Liverpool is in North West England, on the north side of the Mersey estuary. The second export port of Britain, it still possesses some manufacturing base. It is the home of two Premiership football clubs - Liverpool F.C. at Anfield and Everton F.C. at Goodison Park, as well as Tranmere Rovers F.C. across the Mersey in Birkenhead. It also has two universities and two cathedrals. Its population is around 470,000.
The origins of the city are usually dated from August 1207 when Liverpool was proclaimed as a borough and a port. Initially it's role was as a dispatch point for troops sent to Ireland. However even by the middle of the 16th century the population of Liverpool was only around 500, and the area was regarded as subordinate to Chester until the 1650s. There were a number of battles for the town during the English Civil War, including a eighteen day siege in 1644.
It was only in the 18th century as trade from the West Indies was added to that of Ireland and Europe that Liverpool began to grow; gaining the first wet dock in Britain in 1715. Within five years of this the population had reached 10,000. By the beginning of the 19th century, 40% of the world's trade was passing through the docks at Liverpool.
Liverpool expanded significantly in the nineteenth century and a number of major buildings were constructed (St. George's Hall, Lime Street Station etc.). Liverpool was granted city status in 1880.
During the first part of the twentieth century Liverpool continued to expand, the population was over 850,000 in 1930. During WW2 there were eighty air-raids on Merseyside, with a especially concentrated series of raids in May 1941 which interrupted operations at the docks for almost a week. Although only 2,500 people were killed almost half the homes in the metropolitan area sustained some damage and 11,000 were totally destroyed.
After the war there was (naturally) significant rebuilding, with several massive housing estates constructed as well as the Seaforth Dock, the largest dock project in Britain. However the city has been suffering since the 1950s, as employers left the poulation has fallen (460,000 in 1985) - the decline in manufacturing and the docks striking the city particularly hard. The city has reorientated towards culture (the city has twice tried to be named European city of culture) and tourism, capitalising on the popularity of the 1960s pop group The Beatles (Speke airport is to be renamed after John Lennon).
The inhabitants of Liverpool are noted for their distinctive accent called Scouse, those who speak it are dubbed Scousers (not to be confused with Skem, the accent of those living in Skelmersdale)