discovered the mighty and strange Aztec civilisation in Mexico - and defeated it.

In 3 years a small band led by a remarkable man, Hernadez Cortez, had destroyed an Empire.

6. MEXICO CITY

The capital of the Aztecs was Mexico City. It was the biggest, most fantastic and populous city in the world.

Inside the city walls lived about 700,000 people, but with its suburbs the total population numbered over one million.

 

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